Archive for the ‘television’ category

“The UnXplained” with William Shatner…

March 1, 2020


Originally debuting in July 2019, The UnXplained with William Shatner is now presenting new episodes on the History Channel, and while yet another paranormal show, it brings a measure of quality to its presentations that many similar shows have lacked. Without naming names, such shows can often be poorly done and even cheesy, simply trading on the presence of a receptive audience desperate to believe.

That’s not a problem with The UnXplained, which has solid production values anchored by the iconic presence of William Shatner.  This is hardly Shatner’s first rodeo with the paranormal, and he’s been kicking around our television screens since the 1960’s, so one can excuse him for looking a bit tired.  We’ve all looked better for the most part, at least those of us who are past our twenties.  His creepy narrations with an underlying note of whimsy reveal that the Shat is still where it’s at, so warp speed ahead, Captain!

Now The UnXplained is for us paranormal buffs more of a reunion with family than a presentation of new material.  You’re unlikely to see or hear new topics here, but rather a smooth and balanced presentation of familiar ground, with nothing dwelt on or belabored excessively.  A consideration of cryptozoology transitions swiftly and smoothly between Chupacabra to Mothman to species thought extinct but not, and we’ve even seen many of the commentators, experts,  and witnesses before on other shows…it’s a nothing new here, but gee, it’s nice to see you again kind of thing. The lure of the familiar is undeniable.

The UnXplained succeeds in its purpose of being entertaining if not illuminating, and it’s marathon season debut episode of four hours can really fill a dull evening.  So catch William Shatner’s latest mission to strange if familiar worlds on The History Channel, and be kind to him.  After all, “Klingon bastards” killed his son…

 

 

 

 

Chantix Turkey Commercial, “Snow Turkey”

February 26, 2020


The Chantix Turkey is at it again in his Eddie Bauer-type winter finery, engaging in a genial snowball fight with another turkey that appears to be a juvenile and in some sources is referred to as being his child!  I never thought of this turkey as having a mate; he seems too happy and care-free for that, but I’m not programmed with the dynamics of turkey-bonding, and prefer not to go there.  The presence of another turkey and perhaps turkey-unions also expands the notion of a universe inhabited by turkeys, as was glimpsed in a previous commercial that showed a journey by our hero into a city where he interacted with other turkeys.  Perhaps this turkey race refer to their planet as “Butterball” or even more darkly as “Fowl World,” but that’s pure speculation…

At any rate, following a brief snowball battle conducted from snow forts, the turkey selects a wingful of split logs from a neatly-stacked pile, and moves inside with them through his tidy garage.  The wood is to fuel a nice fire going in the turkey’s fireplace, and the turkey even selects a good book from his shelf to aid his cozy repose before those comforting flames.  Before settling down in his comfy chair, the turkey even performs one of his trademark heel clicks to celebrate his liberation from the cigarette habit through Chantix, for the only thing smoking in his home will now be the fire…

Perhaps one of the contestants on The Masked Singer will someday be costumed as a turkey, and give us a smokin’ performance of Turkey in the Straw, or something similar…and I look forward to more glimpses of how evolution has run a strange course on this Planet of the Birds, perhaps one of the supposedly many parallel universes existing alongside our own…

 

Furry Extravaganza on “The Masked Singer” Season 3…

February 20, 2020


“Group B” of Season 3 on The Masked Singer is currently in play, and 2/3 of the contestants were furry in the kickoff episode, with performances given by Mouse, Kitty, Frog, and Elephant as well as foodstuff costumed performers Taco and Banana. I swear that I’m not making this up!   Besides, you just haven’t lived until you’ve heard an Elvis Presley standard performed by someone in a ludicrous banana outfit…but that’s A Little Too Much Conversation…

While all of the performances on this episode were strong, my personal fave was Frog, who together with Zoot-suit dressed dancers gave a memorable rendition of M.C. Hammer’s U Can’t Touch This in a mixture of rap meets the age of swing.  While Masked Singer is a singing competition, the dance elements are what can really bring excitement to a performance, plus this Frog has a sense of fashion, and wears purple really well!  Kitty brought kind of a burlesque vibe to her presentation that was sensual almost to the point of creepiness, performing Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande.  A favorite of the panel, it’s hard to look away from her differently-colored eyes that kind of draw you in…Meow!

When all was sang and done, the performer known as Elephant who  performed Friday I’m in Love by The Cure garnered fewest votes, and so was voted off.  He was revealed to be skateboarding legend Tony Hawk.  Note the fox accompanying him on guitar; my people are everywhere...

 

“The Masked Singer,” Season 3 Premier

February 5, 2020



Without a lot of advance advertising, The Masked Singer returned for a third season on the Fox network…and get this, a fourth season is coming this summer!  The series continues to be outrageous and very furry friendly, with a majority of the contestants on the first episode identifiable species.  There was also a Miss Monster and a Robot performing.

Series host Nick Cannon entered wearing a mirrored rabbit mask that he had worn before on a previous season, and guest celebrity contestant Jamie Foxx  joined the usual panel of judges, wearing initially a mirrored fox mask.  He had in season two been suspected of being the performer named Fox, who was actually Wayne Brady, the winner of last season’s competition.

