Friday, February 29, 2008

AI : Results

Well, two out of four ain’t bad. And to be honest, I did have Jason Y and Alexandrea on my list for eliminations as well, but I thought they might earn second chances from America for looks (him) and talent (her). But I guess viewers are less tolerant of cheesy performances and bizarre fashion choices than I thought. Can’t say I’m especially disappointed to see any of them leave – although it was sad that Alaina got so upset. Personally the most surprising thing about her breakdown to me is that it hasn’t happened before. Oh well. Four more down, sixteen left to go.

Happy Leap Day!

Today is the day we jump, hop, skip, jete, bound, hurdle, caper and cavort about in joy that there is an extra day in February. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

American Idol - Top Twenty

Personally I think that at this point in the game forcing the vote to eliminate the bottom two boys and the bottom two girls is unfair. The girls have more talented members than the boys so far and it is a real disservice to the ones that are better than many of the boys but will still be kicked off because it has to be even. Why does it have to be even between genders anyway? I get it on So You Think You Can Dance – it’s pretty difficult to keep having waltzes and tangos if all the contestants are boys, but this is a SOLO singing competition. There aren’t going to be any love duets, so how about we kick off the four with the lowest votes period? Anyway, here’s the run down:

Michael Johns – shouted the whole song. I may have to admit that he isn’t as good as I originally thought – one more chance and I won’t be able to say “he could do better” anymore.
Jason Castro - Boring song, and he still has the dreads. Ick.
Luke Menard – He’s a little too full of himself for my taste. Yeah, you’re good looking, get over it. But he was pretty good – I didn’t think he was good at all last week, so I was impressed this week.
Robbie Carrico – not good. It sounded karaoke, big time. And get a brush.
Danny Noriega –I’m not going to judge his performance because I have an inexplicable fondness for Danny so I probably think he is much better than he actually is. I will say that he should probably be singing on girls night.
David Hernandez – awful. Was he trying to look angry or seductive at the camera? And was he wearing a jacket AND a hoodie, or did his jacket have a hood? The judges liked him but I thought it was bad all over.
Jason Yeager – Actually sounded pretty good, but the whole ‘frat boy at Club Med on spring break’ performance was over the top.
Chikezie – Didn’t he have a last name before? I didn’t know he got so big in just two weeks that he could go with the single moniker. Anyway, he was really good, but the back up singers were awful. Whatever notes they were singing did not go at all with the one he sang – they really ruined his performance.
David Cook – Did you see him wink? Gross. But he was pretty good, definitely an improvement on last week.
David Archuleta – Definitely the front runner for the boys if not the whole show. He chose a nice slow song that took all of the theatricality out of his performance and just left the talent. Brilliant.
Carly Smithson – She has such a big voice and she really uses it well. I like her.
Syesha Mercado – She was really quiet this week, and maybe not as good as last week, but still good.
Brooke White – I thought the song was in a little too low a register to really let her voice shine. But she still gave a great performance.
Ramiele Malubay – Not nearly as good as last week. And her tank top / skinny jeans combo made her look like a giant fatass, which I’m sure she is not.
Kristi Lee Cook – Love her. I can’t wait to see her when a real stylist has gotten a hold of her – she’ll be gorgeous. In the shiny outfit she wore last night she definitely looked like a tomboy from a small town all dressed up for a night at the local pool hall.
Amanda Overmyer – She lost it this week. Her vocal was not good (she knew it too, you could see it on her face) and the bouffant with the blond halo made her face look like the sun. Probably not the look she was going for.
Alaina Whitaker – started out beautifully and then went a little off key for the rest. And she has a huge hurdle to overcome because she’s just not quite as pretty or as memorable as the other two blondes.
Alexandrea Lushington – Apparently she was late to the show from a recent hike through Runyon Canyon Park (in high heeled boots no less) and only had time to change one earring before running out on stage. I guess she sang too – the judges seemed to imply that she did but I was struck deaf by the clothing. And she looked so quirky and cute last week. Well, we still got quirky.
Kady Malloy – she was not stiff like pencil this week, she actually almost fell down the stairs. Which unfortunately affected her voice a bit, I think.
Asia “extra h” Epperson – Something threw her off at the very beginning – I don’t know what it was but you could see it happen. She lost the note and started doing her practiced motions at the wrong time (at one point I thought “why is she stroking her hair?” and then she sang about the telephone and started to raise her hand again and I realized she was just totally off her game), but she did sort of recover by the end. And her skirt didn’t fit – the high waist and pencil cut would actually have been very stylish on her, but the wrinkles around her hips indicated that it was one size too small.

