There was no gigantic spectacle, like last year's 3D commercial for Sobe LifeWater and Monsters Vs. Aliens. There were no angry foreign car bosses yelling about Hyundais. More importantly (and this might be a good thing), there were no koalas getting punched in the face. If anything, some of the ads were more annoying than usual this year! Here are my picks for the five best and the five worst ads of Super Bowl XLIV.
5. Vizio - Bringing the annoyance of Internet Celebrities to your television!
Want to relive your favorite flash in the pan moments of Internet stardom? Tired of sitting in front of your computer to do just that? Well normally I'd say "Too bad! Now get up off of your ass and head to your computer", but thanks to Vizio you'll be able to watch Chocolate Rain from the comfort of your own couch of failure. If you're still watching Chocolate Rain...or even still remember what it is. If anything the unintended lesson here is technology, much like Internet fame, is fickle, flexible, and always searching for something new to flaunt before either copying it to death or discarding it in failure.
4. Taco Bell - Verbal Diarrhea to compliment your Actual Diarrhea!
I'm amazed Dr. Seuss hasn't risen from his grave and stricken whoever wrote this shitty excuse for a commercial. C'mon Charles Barkley, you were in Space Jam for God's sake! Why couldn't you leave that as your most embarrassing project ever?! Worse yet, this was one of the ads that had a "teaser" ad before its premiere, which means people were actually EXCITED to see this shit. The shit cherry on the jizz iced cake? It sounds like they're close to sampling that "I Love You" song I fucking hate so much!
3. CBS - The Number 1 Network?
We have a three way tie for failure here, and it's all thanks to our friends over at CBS. Their awesome NPH ad for How I Met Your Mother withstanding, I think they've really screwed the pooch this year. First up is the "5D ad", which frankly had me thinking of five other D's that could describe CBS, should this ad's quality be questioned: Dumb, Dreadful, Dry, Deceptive, and Derivative.
The second ad is the "NCIS" ad, which gives all those fans the crossover they've been waiting for...since last season on NCIS. What's more is they waste this opportunity on a stupid one liner, just so they can say "NCIS is a big hit". You could have done the same with Mark Harmon taking out a Simon Cowell look-a-like with a Sniper rifle. (Too much?)
Finally, we have a commercial for Criminal Minds that tries to get all creative on us. Unfortunately, the lighting looks just weird instead of creepy and the writing on the cast member's faces looks like bad prison tattoo work. I was half curious about checking this show out...but if Joe Mantegna (who is normally a great actor) delivers like that on a weekly basis, I think I'll just stick to 24.
2. Google -...wants you to have its baby?!
We're down to the last two ads, which contain two of the things I'm most annoyed with. The first being an obvious ploy to appeal to the "Valentine's Day is a Week Away, Isn't This So Fucking Romantic?" crowd. If you ask me, these Google Search relationships move too fast. In the course of minutes, Google goes from trying to google some French girl's naughty bits to actually building a crib. I'm sorry, but Google trying to have a baby with some random woman reminds me of that scary freakshow of a Sci Fi film know as Demon Seed. You know...the one where the computer wants to be reborn as a baby? Yeah, let that sit in your head while watching this ad.
1. E-Trade - Seriously, fuck you.
And surely if that plan were allowed to come into fruition, you could bet your digitized ass that the babies produced from such a Hellish union would provide us with a whole new generation of E-Trade babies! That's right, the little fuckers are back, and more annoyingly grown up than ever. My offer still stands E-Trade...I'll gladly sell you the writes to the Baby In a Blender commercial I wrote last year. How this shit became YouTube's number 2 favorite from the Super Bowl is beyond me. For the last time: NOT EVERYTHING DEALING WITH BABIES IS FUCKING CUTE!
5. Snickers - Betty White Knows Your Girl's Moves
Betty White is at her funniest when she sasses back. Sure, she was always hysterical as the naive Rose on the Golden Girls, but I prefer her performances in Lake Placid and Boston Legal any day of the week. Also, Betty White is one tough old bitch. She plays Football, handles firearms, and kills people with iron skillets. Which begs the question: was she a Nazi killin' spy much like fellow "old lady who kicked ass" Julia Childs?
4. Doritos - The Snack Samurai
Part of the "Crash the Super Bowl" fan ad contest, this finalist is one of those slow burn ads. Simple, innocuous beginnings lead to the ending which is so batshit insane that I can't help but laugh at its existence. Also, it helps that a suit of Samurai armor made of Doritos is one of those concepts that's actually funny without looking stupid in practicality.
3. Kia Motors - When Toys Play
Take a bunch of generic toys, throw them into an Ocean's Eleven-esque music video, and watch the fun. If Toyota had an ad this fun for the Super Bowl, everyone would have forgotten that their cars can't stop on command. For the record, I think the Teddy Bear is the most awesome one of the bunch.
2. EA Games - A Hell of an Opener
A classy looking ad with an awesome music selection that actually sells the game for what it is. You don't see this with many movies these days, much less video games; but if anyone were to attempt to top the awesome Modern Warfare 2 launch trailer from last year, it'd be EA with their trailer for Dante's Inferno. (I'm hoping this sparks a new trend, so we'll get the long dreamt of RPG based off of Animal Farm.)
1. Dodge - Dexter FTW!
There's just something about Michael C. Hall's voice in this ad that works. Perhaps it's the fact that he's Dexter, and as Dexter he's always narrating about the daily ins and outs of life...and how much they suck. But like Dexter, us guys wear our mask in front of the ladies, and if that sweet car is the reward for watching crappy Vampire movies, that mask is one we're willing to wear. (Speaking of which, if that's the reward for dealing with the whole Twilight thing, I'm long overdue for one. Someone get me Dodge's legal department on the line!)