Archive for the ‘animals’ category

“The General Skunk” Commercial

April 3, 2020

                  

      When a woman in a commercial for The General insurance appears about ready to drive a newly-purchased vehicle off a car lot, she is met by the unlikely duo of Shaquille O’Neal and The General, the latter a cartoon pipsqueak in military attire sporting an enormous white moustache.  

        You’re not ready to drive without insurance,” cautions Shaquille.  “That’s as crazy as starting a skunk farm in your backyard!”  The admonition seems to trigger a traumatic memory in the woman. We flash back to an image of her apparently in her yard being advanced upon by over half a dozen skunks.  The woman extends her palms at the advancing skunks in an effort to keep them at bay.  “Easy, Petunia!,” she cries to one, “Back up!,” she beseeches…but her efforts are in vain, as we are shown a fleeting image of the skunks raising their tails, about to spray the woman.

        Flashing back to the present, the woman is now happily engaged in procuring insurance from The General.  “Smell you later,” she says to those bad memories as she departs…

          



        “Cheetah” in “Wonder Woman 1984”

        February 14, 2020



        I’m really not a big Wonder Woman fan, but have been known to dip into it for the occasional but thrilling glimpses of Cheetah, who together with Catwoman can really pique my interest.  This is not to deny or dismiss the many dazzling vixens that are out there, although cat-women are far more common in film.

        It would appear that Cheetah is going to be done right in the Wonder Woman 1984 film, unlike the much-touted felines of Cats, which disappointed and creeped-out many briefly before disappearing into commercial oblivion.  Cheetah (Barbara Ann Minerva) will be played by Kristen Wiig, and the image of her above to the left is fan art rather than an actual image of the CGI creation in the upcoming film.  It’s unclear at this point as to how fully transformed we’ll get to see the formidable Wonder Woman villainess, but hopes are high that the rather sedate, plain-dressing Barbara Minerva will during the course of the film become a were-cheetah, complete with fur and predatory skills.  I’ll certainly be pulling for her in what could be legendary battles with the Amazon…

        Wonder Woman 1984 reportedly has an ’80’s vibe, and also pays tribute to the comic book traditions of the series.  While the exact physical depiction and portrayal of the character is being kept under wraps, the film won’t hit theaters until June, at which point the cat will be out of the bag…

         

         

        “The Masked Singer,” Season 3 Premier

        February 5, 2020



        Without a lot of advance advertising, The Masked Singer returned for a third season on the Fox network…and get this, a fourth season is coming this summer!  The series continues to be outrageous and very furry friendly, with a majority of the contestants on the first episode identifiable species.  There was also a Miss Monster and a Robot performing.

        Series host Nick Cannon entered wearing a mirrored rabbit mask that he had worn before on a previous season, and guest celebrity contestant Jamie Foxx  joined the usual panel of judges, wearing initially a mirrored fox mask.  He had in season two been suspected of being the performer named Fox, who was actually Wayne Brady, the winner of last season’s competition.

        The show got off to a roaring start with contestant White Tiger (pictured above, center) who was a large, physically impressive presence that performed Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby.”   Following was Turtle (far right), who looked like a punk reptile the Ninja Turtles might fight and performed “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal.  Next was Llama (second in from right), looking like a tourist on recreational drugs who performed Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs.”  Remarkably, this costume had hind legs on wheels.  I thought that Llama’s back-up female llama dancers were also effective, and they played bongo drums strung around themselves occasionally. You just don’t see hot female bongo-playing llama-headed female dancers everyday..

        Then there came Miss Monster (far left), a tribute to T-Pains character in the first season.   She performed “Something to Talk About” by Bonnie Raitt, and was joined on stage by the T-Pain character, who did not sing along.  The back-up dancers for Miss Monster mirrored her cyclops look by having heads that were nothing but enormous eyes, a nice surreal touch.  Following was Robot, a clunky retro-looking model complete with a large winding key on their back who performed a Lenny Kravitz number in the company of two lab-coated mad scientist types with white hair and guitars who reminded me of Thing One and Thing Two of Dr. Sseus fame.  Last to perform was Kangaroo, attired in boxing togs like cartoon ‘roos in days of yore, who performed Dancing On My Own.