Verdict: The boys improved somewhat and the girls had some stumbles. I say it’s going to be bye-bye Robbie, David H, Amanda and Alaina.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lois Lame

There is a new movie coming out called 21, based on the true story of several MIT students who took on Vegas in a card counting scheme. The movie stars Kate Bosworth, and seeing how cute and perky she is as a college student has re-awakened by irrational hatred of her in Superman Returns. I have no problem with her in general – she was charming in Blue Crush and she has that cool, one blue eye, one brown eye thing going on – but she absolutely ruined Superman. Let’s ignore for a second the fact that she is in no way believable as the mother of a 5 year old son, and not just because she looks like childbirth would snap her like a twig. No, the problem goes beyond that. Superman Returns takes place supposedly after Superman has been gone for 5 years. Five years after he met Lois Lane and had a mysterious relationship with her that may or may not have resulted in the birth of her son. Now, seeing as when they first met Lois was already a famous reporter with a successful career and throwing in a little time for the relationship and the five years interim, do we think that maybe the casting of a 23 year old actress is a little inappropriate? I’m going to assume that the Daily Planet doesn’t typically hire sixteen year olds, but instead wants college grads with at least a minor in journalism. And I can’t imagine that it is that easy to become Metropolis’ biggest journalist, so I figure it had to have taken Lois at least a few years to work herself up to that level. So that makes her at least 25 before they even meet. Add in those five years again and we are looking at a 30 year old Lois at the minimum, and I’m sorry, but plucky little Kate Bosworth cannot play 30. She doesn’t have the necessary air of cynicism or experience to pull off a world weary, seen it all, journalist. A better choice would have been Parker Posey, who was woefully underused in the movie anyway (and, believe it or not, is 39). It would have been so much more provocative to have an evidently older Lois playing off of a still youthful Superman. How much more dramatic would it be if Lois not only had hard feelings toward Superman for leaving, but also because he still looks the same age; reminding her of her own waning youth and the differences between them? That would have taken a movie that was all about the action and given it depth.

And yes – I know Superman Returns came out in 2006, but so what? It is a major flaw in the movie and should not be forgiven just because it happened 2 years ago.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Assassination of 'The Assassination of Jesse James'

Seriously – what is the deal with the total lack of any marketing for this movie? First we had zero previews, then a very limited run in theaters. Now, it has come out on DVD and there had not been a stitch of advertising for that either. I don’t get it. Casey Affleck was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance for Christ sake – doesn’t that imply that maybe the movie is halfway decent? And correct me if I’m wrong, but typically Brad Pitt movies are somewhat popular. I am at a total loss to explain any of this. Someday I will rent and watch the movie, and maybe that will give me some insight.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The 80th Annual Hollywood Ego-fest, I mean Academy Awards

Yay, Ratatouille! That’s the only winner (okay, it’s the only nominee) I have seen. It was awesome and deserved to win. I’m sure everyone else deserved it too. Especially Diablo Cody. How amazing is it that the screenplay she wrote to prove she could write a screenplay and therefore deserved to adapt her own book into a film, won an Oscar? That is talent. All in all, this year’s show was probably the best Oscars telecast I have ever seen – it is the first one since I have had my DVR. I didn’t have to watch any boring speeches or awards for dull categories – just zip, zip, zip check out the presenters’ dresses, maybe hear a few jokes along with the winners and boom, over. It took me an hour and a half.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Basil Anyone?

Another product with an infomercial feel to their ads that has been airing alot lately is the Aerogarden. This is a special device you can use to grow herbs or tomatoes or lettuce right on your counter top. It seems pretty cool – there are these little packets that have the seeds and nutrients in them and apparently they cause your chosen plant to grow quite quickly. But the ad has gone a bit over board in their zest to demonstrate the prodigious growth rate using this system. According to the ads, you will practically be over run with foliage in just 36 days. Now, I don’t use that many fresh herbs, and I’d rather not be forced to eat a head of lettuce every day just to avoid turning my kitchen into a jungle. I’m glad the system is effective, and it seems kind of cool (although I would find it way too big to actually have in my kitchen), but this is one instance where I actually hope the product doesn’t work as well as they say it does. Otherwise, the attack of the killer tomatoes may only be one phone call away.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Puff-tastic

