Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Superbowl commercials’

Whoa.  Didn’t see that coming.  Well, I kind of did given that I correctly predicted a Seahawks victory (see last blog entry), but I was far too generous in my estimation of the Broncos’ offence (and clearly underestimated the Seattle defense).  It wasn’t a great game (unless you’re a Seahawks fan) and those much-ballyhooed Superbowl commercials weren’t all that special either.  Alas, being in Canada, we are stuck watching our super-lame Canadian commercials – roughly the same half-dozen replayed ad nauseum – so we didn’t get to see those multi-million dollar ads.  Until much later when I hopped online and checked them out.  For the most part, highly forgettable.  But there were a few winners.  The following were my favorites…

NEWCASTLE BROWN ALE

CARMAX

DORITOS

Agree?  Disagree?  What were your favorites?  If they include cloying kids (ie. that Cheerios commercial), then I’m afraid you’re automatically disqualified.

Continuing our Stargate: Atlantis rewatch.  Last night, Akemi and I (and, I assume, many of you who are rewatching along with us) checked out the show’s third episode, Hide and Seek.  So,what did Akemi think?

1Surprisingly, she liked it quite a bit.  I say “surprisingly” because, well, compared to the thrilling opening two-parter (Rising I and II), episode #3 was comparatively sedate.  Also, the fact that she almost dozed off during the search for Jinto suggested otherwise – but she quickly perked up once the shadow creature appeared.  Overall, a mixed bag for her – but one predominantly filled with hazelnuts (her favorites) over pecans (her least favorites): “I liked this episode.  Very interesting concept.”

Some of you asked why we’re watching the shows in reverse order.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to start with SG-1?  Well, yes, but if we started with SG-1, we probably wouldn’t have gotten through the first episode of the franchise.  Akemi is highly sensitive to a show’s dated aspects.  If it looks old, she just won’t watch it.  And that’s why we started with SGU, the last iteration of the franchise that boasted the very best visual effects.  Akemi greatly appreciates “computer graphics” and, as we started SGA, I wasn’t sure how the VFX would hold up after so many years.  The answer?  Judging from Akemi’s reaction, pretty damn fine.  She thinks highly enough of SGA’s visual effects in general but has particular praise for the establishing shots of Atlantis on the water: “I love this shot.  Beautiful.”

Her lowlight of the episode was (ah, a girl after my own heart) the “stupid kids”, especially the wandering/random-button-pushing Jinto.  She couldn’t believe kids that age would be so clueless: “How old are they?  They look quite old.  Middle high school.”  And when I suggested they were just mischievous children playing hide-and-seek: “Did you play this kind of thing in middle high school?”  No.  I played Dungeons & Dragons.  For her part, Akemi played mishievous-less trouble-free dodgeball.

And later, when Jinto visits Ford in the infirmary to apologize, she was positively incensed: “I don’t know why he didn’t angry at that kid.  I’d be so angry at the kid.”

While she didn’t like the stupid kid, she DID like McKay – and her appreciation for his character continues to grow.  A little humor goes a long way.

As for the other characters…

Beckett: “I find he has charming eyes.”

Sheppard: “I getting to like him.”  Sort of like smoked paprika, a spice she was only introduced to when she moved to Canada but enjoys just fine now.

Weir: “Still old-fashioned.”

Teyla: “I think she’s nice.  She has nice hair.”  Wig!

 Overall: “I liked this one better.  I find more interesting and also very funny.  And getting to know the characters.”

Whoops!  Almost forgot.  I did do a little write-up on this episode way back when:

June 8, 2012: Dim Sum and Donuts and more Stargate: Atlantis memories!

So, what did you all think of Hide and Seek?

Mailbag:

Carol writes: “If she thinks Atlantis is old fashioned then she’s going to struggle if she ever gets round to SG1…”

Answer: True.  If she enjoys Atlantis and wants to check out SG-1, I’ll probably start with season 9.

Maggiemayday writes: “I still have lingering remnants of the flu, so I just slept through a Shrek marathon rather than watch the game.”

Answer: And still clearly feverish.  That wasn’t Shrek.  That was a homeless man rooting through your backyard.

arcticgoddess writes: “One of the best things about the very first episode that continued later on in the series was the bro-mance between McKay and Beckett. The two of them were awesome together. Many of the best lines were between the two of them. Who made the decision that McKay and Beckett would become friends? It was brilliant.”

Answer: Brad Wright and Robert Cooper established the McKay-Beckett friendship in those early episodes and developed it over the course of the season, writing to the obvious onscreen chemistry between the two Hewlett and McGillion.

Mike from Canada writes: “Does each major character has a bible? How much does it change through out the series?”

Answer: Brad and Robert provided the cast with character breakdowns as well as one on one conversations on where their characters were headed in the show’s first season.  Adjustments were made as things progressed of course as Brad and Robert wrote to the show’s (and cast’s) strengths.

Jenny Horn writes: “My favorite line in both episodes is when the bespectacled science guy is in the puddle jumper bay with science guy #2 and says, “Spaceships!”, with an excited demeanor. Very endearing.”

Answer: Yeah.  Whatever happened to those nerds?

Jenny Horn also writes: “Now for the music….I’m a musician, a brass player, so I love it when composers use French horns and bass trombones, and all other brass, in their works. I’m sure a lot of the music was electronically produced, but do you know if the theme was performed by a live orchestra?”