        When the elimination vote was performed, Robot was eliminated, although I thought he didn’t give the weakest performance of the night, and should have abided far longer.  When unmasked, Robot turned out to be Lil Wayne, a very commercially successful performer.  The Masked Singer airs on Fox Wednesday night in my area…

         

         

        Geico “Man Cave” Commercial

        January 9, 2020


        Forget your articulate and genial “window bear” commercial.  In this Geico offering, the bear is much less anthropomorphic, and is physically in a house, trashing it…

        A well-to-do middle-aged couple sits on recliners in their beautiful home, each watching separate tv screens.  “He wanted a man-cave in our  new home,” begins the woman, “But she wanted to be close to nature, so we met in the middle,” adds the man.  The scene then widens to reveal a true cave entrance in the dwelling wall, out of which emerges…a bear, who making growling bear-noises slowly advances on all fours into the room.

        “Look who just woke up!,” comments the woman brightly.  “You are so cute!,” she says to the bear, who advances to the refrigerator and noses it open, the door eventually winding up detached several feet off to the side as the bear stands upright and begins to messily forage within the fridge, physically shaking it and retrieving a bottle.  Foodstuff is strewn on the beautiful hardwood flooring…

        “You got it!  You are so smart!,” the adoring woman commends the bear, who sloppily consumes the drink.  Apparently this bear, like some people’s dogs, can do nothing wrong.  It seems that one thing the couple could agree upon is getting help from Geico homeowners insurance.  From the mess that the bear is leaving, they’re gonna need it!  Their cost of regular major appliance replacement alone has got to be astronomical…

         

        Of Octopus Farms and Anthropomorphic Octopi…

        January 2, 2020


        Scientists warn that octopus farms may not be a great idea despite the fondness of some people for eating them.  This is to say nothing of the fact that an octopus farm sounds like a recurrent theme in a Gary Larson Far Side cartoon.  For one thing, octopuses are carnivorous, eat a lot, and are intelligent. They can figure out how to open jars, recognize individual humans, and identify puzzles that they’ve seen before.  They also can become bored, and toys are sometimes put into aquariums for them to provide cognitive stimulation.  They can even learn how to escape their containment facilities, possibly in search of video gaming systems.  

        As fishing for octopuses yields a variable and unreliable supply, efforts to farm them have been made that include dabbling in genetic modifications of the creatures.  Now I, for one, don’t want to have to deal with roving mobs of bored, carnivorous, genetically-modified octopi that have escaped their farm aquariums, although this appears to be a promising premise for a Syfy Channel movie.

        One might even become concerned about the plight of Hanna-Barbera’s 1960’s character Squiddly Diddly becoming frustrated in his musical aspirations, and escaping the confines of his aquatic park to take the musical and entertainment worlds by storm. Despite his name, the character was essentially an octopus, and might indulge his carnivorous nature on us if we failed to give him a listen…

         

        Progressive’s “Pets: Secret Keepers”

        December 1, 2019


        It’s hard to imagine Progressive’s insurance agents at home or about, when they are not doing insurance-agent things, and this “Secret Keepers” commercial provides that rare glimpse into their more mundane and vulnerable sides.  Who could imagine, for example, that the formidable Flo could get all weepy and emotional over watching someone miss a spare on televised bowling?  Her dog is nearby, seeing everything and revealing nothing…

        Then there is the hapless Jamie, shown ironing wearing nothing but his Progressive apron, his Great Dane silent witness to it all.  Another  male associate is submerged for some reason in a bathtub filled with ice, his cat just down the hall.  There’s also the female associate doing the primal scream thing in a car while her dog watches silently; “I feel much better!,” confesses the woman after her eardrum-bursting yell.

        Because pets see everything that we do and never say a thing, our “secret keepers” are covered for free in Progressive’s auto insurance policies, you see…and their silence can indeed be golden, for what they know and have seen could be quite embarrassing if not downright incriminating…

         

        The Masked Singer’s “Triumph Over Masks”

        November 14, 2019


        With so many of the performers on The Masked Singer furry, it was almost inevitable that one of the visiting panel of judges would eventually be furry, too.  That eventuality became reality on the S2/Ep7 installment of the series when Triumph the Insult Comic Dog joined the panel, and professed to be the sire of performer Rottweiler.

        “I never thought I’d see you again after I left your mother,” confessed Triumph, who was rewarded with a portrait of himself painted by his adoring son.  Family reconciliations always touch my heart…


        Triumph also bantered with the Fox, noting that dogs and foxes were usually enemies.  For his part, the Fox kicked off the evening with an energetic song and dance performance of Bobby Brown’s Every Little Step.

         

        Getting into the full spirit of things, series host Nick Cannon has repeatedly entered the show wearing an impressive mirrored rabbit mask.  It was Ladybug who was voted off at the end of this episode, and revealed to be…Kelly Osbourne!  No bats were harmed during her performance of Youngblood…