Archive for the ‘television’ category

“Alter Ego” Coming to Fox…

September 11, 2021

We’ve all probably gotten a bit weary of singing competitions, even the offbeat ones such as The Masked Singer where contestants perform in full body costumes that disguise their identity. Now in an attempt to pique our jaded tastes, a new type of singing competition has hooked into technology, and is allowing contestants to perform as their chosen avatar.

These are not static avatars, but 3D moving, full-bodied representations limited only by the imagination. Want to perform as a humanoid with purple skin? – – Got you covered! Prefer to be singing with butterfly wings? – – No problemo.

You can also be gender fluid on the show, looking like someone androgynous or other than your sex assigned at birth. Your performing avatar can interact with and respond to competition judges as well.

Performing in motion-capture suits, the singers will control their avatars and appear before the judges as them. It’s kind of like American Idol meets Ready Player One, and just when you thought singing competitions were old hat…

So September 22nd and 23rd on Fox, contestants “from all walks of life” will compete, but not as themselves. They will have such names as Lover Boy, Night Journey, and Fern. Cartoonish? Perhaps…but if you could perform as an avatar, what might that “alter ego” be, hmmm? I think that I should like to perform as a demonic fox, just to stretch myself creatively a bit…then if the judges didn’t like me, they’d be sorry, heheheh! “Mr. Producer, need a new panel of judges here, ASAP!” Oh well, singing was never my strong suit…

“Sexy Beasts” Is Coming to Netflix…

June 24, 2021

If you melded The Masked Singer with The Dating Game and sprinkled in some psychedelic drugs, you might come up with something similar to Sexy Beasts, a bizarre dating series premiering on Netflix July 21st. The show is based on an earlier British series that also had versions run in Germany, Korea, and the United States.

The show’s prior core concept involved taking an eligible male or female and matching them on successive dates with three other singles, with all four individuals transformed by heavy prosthetic facial makeovers to resemble animal or mythological figures. Only the contestant’s face would be altered, the rest of their body being as it would normally appear. In the course of the episodes two of the three suitors would be eliminated, allowing the remaining person to go on a second date with the bachelor or bachelorette, both parties then unmasked.

The idea is supposedly to see if romance can be generated solely on the basis of personality if not allowed to see the true face of a prospective suitor. A scenario can then be generated where a woman wearing a panda head inquires of a man resembling a bull whether he has health insurance. We all know that this happens all the time…

Not all of the contestants will be furry, with some facially made up to resemble insects, aliens, monsters, or assorted supernaturals. We all know that the course of true love seldom runs smooth, after all. One’s “date” might turn out to be a real dog, but then presumably you’d at least have a new best friend…

Ah well! In the search for a sexy beast, if nothing’s ventured, nothing’s gained. You might, after all, find one of your own kind.- – Do you know any sexy beasts?  Might a few of you out there be one? Time to ‘fess up…or maybe not. Feral is as feral does, after all.  And what might be a suitable soundtrack for this series?  Perhaps You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate!   🦊

“A Pet Too Far” Progressive Commercial…

June 19, 2021

Where animals are concerned, there’s cute, and there’s painfully cute. So when a commercial being filmed for Progressive Insurance starts with a basket of kittens and proceeds to a bulldog in a top hat 🎩 and then dogs and cats in band uniforms, it’s Progressive’s own Flo who decrees that they’ve gone over the top with a cuteness overload.

Progressive loves animals as much as you do, we’re told, and so protects them for up to $1,000 in the event of an auto accident.

But apparently according to Flo, putting animals into tiny band uniforms to sell car insurance is too much. “What’s wrong with cute animals?,” a team member protests. “Define ‘too much,’ ” says another.

Who’s going to tell Mitten?,” protests Jamie in full band uniform. “She’s a diva!” Mitten is an adorable kitten in a band uniform, a tiny trombone around her neck. She meows pitifully…

Well, I wouldn’t want to have to tell Mitten that her big commercial moment is cancelled…would you?!