Several months ago I was looking through a catalog and I saw this weird pan for making pancake puffs. I thought to myself “who would want that?” and moved on. Then I began seeing commercials for the same kind of pan – apparently while I’ve been cooped up in my house with my kids, the sensation of pancakes baked into golf ball sized puffs has been sweeping the nation. Who knew? Now, in theory this sounds kind of good – especially the ones that they fill with pudding or whip cream, but somehow the commercial fails to make them look at all appetizing. A pyramid of spherical pancakes (looking like doughnut holes, basically) with syrup poured all over them just doesn’t look that good. And to be honest, I’m not sure why this isn’t more appealing to me – I love sweets and carbs so this should get me salivating like a starving pit bull. But it doesn’t. And does anyone else think that flipping them with the aid of a wooden skewer isn’t as easy as it appears? I can barely flip flat pancakes with a spatula, so I’m rabidly skeptical that one prong is going to grab onto half cooked batter and flip it over easy as pie. But what do I know – I thought the whole idea of globular pancakes was stupid in the first place.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

American Idol: The Girls

Here’s a quick note on how I compiled this post. I watched the show and took notes on each contestant. Then, as I was finishing up and ready to post I went back and re-read what I had written. And there were several girls who I couldn’t remember even though I had seen them only an hour before. Some of these girls had really good reviews, but I figured that if their performances were so unmemorable that I couldn’t retain them for even a short while they weren’t worth remarking on here. Here are the ones that stuck with me:
Kristy Lee Cook- She needs styling more than anything. She is a pretty girl, but she still needs to dress it up a little. A tank top and ripped jeans aren’t going to cut it for long in this competition. Her performance was just okay – I really liked her from the auditions so I hope she gets better next week.
Amanda Overmyer – I love her whiskey voice and her biker chic attitude. That said, she was not very good last night. Bad song choice, and frankly, I don’t know if she can ever be versatile enough to get very far. But I hope she can.
Amy Davis – terrible. Bad song, bad performance, bad jeans. But she’s beautiful so she’ll probably make it through to next week.
Brooke White – this girl was one of my favorites from the auditions, and I thought she gave a good performance. The singing part was a little iffy, but she moved around and generally looked pretty comfortable on stage.
Alexandrea Lushington – actually managed to pull off high waisted trousers with suspenders and a crazy airbrushed t shirt. Not sure how she did that. I really like that she chose Blood Sweat and Tears too, and she really funked it up at the end. Good job.
Asia’h Epperson - I like her. I cried when she said her dad died right before the auditions, and I thought she did really well last night. And I know it’s not her fault, but I’m not sure I can get past that ‘h in her name. It’s just so unnecessary.
Syesha Mercado – She might have given a good performance. I couldn’t tell because the song was horrible.
Carly Smithson – Excellent performance even though I didn’t like the song. She can really sing, she has a great Irish accent, and she is so grateful to be on the show. The perfect mix in my opinion.

All in all the girls were tons better than the guys – and so much more attractive! But I do have one major note for them: Girls, please don’t wear skinny jeans anymore. I know they are very fashionable right now, and yes I admit I have a pair myself. But there usage to when they are tucked into boots. Because when they aren’t tucked into boots they make my behind look like the broadside of a barn. Despite the name, skinny jeans do not make you look skinny – they make you look fat. I will reapeat that in case you missed it: skinny jeans make you look FAT (no doubt it is worse when you are on tv since that supposedly adds 10 lbs). Even when you aren’t overweight at all (and most of you aren’t), if you have any curve to your booty at all (and most of you do) you will not look good in skinny pants (this includes leggings, which really should never be worn outside the house anyway). So repeat after me: bootcut jeans. Bootcut jeans. Everyone, no matter what size, looks good in bootcut jeans. Okay lecture over. You may now all head straight to the mall.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

