Archive for the ‘television’ category

“The Masked Singer,” Back for Season 4!

September 14, 2020


People tend to either love or hate The Masked Singer on Fox, and we were provided a preview of the upcoming season’s costumes recently.  Shown above are Baby Alien, Serpent, and Seahorse.  Additionally the animal kingdom will be represented by Giraffe, Jellyfish, Crocodile, and fictitiously Dragon.  The show itself for those unfamiliar with it is kind of a singing competition run through a furry convention, a unique type of cheerful and inspired insanity.

There are a number of “firsts” represented among this season’s contestants.  At eight feet tall, Giraffe is the tallest costume ever, and is attired in a style reminiscent of French aristocracy.  Baby Alien is the first costume to be fronted by a puppet, Serpent’s costume has animatronic features, and the Snowy Owls (below) represent the first double-headed costume.

 

So you may want to drop in on The Masked Singer, Season 4 which will debut on September 23rd…

Fishy Business…

September 11, 2020


Chace Crawford portrays an Aquaman-type character called The Deep on the Amazon Prime series The Boys, and the character has body image issues because he has, well, gills.  I’m not talking about discrete gill slits either of the type that we’ve seen on Kevin Costner in Waterworld on the neck, but rather large, gaping chest apertures that open and close.  More disturbingly, the character seems to enjoy having those gill slits shall we say, erotically stimulated?  Still more bizarre was a drug-induced episode where the character engaged in dialogue with his talking gill slits, and even sang a duet with them to the tune of, “You Are So Beautiful.” This was pretty trippy stuff, capable of wowing even my jaded sensitivities!

Crawford wears the sea suit well, and is one sexy if emotionally conflicted superhero.  It isn’t easy, after all, to be looked down upon as the token aquatic hero who talks to sea life.  In exploring the character of such a hero, we can only think of how far such characters have come from the web-fingered portrayal of one such being by Patrick Duffy in The Man from Atlantis.- –Who could blame such guys for occasionally being crabby?  I mean, they aren’t doing it on porpoise…

 

 

“The Boys”is Compelling Viewing…

September 9, 2020



If you’re a fan of alternative realities where superheroes are real, and are suffering from Watchmen withdrawal, I commend The Boys to you.  Based on a comic series, The Boys is currently airing in its second season on Amazon Prime, and has already been renewed for a third.  

A word of warning; despite its title, The Boys is not for kids!  It’s extremely violent, bloody, and laced with both sexual content and foul/obscene language.  Having said that, the series is complex in its plotting, and well-written with layers of meaning.  The acting is engaging and superb, creating three-dimensional characters that might otherwise be cartoonish.  

In a world where both major and minor-powered individuals exist among ordinary people and are treated as idolized celebrities, The Seven are A-list players, portrayed heroically by the mega-corporation that actually owns and merchandises them.  Their leader is The Homelander, a handsome and magnetic guy with awesome Superman-type powers who is extremely nationalistic and wears the red, white, and blue. This is an evil superman, however. Although adored by many, Homelander is actually arrogant, egotistical, unstable, sadistic, and really cares nothing for the people that he is supposed to serve and protect…sound like anyone familiar?  Then there’s The Deep, an Aquaman-type character who is looked down upon by the other members of The Seven as the token aquatic hero who talks to sea life and has gills.  We also have A-Train, a Flash-type speedster who collides with an ordinary woman in Season 1, shredding her and leaving only her arms intact…

These mostly corrupt superheroes are shadowed and monitored by a vigilante group, the titular Boys of the series title.  Led by a former CIA operative, they engage in a secretive uphill counter-operation that is occasionally successful against the superheroes gone rogue.  Speaking to such contemporary issues as the corruption of the powerful, this edgy superhero satire is intended by Amazon to expand its base of appeal to the weirdo demographic, of which I am proudly a part.  If you suspect that you may be too, you might want to catch The Boys on Amazon Prime, if you’ve got the stomach for it.  The real world is giving the writers a lot of material right now…

 

 

 

Frank’s RedHot TV commercial, “Every Food…”

September 8, 2020


Even in the bizarre and unforgettable year of 2020, this Frank’s RedHot commercial stands out.  The announcer’s voiceover kicks the ad off, proclaiming how he “puts that s#!t on everything.” What follows are some of the qualifying items, like pizza, a co-worker’s lunch, and “whatever this is.”  We are then shown a woman (above) about to put the sauce on some kind of tentacled thing, which commendably is still alive, and fighting back in a spirited fashion with cutlery!  This would appear to be one die-hard dinner, which unfortunately the woman appears ultimately able to jab her fork into.  Poor, valiant octopus-like thing!–Hath not a cephalopod eyes?!

