Archive for the ‘television’ category

Geico’s “Captain Ahab” Commercial…

January 22, 2021

I’m glad that Captain Ahab has found work finding parking spaces for people now that the whaling age is over.  I’ve always felt that ole Ahab just needed a good spin doctor; I’ve worked for bosses far worse than he was, seriously!  And there are cities where enterprising dudes grubbing for a buck will scout out and try to hold parking spaces for you.  It’s just a new Ahab for a new era; adapt and prevail, as the Borg might say…

So in our new Geico commercial, driver Sarah is asked by the announcer if she knows that Geico can save her hundreds on car insurance.  When she nods agreement, the announcer then asks if she’s waiting for Captain Ahab to find her a parking space in the crowded lot.  On cue, Ahab’s boots then thunk into her vehicle, and the old salt, protruding through the roof and complete with spyglass, is barking coordinates for open parking spaces to the young woman.  “Hard to starboard!,” he commands.  When the driver protests that the space is too small, Ahab counters that she should steer “to the northern lot, where there be parking spaces as big as whales!”  This Ahab (Played by Steve Coulter) is helpful if domineering, devoid of the obsessive psychosis that characterized him in Moby Dick.

Wouldn’t you like to have an auto GPS that spoke like an early 19th century Nantucket whaling captain?  And I hear that Ahab isn’t the only member of the Pequod crew to have found post-whaling employment.  I understand that ship’s mate Starbuck has done well with the line of coffee shops that bear his name, plus no whales are now harmed, which is a good thing (like the coffee)… ☕️ 🐋

( A whale-of-a-tale Foxsylvania production. Just don’t call me Ishmael.  Herman Melville rocks, woo!) 🦊

 

Tums Naturals Commercial, Camping Trip Chili…

January 20, 2021

 
It was the chili that drew it…the creature, the horrible thing out of the woods that reared up and tried to drag the woman from her campsite back to its unspeakable lair!

Add a new nightmare to your closet of anxieties.  Submitted for your approval in a brief new Tums commercial are two women enjoying a bowl of chili at a campsite in a peaceful, fern-covered forest.  Nice, huh?  But wait, eerie, forboding music is played, the woman is shown to have peppers in her chili bowl, and soon the stomach pains begin.  A huge pepper rears itself up behind the woman, the chili bowl is upturned, and soon the colossal pepper is dragging her helplessly backwards behind itself along the forest floor!  It moves with a powerful and remarkable locomotion, undulating like a gigantic worm from hell.  Is it taking her to feed its young?   Forget Bigfoot…fear the Pepper!

But wait…all is not lost!  The plucky woman extracts a bottle of Tums from her person, and brandishes it at the scarlet horror! Just the talisman needed at this crucial moment!  The pepper again rears up, but this time it is in fear, knowing that it’s outmatched, faintly making a high-pitched shrieking sound.  It retreats back into the depths of the woods, and once again the world is made safe from heartburn and the abominations that it spawns…

Tums has memorably shown us a number of culinary monsters run amok, including a parachuting meatball and a huge plucked headless chicken.  Can the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes be far behind?!  (*shudders*). 🙀 🌶🍅

Perhaps we will someday have inspired by this a feature-length Syfy Channel movie titled, Return of the Pepper, with an accompanying soundtrack by The Rolling Stones, containing their new hit song, Sympathy for the Pepper….

(exerp:  “I shouted out, ‘Who killed the broccoli?’  When after all, after all, it was you and me!”)

 

Geico’s “Pipes Are Making Strange Noises” Commercial

January 12, 2021



Many are the travails of new homeowners visited in Geico commercials; clogging problems, RATT problems, fencing problems…and now we have people for whom their “pipes are making strange noises.”  These “noises” we are shown are made by none less than an authentic bagpiper, complete in traditional Scottish attire, and playing his pipes loudly in such locations as under the kitchen sink, behind the water heater, in the bathtub, and…horrors…in the occupied bed of the couple!  

 

Not even the plumber can help these poor people, who utters the single word “Nope!” upon encountering the piping piper, who plays the same refrain over and over.  Now people tend to either love or hate the sound of bagpipes.  Some find the sound stirring or haunting, although I imagine a repetitious refrain such as is played might get old pretty fast.  No jigs are danced in response to the bag piping shown here, although this might have been a nice addition. And wouldn’t “The Masked Bagpiper” be a great new show on the Fox network?  I can see the choreography now, lads and lasses…Everybody Highland Fling, now! 

Unanswered are such questions as to why the bagpiper is haunting this house.  Did the bagpiper lose his lassie?  And should Lassie come home?  And when the time comes to “pay the piper,” are his rates reasonable?  Does the piper have a “greatest hits” album, every cut of which sounds the same?  Inquiring minds want to know.  Anyways, Geico makes bundling your insurance easy, even if home ownership is not.  And please, no bag piping after ten, oh Danny boy…

(disclaimer:  No Scots were harmed in the making of this commercial.  Your ears are another matter…)

 

 

“The Masked Dancer” Arrives…

December 27, 2020

Whoever would have thought that an oddball show like The Masked Singer would prove so popular as to inspire a spin-off show, namely The Masked Dancer?  The new series, beginning December 27th on Fox after NFL football, will be much like Singer but without the song, and of course far more kinetic…gotta dance, gotta dance, woo! 