American Idol: The Boys

So far I am not impressed. What a bunch of uncharismatic (with a few exceptions) and unattractive (with even fewer exceptions) bozos. And why are we starting the voting off with a 60’s night? Ugh. Can we please get to know the contestants a little before we cripple them with lame arrangements of outdated songs? There is definitely some strong music that came out of the 60’s but they did their best to make us forget that last night. Taking some of those classics and making them relevant to today’s music should have been fun. Instead it was like a 60’s compilation for the geriatric dentist who thinks elevator music is too raucous. Where was the rock and roll? I want to watch a relevant singing competition – not join some flower power love in. What are we protesting – catchy beats? Booooooooring! The one contestant who broke every pattern was Michael Johns. He delivered a killer rendition of the Doors, was charming without being obnoxious and he has that Australian accent. Awesome. I could barely stand to watch the first few performances. That is until “The Hair” came on. Then I was transfixed by the horror. Okay, to be fair there were some pretty atrocious ‘dos on some of the guys. Garrett, you are a 17 year old contestant on a modern singing competition, not a 45 year old literature professor about to lose his tenure for hitting on his students. Get a haircut. And I won’t even comment on Jason Castro because dread locks on a white guy are the number one signifier of being a hopeless loser who is beyond all help and will probably die surrounded by black light posters and covered in lice. And it’s a shame because he was actually pretty good and I liked that he played a guitar. And he did look surprisingly clean. But dreads are a deal breaker for me. So you can see that the competition is fierce for worst hair, but I am anointing a winner: David Cook. And I have a little message for him. Attention David Cook: you are not fooling anyone – we can tell you are balding. We can detect the receding hairline from 100 yards without even needing a stiff breeze for proof. It is obvious enough that I would seriously doubt you are anywhere near 25 if I didn’t have friends who had the same problem at a similar early age. I’m glad you got rid of the weird red streak you had during auditions, but your work is not done. Trust me, copying Zac Efron’s haircut is not the answer (that goes for you too, Danny and Colton). In fact, copying anything of Zac Efron’s is NEVER the answer. Please take a page out of Michael Bolton’s book (never thought you’d hear someone say that did ya?)- long hair + balding = total loser. Close cut hair = decent singer who barely looks like he is balding. Go with it. I don’t know if this message will reach you in time (your performance kind of blew), but if you have the chance to continue on in the competition, seriously, get some clippers. Heck, do it even if they kick you off – after all you’re going to have to keep walking around where people have to look at you. David Archuleta you were good – you are very cute and your shyness / nervousness is charming but you are also very Broadway. For your sake I hope they make a sequel to Hairspray real soon. I also enjoyed Danny Noriega’s performance. Elvis is hard to pull of and I felt he did it. And yes, Danny, you do look like Jessica Alba. But you are not actually her. Lose the skinny jeans – I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have gotten a “grotesque” from Simon if you were wearing men’s pants. Everybody else was blah, blah, blah. The girls better bring it tonight or I’m going to have to switch over to Biggest Loser.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Skittles Touch

I don't usually see many commercials for candy since I don't spend much time watching MTV or other youth targeted channels, and the programs my daughter watches are for young enough kids that the commercials are mainly targeted to the moms (diaper rash ointment anyone?). But this weekend I watched the first bit of Bruce Almighty on USA and got to see a Skittles commercial which was pretty funny. In it there is a guy who has a less valuable version of the Midas touch - everything he touches turns to Skittles. When we first see him he is sitting at his desk looking quite forlorn, and holding up his hands like a surgeon waiting for gloves. A woman approaches holding a stapler and asks that he show the new guy how it will turn to Skittles if he touches it. He complies with such weariness that you immediately see how debilitating this gift is to his life. Then the phone rings and he attempts to answer it - Skittles. He gets angry and pounds his fists on the desk - Skittles. The whole thing is pretty funny, and while I appreciate the frustration that such an affliction would cause, I thought he should be happy it only works through his hands or he wouldn't be seated so comfortably in his chair. And of course I wondered who was dressing him in the morning since he isn't sitting at his desk naked. Wear the rainbow isn't as catchy a slogan - it just sounds sticky.

Monday, February 18, 2008

In The Motherhood

Last week as I was idly clicking around the internet looking for something to entertain me that didn't involve shopping, I came cross a little internet show called In The Motherhood. I stumbled across it because there was a link on the MSN home page that said something about "Kelly" over a picture of Jenny McCarthy and I said to myself "who's Kelly? That's Jenny McCarthy." I had to see what was up as this constituted a great mystery to me and therefore found this show. It features three moms - played by Jenny McCarthy, Chelsea Handler (as sisters), and Leah Remini and the short 'webisodes' are various little vignettes of real life made humorous. They are cute enough, and these three ladies are certainly very funny, but what I really like about the show is that fans and real life moms can write in with suggestions for topics or plots for what happens on the show. Because who knows how funny and frustrating a mom's life can be better than other moms? Anyway, I thought it was worth sharing in case you are a mom, or a woman who can sympathize with what it must be like(I don't think men will get it much). Check it out the next time you are looking to mess around online.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lazy Sundays

Now that I am raking in the big bucks, I am considering cutting back on my workload. Afterall, spending up to ten minutes EVERY DAY is an unbelievable strain on my already taxing schedule of reading books and magazines and occasionally slicing up some fruit for my kids. Okay, so maybe it isn't that great a demand on my time, however, combined with the drastic decrease in time I get to spend watching adult television and therefore commercials that aren't about diapers, it is draining my creativity. So I am thinking about going to a five day a week shedule, and taking a break on weekends when my routine gets all disrupted anyway. Of course, I may find inspiration tomorrow and change my mind, but at the moment let's all just assume that I will only be posting Mon-Fri. And c'mon - you know you only check in when you're at work and bored anyway, right?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Violinist Falls on $1M Dollar Instrument

That sucks. However, he's a violin prodigy who supplements his income by being a male model, so how hard can life be, right? See story here

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

May your day be filled with love and romance. And chocolate!!

