Archive for the ‘television’ category

Vintage Furry…

October 5, 2018

 

 

Back in the halcyon days of my youth, we had Captain Kangaroo, a benign and kindly grandfatherly-like gentleman who sported a haircut like Moe of The Three Stooges, and held sway in a place called The Treasure House.  He is shown in the presence of Mr. Green Jeans (a farmer stereotype), and three of the regular furry cast members, Dancing Bear, Mr. Moose, and Bunny Rabbit.  In their day, they were quite iconic…

Now this was all low tech stuff but could be strangely surreal at times, perhaps a distant echo of the Peewee’s Playhouse that would follow decades later.  I mean, there was even a talking Grandfather Clock that viewers were expected to call to and wake up!  And while his face was incapable of rendering any range of emotion, one wouldn’t want to wake up at night to find Dancing Bear hovering over you.  There’s something creepy and unnatural about that cheap fursuit that makes him look like Yogi Bear on a party drug…

Bob Keeshan the titular host previously was Clarabell the Clown on the Howdy Doody show, and his show ran for almost thirty years from 1955 to 1984…

The Mintmobile Fox…

September 30, 2018

 

Who’s green and keen? — The Mintmobile Fox, of course!  Now normally when foxes turn green, it’s not a good thing, of course, and may signify severe gastrointestinal distress.  It all right for this little guy, however, ’cause he’s just a ‘toon, but one who we can see appearing in a wide variety of settings, beginning with his bed and ranging to such diverse environments as a supermarket and gymnasium.  This fox meditates…he rides in cars conversing with women…and looks ever so cool motoring in his own sweet ride.  He’s an inspiration to all of us of the vulpine persuasion…

The Mintmobile Fox is a mascot or spokesman for a wireless internet service, and that’s all right.  What’s not all right, as he’ll tell and show you, are such things as finger dipping and carpet showers.  We are then witness to such things as people at a gathering plunging their fingers into bowls of dip, and a guy showering in a stall layered in carpet.  I, for one, do not wish to be party to such things, nor would any sensible fox.

This bright-eyed and perky little guy even wears eyeglasses, or when the occasion calls for it, shades.  Catch his act for Mintmobile on commercials, although a cartoon series spin-off would be great…

The Grim Reaper of Home Appliances…

September 8, 2018

I, for one, fear the Grim Reaper of home appliances. My grief was great when he came for my hot water heater, leaving me $800 in the hole for plumber bills and heater replacement. Death, there is thy sting, right in the wallet!  Oh, the suffering budget, the anguish, the gnashing of teeth!  It was not a pretty sight…

…and so I can appreciate the trials of the poor woman in the American Home Shield commercial who answers her door to find the Grim Reaper paying a call, the icon hovering complete in smoldering black cowl.  As the dreaded black specter advances, our housewife understandably freaks out.  “No, it can’t be!  I’m not ready!  I do spin class!,” she protests, sinking to her knees in supplication.  But the Reaper advances further, his bony finger extending to indicate that his target is not the woman herself, but rather her large stainless steel refrigerator/freezer!  Now understanding, the woman protests “What? The refrigerator! – – Oh come on!  Do you know how much it cost me?  You’re killing me!”  Then the lady decides to rephrase her unfortunate choice of words, but death is implacable.  As the refrigerator shakes in his otherworldly powers, the announcer tells us how all of our appliances will eventually die, but their plan will see to their replacement.  For good measure, the Reaper decides to take out our hapless lady’s home central air system too.  It was a full day’s harvesting, apparently…

When the Reaper comes for me, I’m going to say “Oh happy day!”  No wait…that’s what I’m going to tell the aliens…

 

Kayak TV Commercial “Shark…”

July 22, 2018

 

Imagine performing dentistry on a Great White Shark…now that’s a toothy business!  This shark is reclining on a dental chair, too, although there’s no need to tell him to open wide…his maw gapes enormously, and is full of razor-sharp teeth.  In the Kayak commercial, you can even see the shark’s tail moving slightly.  The attending dentist doesn’t appear too worried about his unusual client, however, just going about business as usual.  An observing guy in the background comments that the dentist appears confident.  A woman also in the background agrees, but adds that he doesn’t appear Kayak confident as she is, with Kayak having searched hundreds of sites for her to find the best flight.  It’s “search one and done,” you see…

Now being offbeat, I fantasize about crossover commercials.  Picture one featuring the Kayak shark, and the Aspen Dental dentist.  “You really should take better care of your teeth,” the Aspen Dentist might lecture the Kayak shark, who perhaps deliberately in spite ate a whole box of Oreos before visiting the dentist.  “Cancel the rest of my appointments for this afternoon!,” our Aspen guy might add before settling undaunted into the task of cleaning the hundreds of teeth before him. Dentistry soldiers on…our unsung heroes.