Now the costumes on Masked Singer often tended to be both massive and relatively inflexible, in some cases so much so that the contestants sometimes could do little more than stand there or move slightly.  Were they to really dance, participants might have fallen over or literally lost their heads, which would have been humorous and entertaining but undignified for the celebrities involved.  There were exceptions…among others, Wayne Brady, the winner of one season’s competition as The Fox, managed to demonstrate some pretty impressive dance moves, even orchestrating dance breaks with his back-up dancers.  He made me feel proud to be vulpine…


But The Masked Dancer is all about dance, and will feature extravagant but flexible costumes and oddball characters including for Season 1 Disco Ball, Ice Cube, and a number of furry characters, including the dazzling Zebra… 

Now it probably will be easier to identify the costumed celebrities based on their normal voices, and Paula Abdul is on the panel as the resident dance specialist familiar with many favored styles.  Dr. Ken Jeong will be there as a cross-over panelist from The Masked Singer.  Gotta love the guy, even if he’s occasionally annoying with his “I know who this is!” routines.  The series will also incorporate Ellen DeGeneres, who inspired the new series with popular masked dancer segments on her show. 

So you may want to give The Masked Dancer a look, although the character of Hammerhead may haunt your nightmares.  Then again, we’ve almost made it through 2020 at this point, so we don’t scare easily anymore…

 

Temptations Cat Treats and Holiday Catsequences…

December 25, 2020

Cats and kids just about rule the internet when it comes to the “Aww” factor; combine the two elements with a Xmas backdrop, however, and you can get something within a whisker of a Stephen King short horror story…

In our Temptations cat treats commercial, a curious boy is shown shaking a wrapped Xmas present by the family tree, making a sound that sounds all too similar to a cat treat container being shaken.- – Too late!  “A shake is all it takes,” and a multitude of cats pour into the room, chasing the boy down a darkened, holiday-festooned street, and there must be dozens, nay, hundreds of the felines in pursuit!

Our pre-adololescent boy barely stays in advance of the kitty horde, and we are not shown the outcome of the chase.  Some things it is perhaps better not to know, as it might not be pretty when the cats upon cornering the boy realize that he does not in effect carry treats; there might be catsequences, you see.  Draw your own ending, but the accompanying soundtrack of “Carol of the Bells” always did carry a note of darkness and menace to me, and I like to retain a bit of Halloween with me year-round.

So be careful what you shake this holiday season, however you may regard and celebrate it.  Do commemorate it safely, and best wishes of the season to all readers from Foxsylvania!

Geico’s “Clogging,” “RATT,” and “Fencing” Commercials…

November 30, 2020


Geico Insurance has a keen sense of the surreal in life in a number of their recent commercials featuring generally happy homeowners with a fly in the ointment, something like the RATT problem, the Clogging problem, or the Fencing problem.

Modern life can be anything but easy if you’ve got the ’80’s hair-metal band RATT performing loudly upstairs, or perhaps a family of never-stopping clog dancers, or neighbors who fence with foils intrusively through your house and garden.  We’ve got to expect such things, I suppose, in this very atypical and challenging year of 2020…

The cloggers are the real-life Tucker family out of Utah performing their percussive dance, even while eating pasta or brushing their teeth; an art form can permeate every aspect of your existence, you see.  Media exposure was good for revitalizing the career of RATT, who are once again on the charts for their hit, Round and Round. And who knows, fencing may even surge in popularity in the U.S. from seeing the white-clad couple battle their way amicably through their neighbor’s property!  Think conflict resolution and fewer divorces…

 At least Geico makes bundling your car and homeowners insurance easy, and you can save money.  For other things, you’re pretty much on your own, but there’s always a life coach or Dr. Phil…  

 

The Osbournes Want To Believe…

September 28, 2020

 

 

 

The Osbournes Want To Believe is a strange combination of reality and paranormal shows airing on the Travel Channel.  Why is it on the Travel Channel?- – Who knows?!  Why is wrestling on the SyFy channel?  The series does “travel” in the sense of airing paranormal film clips filmed in different locations, I suppose.  Each episode is filmed with three members of “The First Family of Darkness” sitting on comfy oversized red chairs in a rather gothic-styled room, complete with black accents and lots of candles burning.  Patriarch Ozzy is there, complete with wife Sharon and son Jack.  There’s also a Pomeranian dog or two resting on one of them or a chair armrest, and moving so little that you wonder if they’re alive.  Ozzie wears a black knit hat decorated with skulls, often looks on the verge of falling asleep, and occasionally chugs large mugs of coffee to perk up a bit, requiring bathroom breaks.  His speech is often accompanied with subtitles as he can be, well, difficult to understand.  Sharon and Jack are readily understandable, and seem like sharp people who could pass in regular company.  Ozzie may have seen better days.

In each hour-long episode, son Jack who is involved in paranormal investigation shares videos with his parents who then comment on them, and rate each on whether they are creepy and credible on a ten-point Woogie Boogie scale.  The videos may be supposed to represent a variety of things like ghosts, UFO’s, and cryptic creatures such as Bigfoot or reptilian humanoids.  Predictably, the images seen on the videos are brief, blurry, and jumpy, filmed by amateurs. 

With low production values of the footage, this is certainly not a scientifically rigorous presentation of any of the unexplained paranormal phenomena.  Experts or professionals are nowhere in sight, and son Jack is the glue who holds the show together and advances it.  The show does not take itself seriously, and doesn’t pretend to.  It does grow on you, however, and is just strange enough to be fun, even if the Osbournes are now about as scary as The Munsters show of the 1960’s…

“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…