Missed the Subway

I hope Subway hasn't lost it. I love their recent campaign of commercials featuring office workers and the less than desirable physical attributes that arise from eating fast food has given them. The most recent (and one for the best) is the one where the guy is missing a receipt from his lunch at Burger Town for his expense report and asks instead if he can photo copy his butt. Awesome. Which makes the spot for the Hot Pastrami so disappointing. It shows a boxer who is apparently passed out, but mainly just appears to be ignoring his trainers. They try everything and then finally wave a sandwich in front of his face and he perks up and reenters the ring. So what is the message here? That not only will the smell wake you up from a head trauma, but it will also renew your desire to punch someone. Awesome – stink and violence, that's what I look for in a sandwich.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Idol Nostalgia

A few things about last night’s American Idol:

What’s with all the Bryan Adams? Is he popular again, cause I missed the memo if he is. Was there a choice of songs they had to sing? Maybe if you didn’t come prepared or lost the coin toss you had to sing whatever the producers said. And apparently the producers are stuck in 1991 cause that's when that song came out (holy crap Batman - can you believe that was 17 years ago? yikes. Some of those contestants probably thought the song was new seeing as they weren't even born way back then). It seemed like everyone had quite a range of different songs, and then about a dozen people all sang (Everything I Do) I Do it for You (and yes, the parenthesis are how the song is actually titled - don't get me started on how stupid that conceit is). So either they didn’t know any of their own songs and were forced to sing that one, or there is a secret love of Bryan Adams and old Kevin Costner movies amongst American Idol hopefuls.

Along with sheet music, they were also apparently handing out popsicles because an inordinate amount of people had green tongues for their auditions. I suppose it could have been a weird plague going around but I am assuming that would have made the news, so it must have been candy of some sort. And just a small tip to anyone planning on singing on national tv – unless you can hit those high notes with out opening your mouth like a hippo, make sure your tongue is a normal color. It is distracting when it is not.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Make it Stop!!!

Here is a picture of me standing in our driveway:


According to the weather reports, we have had 371" of snow so far this year. That's right folks, almost 31 FEET of snow. Insane. And I do not ski, so the joys of sick powder is completely lost on me and All I see is our home rapidly becoming a fortress. My husband got up on the roof to knock some of the 4' of snow off, and if he continues we will no longer be able to see out of the front window. And I fear that my husband, who does ski but hasn't gotten a chance, might kill someone the next time one of the clever folk he works with calls him to tell him that there is some snow that needs removal. Really? You mean that 8 hours I spent shoveling yesterday didn't make it all disappear? Wow. I guess I'll get right on that since your arms seem to be broken.

What's Your Brand IQ?

here is a fun quiz to test your brand knowledge:

http://www.cramersweeney.com/smartmarketing.html

Monday, February 11, 2008

Rhapsody in Blah

Isn't it unfortunate when advertisements take a great piece of music and ruin it? The perfect example of this was brought to my attention during the Grammys last night. Rhapsody in Blue is a beautiful song, that has been totally ruined because of the United commercials. Now, it doesn't bother me because it is so linked to United in my head now - what bothers me is those commercials sucked. So now, instead of just thinking "oh United" when I hear it, instead I think about those indecipherable commercials where people were doing fantastical things and nothing made sense or really had anything to do with air travel. Super annoying, and kind of an insult to Gershwin in my opinion. It put the damper on the best part of the Grammys - which were interminably boring and featured sub par performances according to my husband and mother-in-law (I didn't get a chance to watch, nor did I have the inclination).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rage On

Note to the striking writers of SVU: when you return to work, can we move past Elliot Stabler’s rage issues? We keep having episodes that address his rage. Yeah, we get it – he’s angry and conflicted. He has a hard job. He’s Catholic. Deal with it. L&O works best when the character’s back stories and traits are left vague and unexplored. Elliot’s angry, Munch is sarcastic, Olivia is lonely, blah blah. We know – that’s why we love them. Now let’s get back to solving crimes.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Hairspray