Answer: Yes, this was composer Joel Goldsmith at his very best.  He was so good at what he did because he truly loved what he did.  And, yes, the theme was performed by a live orchestra (in Seattle, if I remember correctly).

Bailey writes: “I don’t quite get comparing Sheppard to Eli though, wasn’t Eli the McKay like character in SGU?”

Answer: It can certainly be argued that all three Stargates were “team” shows.  Still, it’s pretty clear that the story is mainly seen through the eyes of a singular main character, one who is a little more grounded than the rest and offers viewers at home the opportunity to live vicariously through this “average Joe’s” experience.  Again, one can debate how “average” these protagonists were, but there’s no denying the fact that THEY were the ones audience members connected with most.  In SG-1, it was Jack.  On Atlantis, it was Sheppard.  And, on Atlantis, it was Eli.  All three were, to a certain extent, fish out of water amidst the Stargate experts.

Read Full Post »

The Superbowl is never without its share of controversy.  Power issues. Blown calls.  And, of course, the commercials!

What am I talking about?  Well, find out for yourself.  Presenting, the most controversial ads in superbowl history…

Holiday Inn compares itself to a post-op transexual:

Apple’s depresssing misstep:

The great Fred Astaire dances with a vaccuum cleaner, compliments of Dirt Devil:

Lifeminders’ self-proclaimed worst commercial.  Coincidentally, they’re no longer in business:

Just For Feet’s superbowl commercial was so controversial, it’s almost impossible to tack down.  Check it out here:

http://adland.tv/commercials/just-feet-kenya-mission-1999-030-usa

Ah, women.  So bossy and temperamental.  So says Pepsi:

Snickers manages to simultaneously offend homophobes and the LGBT community:

The HomeAway test baby:

Save the whales money with Groupon!:

Free Tibet!  I mean Save with Groupon!:

Ah, Ching Ching and Ling Ling!  We hardly knew you:

This year’s Volkswagon ad featuring a white guy speaking with a Jamaican accent (and attitude) sparked controvery.  Some found it racist.  Interestingly, all of my Jamaican friends found it hilarious:

And then there was this year’s Go Daddy ad that featured model Bar Rafaeli making out with some uber-nerd – complete with close-ups of them tonguing each other.  Yech!:

.

Our walk down Atlantis memory lane continues with…

1INQUISITION (513)

There invariably comes a time in every season when the producers take a look at the bottom line and realize they’re over-budget and need to come up with a relatively inexpensive episode to put the show back on track – and, more importantly, ensure there is enough money for the big season-ender.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  And just how desperate depends on how much money you’re looking to save.  If you’re in not bad shape, you can look to do bottle show, an episode that takes place on the existing standing sets.  No extra builds or moves to exterior locations are a big money-saver.  An even bigger money saver is to eschew the bottle show in favor of the dreaded clip show, an episode that makes use of pre-existing material to tell a story. Sometimes, they can be great.  While other times…well, they can be pretty forgettable.

One of the keys to producing a good clip show (relatively speaking) is to have a great story at its core – and, in the case of Inquistion, we had a pretty good one: Finally, after so many years of playing the role of galactic policeman, the Atlantis expedition was being held accountable for their actions.  One the one hand, they had successfully defended the inhabitants of the Pegasus Galaxy from the wraith.  On the other hand, at what cost?  And there’s also an argument to be made for the fact that their presence in the Pegasus Galaxy only exacerbated the problem.  It was an interesting debate that fandom had been heatedly discussing for years and, while there weren’t any easy answers, there were some convincing arguments on both sides.  This then was the premise of the episode – at turns controversial and complex.  But, hopefully, all sorts of entertaining as we would include flashbacks to various spectacular situations from seasons past.  As clips shows went, it was a tall order – and it happened to fall on first-time writer – and longtime Stargate script coordinator Alex Levine.

Alex was more than up to the challenge.  It was a tough script but, ultimately, a great learning experience – as he explained on his SciFi.com blog:

“Inquisition’ is a clip show, [and] that didn’t make it any easier to write. You see, there’s a particular aspect of writing clip shows that’s extra tough, and that is the part where they move in and out of the clips. Of course Paul Mullie, who did the re-write and produced the episode, has lots of clip show experience, but this was my first attempt. And writing specs and other scripts didn’t prepare me one bit. So let’s just say it was a great learning experience.

“At the end of the day, the writing staff was very kind. They met with me on my first draft, gave me notes and some time to re-write the script. I did another draft too on another round of notes. In the writing I found some things about the characters and the story that worked well; other stuff was discarded. There’s certainly some of my writing in the finished product, but I must credit Paul Mullie and the writing staff with much of the episode’s success. And my experience is not unlike other first time writers of any show. Stargate is no exception.

“The coolest part of the show, which is always why people watch clip shows, is that you’ll get to see pretty much every cool space battle we’ve done. There’s also great acting in this one — keep your eyes open for the character of Myrus (the Council Liaison), who is played by my real life brother, Tobias Slezak (different last name). He did a great job.”

Many of you will recognize his brother, Thobias, from SG-1’s Heroes in which he played the part of Tech Sergeant Dale James, or more recently from the SGU episodes Intervention and Visitation in which he played the part of Peter, or, perhaps even more recently, from my Superbowl get-together where he played the part of “Guy scoffing down doughnuts” –

1As for brother Alex, his writing career continued to blossom post-Stargate with credits on King, The Border, Verdict, Flashpoint, and an upcoming scifi series.

I knew him when…

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: