Archive for the ‘television’ category

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… 

Geico’s “Moving House Thing” Commercial

July 13, 2020


Turtles have made inroads into televised advertising, as seen before in a number of episodes of Comcast’s “Slowskys” depicting a turtle family with their technologically-hip son.  Now Progressive insurance has also brought us an anthropomorphic father-and-son turtle duo, who we are shown sunning themselves on a rock overlooking a camper park.  In the near background sits a large motorized camper which piques the younger turtle’s curiosity, prompting him to ask his father about the “moving house thing.”

Turtle-Dad responds that it’s a motor home, a modern invention, to which Junior replies that they’ve carried their houses around with them for “like forever!”   Turtle-Dad chuckles, and then responds that the humans have Geico to cover them if anything goes wrong.  “What could go wrong?,” wonders Junior out loud when a feather drifts down from above.  “Ooh, a feather!” exclaims Junior with child-like wonder.  Looking upwards, Turtle-Dad discerns a vulture sitting in the tree above them.  “Duck, Junior!,” he alerts his son.  Now sharing in the alarm, Junior qualifies his Dad’s response, correcting “That’s no duck, Daddy…that’s a vulture!”

The humans are clueless non-participants in the drama unfolding before them, but I doubt they’d be thrilled to see vultures roosting near their camper; perhaps a Stephen King-esque horror movie is about to begin here.  The turtles as they retreat into their shells will hopefully live to see another day.  They have warm and wonderful human-like eyes and expressions, and make a nice addition to the Geico advertising animal stable that memorably includes an office camel thrilled to see “hump day” arrive…

 

(…tip o’ the pen to Carycomic!)

The Feline Furries of Star Trek…

July 7, 2020

 

There are furries in the Star Trek universe, cat-people who were introduced with the character of  M’Ress in Star Trek:  The Animated Series in the 1970’s.  A lieutenant and operations officer, she was a felinoid-type alien of the Caitian species modeled after African lions, and included originally with the cast to make the series more friendly and attractive to young children.  While the artwork is stylized and somewhat minimal, it established the species well, and M’Ress remains a most attractive and intriguing lady, even if she does have a habit of purring or murring after every few lines of dialogue…

Caitians have also appeared briefly a handful of other times in the Star Trek universe, at times depicted with more feline characteristics than others.  In Star Trek IV:  The Voyage Home, two Caitian males, completely fur-covered, were depicted as members of the Federation Council.   This depiction of the species is far more formidable, almost with a Klingon-type vibe.  One imagines that these cats could play rough…

In Star Trek:  Into Darkness, a young James T. Kirk was depicted romping in bed with two females generally regarded to be Caitians who had bare skin(?), but prominent moving tails.  I don’t know if these Caitians practiced full body shaving, represented a hybrid, or if it was just considered too disturbing to represent human-furry sex on the big screen.  Kirk, of course, is legendary for having had intimate relations with any number of female aliens, and a discussion of his libido and sexual conquests would consume far more space than we have here… 

In Star Trek:  Online, Caitians are playable characters, and I personally  like their more serious depiction.  The majesty and power of felines really shines through here, and I’d be proud to serve on board with any of them…

 

In a new upcoming animated series to debut in August 2020 titled Star Trek:  Lower Decks, we will again see a Caitian in the person of Dr. T’Ana, ship’s physician to one of the least important vessels in Starfleet, the USS Cerritos.  I’ve heard her described as Dr. Pulaski in feline form.  Lower Decks is billed as an adult comedy, although it will supposedly still deal with some serious science fiction themes and issues.  Detailing the exploits of junior support officers on the Cerritos, the series will debut in August 2020 on the CBS All-Access network…

 

So there you have it…a species depicted in different ways, from ‘toonish to sex-kitten, to impressive and formidable.  You can choose your preferred incarnation, I suppose, and I eagerly anticipate further expansion of the species in future developments of the Star Trek universe…

 

E*TRADE’s “Bear Market” Commercial

June 9, 2020

 

Bears have not gotten their proper representation or respect in commercials, with the toilet paper obsessed Charmin bears a case in point. One cannot readily imagine them functioning in a species-specific parallel world either, as the Chantix turkey appears to do so effortlessly in a number of memorable commercials. That may now change, as at long last, we are finally given a peek into a world where bears have meshed into the trappings of human civilization, courtesy of E*TRADE.

These bears calmly prowl the aisles of a supermarket on their hind legs, sniffing at cantaloupes and filling their shopping carts with generous amounts of honey, appropriately in those little bear-shaped clear containers. A bear family stops at the fish counter where they’re waited on by one of their own; there’s even a disabled bear who whizzes by in a motorized shopping cart! The cashier is likewise a bruin, calling for a price check on a honey container that stubbornly refuses to scan while the customer moans his annoyance.

“If this is your idea of a bear market,” we hear in the closing voice over, “maybe trading’s not for you.” We’re advised not to get mad, but rather get E*TRADE, and get more than trading…and I’d like to get more glimpses into the universe of these very relatable bears! They’ve evolved so far from the days of Yogi…