Last weekend I watched the new movie version of Hairspray. It has been out forever and reviewed to death so let’s just do this: yes, it is cute, yes the songs are super catchy, and yes, it is fun to get up and dance along – especially if you have a 2 year old daughter. Now, on to the more interesting things I learned while watching.
1) Nikki Blonsky is short. I mean, super short. Like, crazy, munchkin short. According to IMDb she is 4’10”, but she seems even shorter because she is so round. She is very good in the movie and extremely cute and perky, and man can she wiggle her chubby little body around, but she looks very amusing standing next to everyone else when she can barely see past their boobs.
2) John Travolta has surprisingly feminine hands. Not in the way that would make him look strange when not dressed in drag, but more in the way that when he is dressed in drag his hands don’t give him away.
3) The allure of Zac Efron remains a mystery to me. He sings fine and all, and he was cute in High School Musical, but his over-all, make the girls (and their mothers) scream, appeal is beyond me. He looks a little too pretty and his hair is awful (although, unfortunately for everyone forced to look at the boys these days, very stylish and popular). His eyes are nice and blue, but they display all of the emotional range and intelligence of a cucumber. I suspect he may actually be a robot.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Star is Born

I have come to realize that I have a long future in musical theater ahead of me. Not myself of course, but with my daughter. I have long known that she loves dancing (she’s been boogying since she could stand up), but she has also recently developed a love of singing. Or at least a love of atonal moaning/shouting into various makeshift microphones. When American Idol is on I barely get to hear the auditions because I have to join in the singing (she also enjoys bossing everyone around and forcing group participation). And during the entire Super Bowl I had to dance along to her yeah yeah yeahs. It is fun and very cute, but I hope she learns some actual songs soon.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

SuperAds - let's review

Wow. What a game huh? Pretty exciting couple of minutes there at the end, I thought. And man, the Patriots must be pissed to blow their perfect season. But seriously – let’s move on to the more important stuff. There were so many ads, and I got a bit involved in keeping track, so this will be a three part series following the best, the worst, and the others worth mention. Oh, and a section on the previews I liked. So a four part series – or maybe one long piece split into quarters, like a football game. See? See what I did there? So clever.

The Best

Macbook Air – okay, so this technically aired during the pregame kickoff show, and it isn’t a new commercial, but that thing is so cool I had to mention it. And I like the song.

Live the Dream with Corolla – okay premise – funny premise, bonus points for saying the badgers would gnaw his face off. I was disappointed there weren’t more to the series though.

Planter’s Cashews – giving Emerald nuts a run for there money in entertainment with a spectacularly unibrowed gal attracting male admirers with the alluring scent of cashews.

Geico Cavemen – mucho respect for making fun of the ultra lame (and now cancelled) sitcom.

Vitamin Water – I’m not sure if the product is supposed to make you lighter (get me a gallon!) or just a better horseman, but Shaq as a jockey is funny.

Budweiser – Hank the horse – training montage with one of the beautiful Clydesdales (or Percheron?) horses that was determined to get onto the team. I’ll admit, I cried a little. What can I say – I like animals and I’m a chick. I’m not ashamed.

Amp Energy Drink – okay, so the close up on the nipple was gratuitous (and icky), but the guy dancing to Salt’n’Pepa’s Push-it in order to jump start someone’s car (especially when his perfectly functional trunk is sitting there) was funny.

American Idol – I liked the super wishful, inspiring spots featuring this years hopefuls and Simon smiling (!!!), but the one at the end with Ben Roethlisberger singing was icing on the cake. The janitor’s comment that he used to love that song but now it’s ruined was classic.

Bud Light – with one major exception (see tomorrow’s entry), Bud Light had the best group of commercials. The two featuring new features of Bud Light – it will help you breathe fire and fly were great (although the fire one went on a little long). I also enjoyed the cavemen spot where one invents the wheel and the use it to carry the Bud Light on instead of rolling it. Okay, so the Geico guys probably didn’t think it was funny, but I did.

Pepsi Stuff.com – This was my favorite of all the ads this year. It featured Justin Timberlake getting thrown around and bashed into things with each sip of a girls’ Pepsi. Seriously who doesn’t want to see that guy get his ass kicked just a little? I like the guy fine, I mean, I grooved to SexyBack like everyone else, but he does seem like a bit of a douche. Kudos to you if you recognized Andy Samberg as the guy/girl preening in the blonde wig.

Watch all the ads here

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Worst

Pepsi Max – okay – so while most people probably found the head bobbing annoying I didn’t. This commercial is on my worst list simply because of the product. The last thing a Pepsi (or anyone in today’s world for that matter) needs is more caffeine. C’mon people – get off the juice!!

Under Armor – I’m not sure what it was specifically about this commercial that irked me. The training stuff was actually kind of cool. But then it got into the whole “We are the prototypes” army propaganda stuff and it lost me. I think I just got a strong vibe that they would all be sweaty and stinky and couldn’t get past it.