Or imagine Progressive Insurance’s agent Flo trying to sell insurance to the shark, who would only listen so long before snapping at Flo in frustration.  Cobra-like, Flo would whip safely away before chiding the shark that he didn’t have to snap her head off.  Flo has impressive survival skills, you see, enduring being marooned on a desert island with only a “name your own price” tool in a commercial that recalls a Tom Hanks film…

“Frozen Aisle” Aspen Dental Commercial…

July 4, 2018


While visions of Hell usually emphasize a hot, burning place, horror can be found in many locations, and the image of a dentist emerging from a freezer case to snatch someone back into its unspeakable depths suffices nicely.  Like this dentist, the emissaries of the netherworld can also be charmingly seductive…

Our Aspen Dental commercial begins with a woman and her self-absorbed hubby prowling the aisles of a generic supermarket while she complains about having to pay for her dental services, whether or not she’s happy with them. “There has to be an easier way,” mutters hubby, his eyes never leaving his paper.

Thus summoned, the dentist rolls out of the adjoining freezer case, complete with frost and icicles on his body and dental chair…chilling!  While the woman gawks and hubby continues to read his paper, the dentist from a frozen hell begins his spiel.  “If you’re looking for easy, look no further,” he advises as he tells the woman of Aspen’s money-back policy on dentures.  Next the woman is happily in the frosty dental chair; “That’s pretty easy!,” giggles the woman. “Easy said, easy done!” agrees the dentist as they are retracted back into the freezer case which closes. – –Abandon all hope,  ye who enter here?

Clueless hubby finally looks up from his paper, obviously totally unaware of where his wife is or what has just gone on.  I’m sure that those of us who are in or once were in a relationship can relate…

“We Are Gone,” The Terror, Episode 10

May 22, 2018

All good things must come to an end, and so The Terror wrapped up its tenth and final season episode (“We Are Gone”) with more than a bit of Grand Guignol, complete with cannibalism and the Tuunbaq ripping into Hickey and his rebellious men, literally tearing the sadistic psychopath in two before succumbing to its poisonous diet. You are what you eat, after all…

We were given more of a close-up of the Inuit monster in this conclusive episode, his countenance a disturbing mixture of human and bestial elements, almost resembling someone’s crazy old uncle; maybe Uncle Fester of The Addams Family. A “spirit who dresses itself as an animal,” the mythological creature was said to consume not only the flesh but also the soul of its victims. 

Where human flesh eating was concerned, there are suggestions in the historical evidence that some cannibalism occurred in the actual Franklin Expedition, although it was ramped up for horrific effect in the Dan Simmons novel as well as the series adaptation of it. In this television adaptation, surgeon Goodsir poisoned himself unknown to his captors and slit his wrists, his body then becoming a fatal feast for them. Other subtle differences between the book and the screen adaptation occurred as well, and without issuing spoilers I did find the novel’s ending more satisfying. If you were captivated by the televised series, check out the book as well as a really well done and worthwhile horror tale…

The C, the C, the Open C on “The Terror”

May 14, 2018

 

Watching a late episode of The Terror series is somewhat like regarding a mummy; there are things here that are distinctly unpleasant to see, but not only can’t you not look away, but you keep on going back for more!  As someone who is also reading Dan Simmons’ novel as they watch the series, you might even say that I’m double-dipping, a true misery porn junkie.  This is depressing and disturbing stuff, but I can’t stop returning to it because it’s so well done!

As people with an understanding of what actually happened to the historical Franklin Expedition, we know what the characters do not know as the story unfolds, namely that they are all doomed and that this doesn’t end well for them, regardless of what they do.  When faced with extreme and desperate conditions, we are shown the polarities of how people can respond to dire circumstances in the now separate camps of Captain Crozier versus the mutinous and psychopathic rebel leader, Hickey.  Crozier has become elevated as the series has progressed, whereas Hickey has gravitated towards the bestial.  Whereas Crozier has remained a civilized man and become almost a spiritual leader, for Hickey cannibalism is now literally on the table.

We say goodbye to Commander Fitzjames in this episode, his condition deteriorating rapidly and an assisted suicide conducted by Crozier.  Captive in Hickey’s camp and witness to a murder, surgeon Goodsir (pictured) is forced to butcher the body for consumption lest Hickey kill another for failure to comply.  And Ice Master Blankey, already minus a lower leg from a previous confrontation with Tuunbaq, goes out solo in a suicidal mission against the creature to buy his compatriots some time.  Ingeniously, the guy wraps himself in forks so as to make the monster’s job less easy, and perhaps enact revenge from within should he be ingested…the guy’s going down, but you gotta love his spirit!

Betrayed by a double agent in his own camp, Crozier is captured by Hickey’s men, with the final outcome to this and other hanging issues to find resolution in episode 10, the last of the season.