Liberty Mutual’s “Gym” Commercial…

June 13, 2021

We once again find the LiMu Emu and Doug on a row of treadmills at a gym, where the human half of the duo asks an unfortunate fellow exerciser on a cell phone if he’s using the Liberty Mutual “customizer” tool, so he “only pays for what he needs.” Doug hardly seems dressed for a workout, wearing long pants, his trademark yellow shirt, and a tie. Bad form, Doug…

Putting Doug to shame, however, is the Emu at the end of the row of treadmills, who is running full tilt! “LiMu, you’re a real animal!,” remarks Doug, adding “Who’s got the ‘bird legs’ now?” Cute…

In an expanded version of the ad, the Emu is also shown pecking at a heavy bag in the gym. His beak punctures the bag’s covering, causing sand to pour out.- -Well, there goes their membership! This is one buff bird…

“Grilling Out” with the LiMu Emu…

June 11, 2021

I’m not sure that one would want to date or marry an insurance company spokesman or rep as depicted on TV, where they never seem to be able to talk about anything but insurance, which can get old really fast! So it is at an outdoor cookout for Liberty Mutual’s “Doug” (David Hoffman), the Emu, and their presumed wives. The partners are dressed alike in matching loud yellow floral Hawaiian print shirts, and even their wives are in matching tones. It’s a surreal occasion, their outfits matching the yellow finish of the Liberty Mutual-mobile visible in the background. They’re nothing but thematic here…

When Doug blathers only about insurance, his wife politely asks him to change the topic, it being the weekend and all.- -Give it a rest, dude! In the awkward silence that follows, Doug asks the Emus wife if she would prefer to eat either a hot dog or chicken right off the grill, the latter offering seeming to be at least quasi-cannibalistic for the bird. The Emu vocalizes a brief response which Doug interprets to indicate a choice for a hot dog. It is not clear whether this is possibly because chickens may resemble baby emus in their sight…

For inquiring minds, the Emu memorably depicted in these commercials is a mix of real bird and CGI effects. At any rate, he certainly can rock a pair of aviator shades! Perhaps a future commercial could touch on a sensitive issue, such as The Great Australian Emu War of 1932, where 20,000 emus prevailed against World War I veterans armed with machine guns. They are a resourceful and resilient species… 🦊

Progressive’s Lovable Loser…

June 6, 2021

While Flo (Stephanie Courtney) is undeniably the top banana in Progressive Insurance commercials, her sidekick Jamie (Jim Cashman) is often a scene-stealing figure. Originally portrayed as kind of a lovable loser beginning in 2014, the Jamie figure has developed layers of character, almost becoming kind of a mystery man.

At first denied sprinkles by Flo because “sprinkles are for winners,” we have seen different sides of Jamie. He can be a goofy and well-intentioned loser, but as we have learned in other commercials can be boorish (Ride Along), sarcastic (Driver’s Ed), or awesome, with martial arts skills (Jamie’s Trip Review). In 40th Birthday Bash, we see Jamie in his not-so-modest home, where we meet his gorgeous wife and hear him play guitar and sing, quite well! This is not just some guy in a white apron, but rather someone with quite the hidden life, and as many layers as an onion. Jamie may not live his job completely as Flo does, but there’s more to him than meets the eye, too, and there may be a little bit of Jamie in all of us, for better or worse…

Vintage Furry Advertising…

May 31, 2021

In the past as now, there were furry icons who represented a brand, and memorably served as spokesmen. Back before Esso gas became Exxon, there was the tiger used to admonish motorists to “put a tiger in their tank,” the tiger representing power and performance. A promotion was even done where stuffed tiger tails that could be affixed to gas caps were available to customers as visible proof that they indeed were driving with such a tiger. This was back in the days when fuel attendants would routinely clean your windshield and check your oil without being asked! Don’t hold your breath waiting for such amenities today. The tiger himself was an impressive dude rendered with attitude and fine attention to detail; rather awesome, actually.