T-Mobile – Charles Barkley finally gets put into Duane Wade’s Fave Five and starts calling him all the time. Funny, but the joke went on way to long and wore out its welcome. There’s caller id on your phone dude – stop answering!

Bud Light – The one failure in a night of great ads, this one featured Carlos Mencia (ugh) with his class of ESL students in a bar. He tells them that American women like foreign accents, and what follows is a series of bad, and somewhat racist, jokes. The one redeeming feature – one guy’s come on line “you have the thighs of a SHerpa.” If I was a man (and single) I would so use that line.

AXA Equitable – I almost feel bad criticizing this ad because of the gorilla. He seems nice and like I said yesterday I like animals. But this spot was dull. Like, finances dull.

Doritos – the whole premise was good – give a new artist a platform and let people hear a bit of a song and maybe they will buy it on itunes and the artist will become the next big thing. Unfortunately, the song sucked. And there should have been several artists – this was definitely a campaign that needed a series of different spots.

Daytona 500 – I’m no Nascar fan by any means, but this ad sucked. Lots of cars driving through a motor – dumb. Airing it four times, even worse.

Sunsilk Make Life Happen – shots of Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, and Shakira because they are great women whose hair tells their story – huh? Weird threesome, Madonna hasn’t had the same hairstyle for more than ten minutes ever, and how the heck is hair supposed to tell your story? Bad.

Gatorade – Yes, I liked the dog. But saying that a dog and Gatorade are both man’s best friend is patently false. The only time Gatorade is your best friend is if you are seriously dehydrated from the stomach flu. That dog deserves better.

SalesGenie.com – the most racist cartoons I have ever seen. Ever. I’d rather go out of business than use this company to increase my sales leads.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Honorable Mention

Sync “Anesthesia”- I have commented on these ads before, and this one is no different. Having the surgeon say “anesthesia on” and then just begin the surgery was good. Even the patient saying “Ow” was good. This ad only missed being on my favorites because they kept repeating the joke for all the idiots out there who may not have gotten it. Subtlety is sometimes better in terms of humor. It makes people feel good when they get the joke without having it beaten over their heads.

Audi R8 – This lame Godfather homage would have ended up on the worst list except for one thing: that car is super cool.

Bridgestone – There were two of these ads featuring a car swerving around objects in the road and they were both good. The first, I would have expected to hate due to the extended screaming done by the squirrel and the passenger and other forest creatures, but I actually found myself chuckling instead. The second had the car swerving around a deer, and then, randomly, Alice Cooper. This one would have gone all the way to favorites except that then the car swerved around Richard Simmons, too. Now ignoring the sheer improbability that Alice Cooper and Richard Simmons would ever be in the same place at the same time, this is just another case of the joke being carried too far. One random celebrity in the road, funny. Two, not so much.

Dell – I laughed out loud the first time the guy walking down the street with the Dell got slapped on the butt. Then I thought it was amusing that everyone was cheering him and patting his shoulder, etc. Then I just thought it should be over.

FedEx – Giant carrier pigeons wreaking havoc in the city. So silly.

Cars.com – There were two of these ads featuring customers at car dealerships who brought along “plan B”s unless they couldn’t get the right price, and they should have aired in the opposite order. The witch doctor was great, but the stone ring death match was greater.

Garmin – The car itself was pretty neat, and I didn’t think much of it when Napolean got out. But I laughed out loud when they brought out his tiny pony. One question though – did anyone else just feel like they were reenactors rather than the actually French army? I did but I don’t know why.

Life Water – This started out as an entry in the worst category. The Beyonce/Naomi Campbell looking person strutting around with her water – blech. But then the lizards started doing thriller and I changed my assessment.

CareerBuilder.com – These were pleasantly strange ads. It was mildly surprising when the spider came down and ate the singing bug during his duet in the “wishing won’t get you a better job” ad. And I loved the expression on the woman’s face in the “follow your heart” spot when her heart leapt out of her chest (looking like her boob exploded), walked over to her lobster (?) eating boss, and quit for her. She barely even looked surprised, much less dismayed to find a gaping hole in her chest.

GMC Yukon Hybrid – I liked the how the line drawing of Sisyphus (dig the knowledge yo) rolling the huge boulder up the hill seemed to change styles constantly, as if several different artists had drawn it. It was so simple and visual. I also like whenever there is a new hybrid SUV because it increases the chances I’ll be able to get one someday.

Comcast HD – The mother singing “More, More, More” when her son tells her about his new Comcast HD was delightfully creepy. Especially when she told him “her love for you is real.” And he looked appropriately weirded out by the whole thing, too.