The show got off to a roaring start with contestant White Tiger (pictured above, center) who was a large, physically impressive presence that performed Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby.”   Following was Turtle (far right), who looked like a punk reptile the Ninja Turtles might fight and performed “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal.  Next was Llama (second in from right), looking like a tourist on recreational drugs who performed Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs.”  Remarkably, this costume had hind legs on wheels.  I thought that Llama’s back-up female llama dancers were also effective, and they played bongo drums strung around themselves occasionally. You just don’t see hot female bongo-playing llama-headed female dancers everyday..

Then there came Miss Monster (far left), a tribute to T-Pains character in the first season.   She performed “Something to Talk About” by Bonnie Raitt, and was joined on stage by the T-Pain character, who did not sing along.  The back-up dancers for Miss Monster mirrored her cyclops look by having heads that were nothing but enormous eyes, a nice surreal touch.  Following was Robot, a clunky retro-looking model complete with a large winding key on their back who performed a Lenny Kravitz number in the company of two lab-coated mad scientist types with white hair and guitars who reminded me of Thing One and Thing Two of Dr. Sseus fame.  Last to perform was Kangaroo, attired in boxing togs like cartoon ‘roos in days of yore, who performed Dancing On My Own.

When the elimination vote was performed, Robot was eliminated, although I thought he didn’t give the weakest performance of the night, and should have abided far longer.  When unmasked, Robot turned out to be Lil Wayne, a very commercially successful performer.  The Masked Singer airs on Fox Wednesday night in my area…

 

 

“Mr. Peanut” Dies…Or Did He?!

January 27, 2020


Many of us know geriatric nuts, but Mr. Peanut was one of a kind…I mean, how many anthropomorphic peanuts do you know?!  The brand icon, whose full name was Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe, is a strange candidate for a staged death, being more recognizable than his host brand Planters.  He’s anchored the brand for over a century, and is instantly recognizable by his top hat, cane, monocle, and spats.– How many people do you know who wear spats?

In a recent commercial, Mr. Peanut is riding in the Nutmobile (what else?) with Matt Walsh and Wesley Snipes when they swerve to avoid hitting an armadillo, and their distinctive ride careens over a cliff, leaving the trio hanging in a comic book situation from a branch that is slowly cracking, too weak to support their combined weight.  Mr. Peanut, perceiving their dire predicament, sacrifices himself for his friends, voluntarily loosening his hold to drop from the great height onto the Nutmobile, which explodes.  It appears to be a tragic but noble death…or have we jumped (or dropped) to conclusions?

The “funeral” of Mr. Peanut is to be aired as a Super Bowl commercial spot, at which time many questions will be answered about the fate of the “ruthless capitalist” who sold his own people!  Will he germinate when placed into the ground, to come back in some new incarnation…or perhaps be replaced by his daughter, Ms. Peanut?  Inquiring minds want to know…

(Tip o’ the pen to Carycomic!)

 

 

Chantix Commercial, “It’s Time to Quit Slow Turkey”

January 13, 2020


Well, the holly-daze are over, and the winter doldrums are upon us…and just like many of us, the Chantix turkey in a recent commercial fights boredom by finding ways to fill his time.

And fill his time at home he does!  He gets his mail, watches fish in an aquarium, and even works on a jigsaw puzzle…I could never get into that.  The turkey even takes to his kitchen, and makes some kind of concoction in his blender that includes (what else) a generous infusion of bird seed.  The Chantix Turkey can take his time, ‘ya see, to quit smoking slow turkey…

 

Since the Chantix turkey lives in a nicer home than I do, I wonder how he earns his living…and disturbingly, I have something in common with him.  No, I don’t smoke, but I also need to get a life…and wouldn’t the Chantix Turkey at Home be a better reality series than most that are now on?  I’ve watched far worse bird brains…

 

 

Geico “Man Cave” Commercial

January 9, 2020


Forget your articulate and genial “window bear” commercial.  In this Geico offering, the bear is much less anthropomorphic, and is physically in a house, trashing it…

A well-to-do middle-aged couple sits on recliners in their beautiful home, each watching separate tv screens.  “He wanted a man-cave in our  new home,” begins the woman, “But she wanted to be close to nature, so we met in the middle,” adds the man.  The scene then widens to reveal a true cave entrance in the dwelling wall, out of which emerges…a bear, who making growling bear-noises slowly advances on all fours into the room.

“Look who just woke up!,” comments the woman brightly.  “You are so cute!,” she says to the bear, who advances to the refrigerator and noses it open, the door eventually winding up detached several feet off to the side as the bear stands upright and begins to messily forage within the fridge, physically shaking it and retrieving a bottle.  Foodstuff is strewn on the beautiful hardwood flooring…

“You got it!  You are so smart!,” the adoring woman commends the bear, who sloppily consumes the drink.  Apparently this bear, like some people’s dogs, can do nothing wrong.  It seems that one thing the couple could agree upon is getting help from Geico homeowners insurance.  From the mess that the bear is leaving, they’re gonna need it!  Their cost of regular major appliance replacement alone has got to be astronomical…