Saturday, November 30, 2019
This Fire TV commercial explains a lot, actually
When I was very young, James Bond villains (and lets be honest from the very start- the guy in this ad is an obvious parody of an old-fashioned James Bond villain) did really cool things like press buttons to coolly execute people just because they could. Then when I got older, the Bond villains kind of went off the rails and focused on killing millions of people with nuclear missiles or cyanide-dispersing satellites or some such silliness. Then they became a real mixed bag of characters with extremely limited goals or world-changing ambitions, but most of them were kind of stupid and it was hard to imagine them pushing those buttons and causing people to vaporize or fall into a pool of piranha or whatever.
For all the time I was growing up, James Bond films could be counted on to be released every other summer, pretty much like clockwork, too. Their quality wasn't dependable- the first one I saw in the theaters was The Spy Who Loved Me in the summer of 1977, and I thought that was great. Most of the Moore films that followed afterwards were pretty awful. Dalton's films were great, Brosnan's were below average (and Die Another Day was downright 1980s Moore-level crap.) None of the villains in any of these films were particularly memorable. But they were there, every other year.
The Bond film series has pretty much reached a dead end in the last decade, as Bond fans die out and the next generation just can't get invested in the character because the films are so few and far between. Bond 25, No Time To Die, will be released in April, 2020- almost five full years since the last installment. Think about it: Sean Connery starred in six Bond films in nine years (1962-1971.) Roger Moore starred in seven films in 12 years (1973-1985,) Dalton two in three years (1987-89,) and Brosnan four in seven years (1995-2002.) No Time To Die will be Daniel Craig's fifth Bond film since Casino Royale was released in 2006-- that's five Bond films in FOURTEEN YEARS. Way to kill interest in a franchise, people!
Ok, back to connecting all of this to an Amazon Fire Commercial: The "villain" in this ad isn't plotting to start World War III, rob Fort Knox, or nuke or poison the planet. Hell, he isn't even trying to make a hundred million dollars in a drug deal or get exclusive broadcasting rights to China (yes, both of those are actual James Bond villain motivations.) He just wants to watch TV. That's what Evil Villains do in the year 2019. They watch TV. You know, like all of use who AREN'T evil villains. So why are they interesting? They aren't. They are worthy of nothing but ridicule. They aren't fun, they aren't entertaining, and most important, they really don't remind anyone under the age of fifty or so of a certain film franchise that is in the process of being murdered by its' inheritors. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if most people watching this ad thought of Austin Powers before James Bond. Sad.