The brief commercial continues to say that Frank’s RedHot may be put on “astronaut food,” and we are shown an astronaut floating in an encapsulated zero-g environment, his leg and body enveloped by the flexible tentacle of his multi-limbed alien captor floating right next to him, who questions whether the sauce may be put on astronauts.  “Everything!,” reassures the announcer, to which the alien succinctly replies, “Yum!”

So there you have it…serving and being served, eating and being eaten, just part of the food chain.  And don’t forget Frank’s RedHot sauce, which is the “perfect blend of flavor and heat.”  You can “put that s#!t on everything.”  Bon appetit, y’all…

 

   

 

InnovAsian’s “Rough Start” Commercial…

September 1, 2020


Forget your genial Ray Romano-voiced “Window Bear” commercial, where a very articulate and well-mannered bear appears outside of a woman’s kitchen, although I’d far rather deal with him!  The bear in our InnovAsian Cuisine commercial is not anthropomorphic but realistic, he’s big and hungry, and he’s frustrated that he’s on the outside of your window glass while you sit within your deluxe RV, about to eat the food that he wants!

The woman, her husband, and daughter all have painfully forced smiles on, which is understandable since this bear, a grizzly kodiak, is literally rocking the camper while he bellows throaty growls.  “Rough start to your family vacation?,” voices the announcer, “That’s an InnovAsian occasion!”  While only a quarter of a minute long, the commercial is a finely-tuned gem, and the bear is an animatronic marvel, stunningly realistic.

The one-of-a-kind Kody is not computer-generated, but requires three people to bring him to life; a puppeteer to remotely handle expressions of the animatronic head, a performer within the 8’4″ tall suit, and a dresser.  The suit is heavy, uncomfortable, and noisy due to all of the servos running within it.  The end result of their joint efforts is uncanny, and comes from an animal suit specialist in Vancouver.– –Two paws up to them!

 


– – “Hah,” muses Kody, “Foolish humans!  My Kung Fu is the best!”  

“Serpentine Creatures” on MonsterQuest…

August 31, 2020

 

MonsterQuest was a show largely about cryptic creatures that debuted in October of 2007 and ran for three seasons before vanishing and being replaced by a series of inferior imitations.  The series was far better grounded than most, incorporating history of the supposed hidden life form under investigation, eyewitness accounts, and even commentary by actual scientists! 

I’m pleased to see that MonsterQuest is back for a fourth season on the History Channel as a series of specials, the first of which aired recently and concerned “Serpentine Creatures” or “Lake Demons,” essentially oversized, monster eels in North American lakes. 

In Lake Ontario in 1974, an eel fisherman was reportedly lifted out of the water by an eel that he could barely escape.  “Cressie” is said to exist in New Foundland, reportedly measuring 20 to 40 feet in length.  Then there’s the gold standard of North American lake monsters, Ogopogo, said to measure up to a whopping 50′ in length and to inhabit Lake Okanagan in Canada!  Ogopogo is said to have a snake-like body displayed in coils, and about seven sightings a year are reported by diverse people.

Pursuing Cressie, the MonsterQuest investigative team engineered a search that combined a helicopter team with a dive boat.  The helicopter crew spotted a thermal signature from the air, summoning then the dive boat to do a search.  The divers found sink holes in the lake, but encountered considerable silt obstruction.  They found a carcass that was hoped might be a juvenile specimen, but later scientific testing proved it to be nothing more than a deteriorated salmon…

While the tone of the episode was reminiscent of the old MonsterQuest series, it really wasn’t exciting to me personally, dragging at times to the point of becoming almost tedious. Giant eels really don’t float my boat, although they might if they were actually under it!  Hopefully episode 2 concerning Bigfoot will interject a little of the old series excitement…

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Absorbx Cat Litter Commercial…

August 22, 2020

 

 

Cat litter commercials sell a necessary if somewhat distasteful product for feline fanciers, and leave it to Arm & Hammer to do so memorably!  Those who do not co-habit with cats at least deserve in such a commercial to be entertained, and I haven’t seen anthropomorphic animals portrayed so well in a classic western-gendre setting since the movie Rango, but here the characters are all feline…

Picture a classic western saloon circa 1870, complete with swinging entry doors, period piano music playing, and a cast of stock costumed western character types inside.  Enter the young, slender, white-hatted stranger; instantly the piano music ceases, and all eyes are fixed on the newcomer…will there be trouble?  