Harmony Remote Control – “ Your Dad can watch your kids, but starting their favorite movie is another story.” Yeah, this ad kind of made fun of older people and their inability to work modern technology, but then again, I know people of a certain generation who practically need instructions to work the remote so maybe it wasn’t all that inaccurate. And the sound of the kids in the background running amok was a nice touch.

E-Trade Trading Baby – I was on the fence with this one. I am typically not a fan of the whole talking (or dancing) baby thing, but this was done well enough that it looked realistic. And the dry, voiceovers were great (“You might be saying ‘aren’t you a little young to be trading?’ and I say A) don’t worry about how young I am”). And they threw in a comment about how clowns are creepy, so that was good. But the spit up was unnecessary.

Coke – The political talking heads (James Carville and teh Republican guy) touring around town together was lame until they passed by on Segways*. But the one with the parade balloon being chased by Underdog and Stewie was great. It actually managed to look like they were just run away balloons, while also making it very clear that they were chasing, and fighting over, the coke. Of course, Charlie Brown got it in the end, and yeah, he’s a classic and all that, but I am way over Peanuts.
*upon second veiwing, I like this one more for 2 reasons: 1) they taught me that Jinx rules mean you have to drop everything and buy the coke w/o speaking, and 2) they just walk out on a tv interview - the host has got to be like "what?" I also now know the Republican guy is Bill Frist. Educational and entertaining!

UnHitched – the ad for this show featured a guy at a bar with a baby in a bjorn on his chest. He drips some dip onto the kids head and then licks it off. Now, I’m sure that many people (childless people) out there found this gross. But let me tell you: as a mother of two who has on occasion licked food off of her children, that is funny. And true.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Previews

Narnia – I liked the first one and the second looks just as exciting. And of course, it is a great diversion in between Harry Potter movies. Wheeee!

Wanted – Yeah, Angelina Jolie may be a crazy person in real life, but you can’t argue that she is cool. Watching her stand there all confident telling the Atonement guy to “make the bullet curve” really makes you believe he can shoot in anything other than a straight line.

Wall E – Created by Pixar, endorsed by Buzz and Woody of Toy Story, with music from Brazil (the movie, not the country). What else could you want?

Semi Pro – Will. Ferrell. With a (totally real) white man fro. Love it. Plus, his crossover ad for Bud Light gave me my favorite catchphrase of 2008 so far: “Bud Light – suck it!”


I just noticed the period after Will - I was going to fix it, but I've decided I like it. Gives it a Bond, James Bond feel.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

SuperAd Sunday

Well, it is time once again for that treasured of all American pastimes - watching the super sized commercials that are on during the SuperBowl. People all over the country will gather together and eat and drink copious amounts all to share the experience of watching these ads together. Okay, so football plays a small part in these parties, too, but I think it's mainly about the commercials. Anyway, I feel there has been sort of a downturn in recent years in the number of truly excellent SuperBowl ads - it seems that not as many are really funny or memorable. So I have high hopes for this year - especially since I'm looking for stuff to write about as my entries have been less than riveting this week. So let's get out the chips and dip, mix a white russian (or a beer if you're into the mundane), and, just for the heck of it - watch some football! (FYI - while I don't have much of a preference between the two teams, I think I may have to cheer on the Patriots - a perfect season is just too irresistable. Plus, no offense to Eli, but Tom is dishier.)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I Like It Saucy

A while back there were some commercials for KFC's new sauceless chicken wings. Now, I will admit that I am not the best judge of this because I don't even like regular wings, but for some reason these sound very unappetizing to me. I can't really even put my finger on the reason, but I just feel like buffalo wings (like all good barbecue) are supposed to be messy and saucy. Spicy, dry fried chicken sounds like it would stick in your throat. Now, boneless wings is an idea I can get behind - who wants to gnaw on knobs of bone just to get some tiny specs of meat when you can have a whole juicy piece of chicken? Anyway, I don't quite know why I had such a reaction to this new idea - as I said before I don't eat wings of nay sort so I would expect not to care either way - but for some reason sauceless wings sound gross to me. I'm wondering if other's feel the same - I haven't seen the commercials in a while so maybe the wings weren't successful. On a related note - the commercials were dumb too, so maybe that's the reason they aren't on anymore.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Definitely NOT Sucking

Just want to give a shout out to Peter Stormare and the folks at VW for their excellent commercials a few years ago. They aren’t on any more but they were awesome.
Other commercials worth mention:
• Messin’ with Sasquatch – so wonderfully absurd and funny.
• Staples easy button – the one where an office worker suggests they use her easy button to find another’s easy button.”What if it causes a rip in the space/time continuum? What’s the worst that could happen? That – that’s the worst that could happen.” I love dry humor.