Archive for the ‘television’ category

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…

Creepshow’s “Bad Wolf Down”

May 15, 2020

I freely admit that I’m more of a werewolf than a vampire fan, but what would you expect? I’m a furry, and werewolves are kind of an amplified furry. I was therefore in seventh heaven to see that werewolves were featured prominently in the Bad Wolf Down segment of the new Creepshow series by Shudder, now available for viewing on the AMC network. This series draws heavily from the earlier Stephen King and George Romero movie by the same name which aired in 1982.

Meshing horror comics with live action, this S1/Ep2 installment plunges us into a furious firefight of WWII American troops overwhelmed by Nazis. Seeking sanctuary from annihilation, the few remaining Americans flee to an abandoned building where they encounter a woman locked in a cell who turns out to be a female werewolf! Seeking the release of death, the woman wants only to swallow the silver cross of one of the Americans. They accommodate her, but not before requesting that she bite each of them, transforming them in turn into werewolf soldiers that are more than a match for the pursuing Nazi elite troops.

Now the werewolf transformations are budget-restricted yet still effective, and the gore-fest which follows is not for the squeamish. It did, however, provide me with a satisfying spectacle as well as a reminder of the power of shape-shifting. I found it an uplifting experience…You might, too, if you are into horror, werewolf sub-classification. Other episodes look equally promising, so gratify your dark side by checking out the new Creepshow series; it’s a worthwhile indulgence…

 

Of Anthropomorphic Horse Evolution…

April 30, 2020


Anthropomorphic horses have been on television for longer than one might suspect, perhaps beginning with the quirky but iconic 1960’s sitcom Mr. Ed that featured a talking palomino owned by an architect, Wilbur Post, portrayed by Alan Young. Those shows in turn were inspired by a series of children’s stories written by Walter R. Brooks.  Mr. Ed the horse was portrayed by a gelding named Bamboo Harvester, who was voiced on the series by former western actor Allan Lane.  Ed would only talk in person to Wilbur, although he would at times make phone calls, and be heard often talking to his owner by others, conversations for which Wilbur had constantly to offer false explanations.  The explanation for Ed’s origins as a sentient and articulate equine being was only touched upon once lightly and dismissively in the first episode in which Wilbur expresses his inability to understand the situation.  Ed replies to that confusion, “Don’t try.  It’s bigger than both of us!”  I can live with that, although alien genetic engineering seems to me one possible explanation.  “A horse is a horse, of course, of course…

Light years away was the adult animated Netflix series BoJack Horseman, which ran for six seasons and 77 episodes from 2014 to 2020.  BoJack was essentially an animal-person, equine from the neck up, but with human features below that point.  This presents as a rather disturbing combination at first glance, but it grows on you rather quickly, especially since BoJack is but one of a number of animal-persons of different species coexisting with mundane humans on the series.  BoJack is a middle-aged male whose heyday occurred in the 1990’s with a sitcom called Horsin’ Around.  That show abruptly cancelled, BoJack now seeks to restore his celebrity status in a dark series which satirizes Hollywood but touches on depression, addiction, self-destructive behavior, sexuality, and many other aspects of the human condition.

 

Mr. Ed was essentially a horse who acted like a human, whereas BoJack Horseman was a human who acted like a horse.  As to whether BoJack was Mr. Ed, the former once tweeted, “NO I AM NOT MR ED OPEN YOUR EYES.”  That seems pretty definitive to me…

 

Retro Virtual Dance Party Time!

April 14, 2020

Uh-oh! Maybe it was too much social distancing and face masks, but we’ve gone stir crazy here, and are bringing you our first ever Foxsylvania virtual 1960’s dance party from the 1965-66 series Hullabaloo, and we’ll even throw in a young Jerry Lewis as a guest star!

So just grab your Beatle boots, mini-skirts, and Go-Go girls in cages, and get set to wow the world with your hot moves and fashions!- -Wouldn’t that be groovy🦊

The Chantix Turkey at the Fair…

April 10, 2020

In the strange world of evolution gone awry inhabited by the Chantix Turkey, we are gradually being introduced to other individuals there, and familiarized with their social activities.  A recent episode takes us to their town fair, a rather folksy event at which our hero is apparently functioning as a worker.  Nice guy or bird that he is, the turkey takes the plunge in a dunk tank before donning an apron, working thereafter at a ring toss game booth (above), a ticket booth, and even a cotton candy stand.  This turkey does it all…

There are some subtle and cute touches in this ad, such as when the titular turkey walks past a fun house mirror, and we get to see his slenderized reflection in the mirror.  It’s a delight to see the turkey’s distinctive walk here, as well as his trademark heel click out of exuberance at kicking the smoking habit.

The turkeys don’t seem to be socially distancing, so they’ve apparently avoided the Coronavirus.  In their friendly and serene world, however, one wonders if the turkeys might someday have to deal with some variant of the avian flu, or perhaps just a hostile invasion by Elmer Fudd wanna-bes…oh the horror, the  horror! 

Oh, and by the way…a Happy Easter, y’all!

“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…