Thankfully, no…“This town smells FANTASTIC!,” declares the stranger.  At a nearby poker-type table, we see a trio of felines, on the left a female “Miss Kitty” type, to the right possibly a dandified card-sharp, and between them a large, hoary, black-hatted, black-overcoated alpha cat who looks like he might be trouble.  But no, he arranges a demonstration through the cat-bartender of the litter’s absorbency qualities using “desert-dry” mineral ingredients.  Follow the science, I always say…

Following the demonstration, our appealing white-hatted cat notes that word is going to spread fast.  “Spread it then,” admonishes the dark-hatted cat.  “Go on, git!”  And so the slender stranger does…and the rest will probably be the stuff of western legend…

Perhaps future commercial installments will feature “the Cat With No Name” gunning down purveyors of inferior cat litter, kind of a Clint Eastcat typeand I’d love to see Val Kilmer’s standout Tombstone character translated to Cat Holliday, frontier dentist, card sharp, and quirky gunfighter extraordinary!  

 

Twizzlers “Only the Road Knows” Commercial…

August 8, 2020


In this age of COVID, we are all spending more time alone, and what could be more terrifying than being left alone with our own thoughts?!  Fortunately, the thoughts that run through our minds are more often mundane than weighty…

As a case in point, we have the Twizzlers commercial, “Only the Road Knows.”  In it, a man is riding as passenger in a car driven by a woman along a lonely, isolated road through a deep forest.  He is chewing on a Twizzlers, and appears to be deep in thought.  For those of you living in a cave, Twizzlers are a rope-like candy traditionally red in color and strawberry in flavor, although color and flavor varieties are available.  One wonders what thoughts are occupying the man’s mind…perhaps from the setting the dreaded “relationship issues” questions?  Kill me now, please…

But no…we as observers are made privy to the man’s thoughts, which are revealed to be,”Am I too old to begin skateboarding?”  If one has to ask that question, the answer is likely a resounding YES, unless you are equipped with forgiving and rubbery joints, or like to spend time in orthopedic convalescence.  The question is one which the man needs to ponder, however, and Twizzlers is the candy that will assist him to “chew on it.” I do hope that the poor devil finds his way…

Research has shown, you see, that people are drawn to Twizzlers by the texture, and the gratification afforded by chewing.  Perhaps Freud was right about oral needs.  I’ve known people who claim that chewing gum relaxes them, and even helps them think.  At any rate, in the age of COVID, I would offer Twizzlers this supplemental slogan;

When life gets screwy, go chewy.”  Just take your mask off first, of course…    image                                                                              

 

Little Caesars “Bear on Skates” 

August 1, 2020



Talking anthropomorphic bears are a part of my world, but for those for whom they are not this Little Caesars commercial could practically serve as a gateway to the furry fandom.  In it, a man sits on a park bench about to dig into some Little Caesars Cheesy Stuffed Crazy Bread and saying that he “must be dreaming.”  At that point, dreams become reality in the figure of a roller skating grizzly bear, complete in yellow shorts and matching head band, and carrying a boom box that he holds to his head. He clearly is quite comfortable on skates, and hints at some awesome moves on them while groovin’ to tunes of the age on his box.  There’s a great 70’s vibe to the bear, for those of us who remember or at least honor the more simple and carefree spirit of those days.  I’ve had far worse dreams, believe me…

The bear tells our bench-sitter that the cheesy stuffed Crazy Bread is a real thing, and that he should try it because it’s delicious!  The bear then moans pleasurably, and back pedals on his skates, presumably back to his own time and space as the commercial winds up.  One wants to follow this furry time traveler; he probably has some great disco moves, kind of like a furry young John Travolta of Saturday Night Fever vintage.

Although I was never much for the double knit polyester fabrics and “leisure suits” of the day, I’ve still got a boom box.  It’s plastic casing is all discolored with age and the tape player doesn’t work, but the radio is doing just fine…and wouldn’t the retro-cool 70’s Bear be a great meme? Don’t worry, this bear’s more into music and moving than maiming.  Maybe he could hang with Rocket Racoon, and listen to Star Lord’s mix tape.- -He’s got it going on, yeah!                                            

 

 

Progressive’s “Motaur: Gym” Commercial…

July 21, 2020

 

There are advantages to being a cybernetic organism.  In addition to being extremely cool, it’s awfully easy to exercise when your lower body machine components are those of a motorcycle; just roll onto a treadmill, and you’re off to the races!  You can even multi-task while you’re on a roll by reading a book.  That’s right, our Progressive motaur isn’t just a pretty face getting his laps in, he’s improving his mind!  We can all learn from this…

In our latest Progressive commercial, as our motaur hums along, he’s approached by a gym rat who tries to remind our man-machine that there’s a thirty-minute limit on the treadmill.  “Tell that to the rain,” counters our motorcycle/man in a fashion which reminded me of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Tell it to the hand” line from Terminator 2.  Would you care to argue with a cyborg?  No, I didn’t think so.  Our motaur sets the treadmill faster several times during the commercial, and calmly continues both his reading and his ride…