The sadly nameless Esso/Exxon tiger was predated by the Kellogg’s product icon of Tony the Tiger, and there were distinct similarities in depictions of the duo. Despite this, the two tigers co-existed amicably until 1992 when trademark infringe wars erupted as Exxon tried to open Tiger Marts. It’s Tony the Tiger who seems to have best survived the Tiger Wars, and may still readily be seen today…

Geico’s “Bear Country” Commercial…

May 18, 2021

  
Geico Insurance has already featured Rocky and Bullwinkle and Casper the Friendly Ghost in commercials, so we shouldn’t be surprised that they’re punching the nostalgia ticket another time with a crossover commercial featuring Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo.

We’re introduced to some couples enjoying a barbecue while rejoicing that they’ve finally found their dream home in the mountains when the occasion is crashed by the two Hanna-Barbera ursines, first introduced in 1958.  It is bear country, apparently, and while the humans beat a hasty retreat, Yogi and his diminutive partner help themselves to the goodies, all without Ranger Smith in sight.  I’m kind of disappointed in Boo-Boo, who in the vintage ‘toons would kind of serve as the voice of reason to Yogi, or at least try to rein him in a bit, usually unsuccessfully. Here Boo-Boo is an all-too-willing participant, helping himself to the chicken and other edibles, which include corn on the cob and even steak.

Living in bear country may not be easy, but from their safe sanctuary within their house the people are relieved that Geico at least makes bundling their homeowners insurance easy and saves them money…and when Yogi and Boo-Boo have departed, one of the humans, Jack, can be coaxed down from his perch in a tree. We also get to hear Yogi’s trademark boast that he’s “Smarter than the average bear” when he suggests leaving the scene with a cobbler to go.

But hey, this isn’t Jellystone Park, and a barbecue at a house doesn’t constitute a pic-a-nic basket raid!  Call Animal Control, someone…Yogi’s apparently becoming an invasive species, and may become the recipient of a tranquilizer dart or worse if he keeps this up…and why do bears need ties, anyways?!  I don’t even like ’em…   🐻

  

Progressive Motaur’s “New Shoes” Commercial…

March 30, 2021

In his previous outing, we saw Progressive’s “Motaur” suffer a blowout, and I’m sure that we all wonder how such a biomechanical being responds to such an incident; why, he goes to a tire shop, of course!  Where the rubber meets the road also incorporates elements of the old full-service shoe store, with Motaur trying on a new set of tires, and the older store employee, completely nonplussed by his appearance, offering helpful comments from his perspective to close the sale.  Those full-service shoe stores are hard to find these days; if you were a kid, they would actually measure your feet!  Earlier still, some shoe stores would have an X-ray machine on site so you could see how the shoes fit on your underlying anatomy.  It was kind of, “Hey kid, want a dose of radiation with those penny loafers?”  But I digress… 

When Motaur voices concerns that his new kicks might be too tight, the employee opines that he just might want to break them in a bit, because he sure doesn’t want tires to be too loose!  A disturbing thought here; can Motaur actually feel his inorganic parts, and if so, how?  Anyways, the employee is a helpful and good salesman, and we wind up with Motaur back on the road again, another satisfied customer.  Sure is good that he had Progressive’s 24/7 roadside assistance plan!  Long may he ride to his Culture Club tunes!  Are we in for a Boy George revival?

In future installments, perhaps we’ll learn if Motaur sees a doctor or a mechanic if he gets sick.  Does he change his own oil?  Inquiring minds want to know…

 

Progressive’s “Motaur: Interruptions” Commercial…

March 28, 2021

  

Biomechanical organisms can be both freaky and funny at the same time, and Terrence Terrell as Progressive’s Insurance “Motaur” is at it again, this time showing off his light side as he motors down a deserted country road, singing and bopping to Culture Club’s 1980’s hit, Karma Chameleon.  It was a catchy tune, and our Motaur seems to be enjoying himself thoroughly, even getting an arm dance thing going on.  One doubts that a Skynet creation would do this…

…but as fate would have it, Motaur’s free-spirited fun is over when his rear tire unexpectedly goes flat.  Fortunately, our boy has Progressive’s 24/7 roadside assistance plan, and will soon be on the road again.  This commercial is actually part one of a two part series, the second part called New Shoes, and set in a tire shop.

I just never expected the Motaur to be a Boy George fan, did you? And despite my fascination with cyborgs, I’m keeping all of my organic parts, thank you…

   


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