Archive for the ‘television’ category

Mayhem’s “Elf on the Shelf”

November 21, 2019

What could be more seasonally festive than Dean Winters as Mayhem performing the Elf on the Shelf routine?  Beginning with an idyllic and well-decorated living room Christmas scene with subtle background music playing, we are shown the absurdly human-sized Mayhem elf in cutesy elf-attire sitting on the proverbial shelf, one which was clearly not designed to support his weight…

“I’m the ‘Elf on the Shelf’…and thanks to your ‘woodworking skills,’ this is about to get a whole less jolly!,” cautions Mayhem. There is an ominous cracking sound, and then down comes the shelf, with Mayhem and all…electronics sputter and crackle on the floor in their death throes around him, the costly gifts now ruined.  A dog on a chair whines as Mayhem laughs and reminds us, “and unless these are protected by Allstate, this little mess-up is going to cost you big!”  The narrator’s voice then kicks in, telling us that with an Allstate protection plan offered through Walmart, your electronics can be protected from breaks, spills, and other Yuletide mishaps.  

Prone on the floor, Mayhem then fields an electronic device of his own to call out.  “Elf down, elf down!,” he advises…and after being hit with Xmas promotions since October, I’m ready for a Mayhem Xmas special!  Maybe this Mayhem Elf and the pre-redemption Grinch could get together for a feature-length film for the Xmas-weary, perhaps titled Revenge of the Consumers!  And how about a sequel to this commercial, like Elf in the ER? Merriment ensues at General Hospital as doctors try to treat an uninsured, supernatural being dressed in absurd, felt clothing who calamity follows…

 

Allstate’s “Mayhem: Mother-in-Law” 

November 20, 2019

Many of us have had the experience of driving with a distracting or troublesome passenger, some so irritating that you can barely drive for wanting to choke the life out of them.  Well, Dean Winters and Tina Fey have another Allstate commercial gem that probes the potentially vexing relationship between a mother/daughter-in-law, with “Mom” judgemental and dispensing lots of unwanted advice…

Winters, who can play anything from a car thief to a raccoon to a cat, morphs easily into the mother-in-law role, wearing earrings, applying blush and lipstick, and mercilessly needling the driving Tina Fey with caustic and critical barbs about her driving and other things.  “I’m your mother-in-law,”  Winters advises viewers at the onset, “and I have to question your every move!”  

Question this mother-in-law certainly does, such as “Do you have to drive this slow?”  Turns out that Tina Fey is observing driving safely in conjunction with the Allstate Drivewise app to get insurance discounts.  “How did you make someone I love?!,”  questions Tina Fey.  The nastiness continues…“My son always did say that you were the ‘safe choice,’ ” carps Mother Mayhem.  “And that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me!,” replies the long-suffering daughter-in-law.

After admonishing Tina Fey to try her lipstick as it was her son’s favorite color, Mayhem can’t resist asking her daughter-in-law why she drives like an old lady.  “You’re an old lady!,”  Tina Fey reminds her meddlesome passenger.- – Ahh, family!  Blessed be the ties that bind…and gag!

 

 

 

Allstate’s “Mayhem: St. Bernard” Commercial

November 18, 2019


Don’t worry; Foxsylvania hasn’t gotten into some kind of kinky sexual thing here.  It’s just Dean Winters as Mayhem impersonating a 70-pound St. Bernard dog as he tries to distract driver Tina Fey as she resolutely pilots her vehicle. All of the uncontrolled puppy behaviors are depicted; affectionately licking his owner (after eating his own poop, fortunately not shown), thrashing materials around with his mouth, and barking out the window at other (real) dogs in cars…

…and why does Tina Fey have nerves of steel?  She’s using Allstate’s “Drivewise” app to qualify for a discount as a safe driver, and Mayhem’s “tongue on cheek” performance isn’t going to deter her.  He is, after all, just a baby…and Mayhem may have met his match, although he certainly seems to be enjoying himself…

 

 

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…

 

The Sparkle Fairy in, “More Towels, More Ribs”

November 12, 2019


I’ve always considered the Sparkle Fairy to be in that rarified class of people (entities?) who are cool yet disquieting at the same time. Progressive insurance’s Flo I would include in this grouping, although she lacks supernatural powers.  I’m not sure that I’d like to encounter the Sparkle Fairy in my supermarket or elsewhere, although she seems mostly harmless.  To give proper credit, however, she wears blue really well, and some people even consider her hawt.  I also appreciate her general vibe and “fish-out-of-water” characteristics.

In a recent commercial, a guy is pigging out on ribs, a messy meal, and wishes for more paper towels to assist in this.–PrestoThe Sparkle Fairy appears, and announces that her product now offers 200 more sheets than a leading competitor’s brand.  “I wish I had 200 more ribs!,” pines the hungry guy.  Obligingly, the Sparkle Fairy makes those ribs appear on his table.  Smitten, the guy proposes marriage on the spot.  “I’m into Giants,” advises the fairy matter-of-factly.  To each their own, I suppose, and who am I to judge?

In my twisted mind, I can envision a paranormal investigation show going in search of the Sparkle Fairy and perhaps baiting a trap with paper towels. When thus captured, the fairy’s anger is unleashed and serious dark enchantments ensue, with many turned into newts. Hilarity ensues…

“Masked Singer” Double-Header! 

November 10, 2019



Delayed and bumped by baseball, The Masked Singer finally aired a compensatory double episode this past week subtitled Mask Us Anything/Maskish.  Eliminated were the Penguin (Sherri Shepherd} and the Black Widow (Raven Symone). I rather figured that Penguin would soon depart, but was rather sad to see Black Widow go as she looked like something Ellen Ripley might fight in an Aliens movie. Spidery squatting postures and on-stage effects like giant webs added to Black Widow’s allure…

Surviving performers included Rottweiler, Ladybug, Flower, Thingamajig, Butterfly, Tree, Leopard, Flamingo, and my personal fave, the Fox, who performed “Look Ma, I Made It” accompanied by back-up dancers absurdly attired in hats that sported ears and fox tails.  The performance included a synchronized dance break in which the Fox demonstrated that he can move superbly even encumbered by a full body costume…he really got his groove on!

Whether you’re furry, love offbeat stuff, or just don’t want to let go of Halloween, this show is worth a look…

Daemons of “His Dark Materials”

November 7, 2019



I’m not going to try and explain the strange and wonderful world of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials here as it’s vast, complex, and can be quite bewildering.  Rather, I’m just going to latch onto one item of it as suits this blog, namely the notion that we all have an animal spirit representative or daemon, which is kind of an external soul never far from you which is intelligent, talks, interacts with you, and can be seen by others, as well as by other daemons.  Although part of your soul, these daemons also have distinct personalities, opinions, and feelings. They’re not pets, and you don’t want others to pet them…that’s a serious transgression and violation of etiquette that’s simply not done!  Furthermore, the form of your daemon can transform or shift when you’re a child, assuming a permanent form when you reach puberty.  Then the “tiger in your tank” (dated advertising reference) is yours for the duration…

A British fantasy adventure series based on the novels by Pullman and available on HBO, His Dark Materials depicts a Harry Potter-esque kind of world sometimes referred to as a Narnia for atheists.  Set in a past kind of alternative universe, there are airships and other steampunk kinds of touches.  The notion of daemons exists in other cultures and in their literature as well.  In our universe, daemons are said to be invisible and internalized.  Socrates, however, is said to have seen and talked to his…but he always was a wise guy!