So*, I broke from tradition this year and switched up the Chinese food for some righteous vindaloo. Hell, I didn’t even get to the movies! But you know who didn’t flip the script? The frakkin’ NBA. After spending all of the 08-09 campaign carrying water for big shoe and slowly setting in motion the hidden gears that would pit “Bruised ribs” against “Crybaby” in a Finals match-up of the most unbearable, self-serious ballers in the L, David Stern is at it again. Rather than scheduling a X-mas day rematch of the previous Finals, the NBA chose again to inflict its aspired championship match-up on the viewing public — a significant portion of whom would much rather have seen Kevin Durant lead Oklahoma City against the High-flyin’ Hotlanta Hawks. That would have been an East-West meeting of worthy rivals, with a little bit of brio…
What did I get instead, Dave? A crap game between a bunch of whiners, all of which was a pretext to sell shoes via the most atrocious ad campaign in the history of footwear!!!!!!!! Yes, that’s right. Nike brought back the frakkin’ MVPuppets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So a contrived rivalry among the most self-congratulatory, self-serious athletes in the NBA begets the criminal perpetuation of the most self-serious, self-congratulatory and, overall, presumptuous commercials in the history of sports.
Now, I have a few things to say about this…
- Beware all ad campaigns that propose a television pilot as a sales pitch… This is a corollary to the Murphy Brown phenomenon of self-congratulatory television programming, which holds that once a series substitutes zeitgeist for character, it becomes unbearably pompous and unfunny — this is especially true for those series where the zeitgeist participates in my mother’s weltanschauung, for some reason… Obviously, these two categories can actually overlap.
- The idea that we should welcome back the MVPuppets makes me want to puke.
- The MVPuppets don’t actually look anything like Kobe and Lebron.
- Most upsetting, the MVPuppets ads are blatantly trying to rip-off and thus, thrive on the magic of the greatest sports-related ad campaign EVER:
Neither of these guys will ever exude wit and charm like Lil’ Penny. And, of course, I hate being told which playas I’m supposed to like. Go ahead. Call me a playahata!
The other thing that happens when one watches sports is this immersion into the bizarre world of advertising aimed towards an exclusively male demographic. It is sobering to have all my insecurities revealed to me in a way that usually only happens while watching Mad Men.
My specific takeaway from my X-mas day experience, however, was the realization that, while I may be capable of obsessive love for movie trailers — television series trailers have got to be the most depressing and nauseating form of advertisement. Not only am I incapable of watching sitcoms — I think since they canceled Perfect Strangers — but I find it truly depressing the insistence on how much we’re supposed to love the characters in television shows. I think television series trailers, ads — what have you — are kind of like dog owners who insist on you loving their dogs, even though you’ve never felt a sympathetic glint of appreciation for any canine in your entire life. It’s just this absence of understanding that sometimes, what you have doesn’t have to be lovable. In any case, I was wondering if Pajamas was going to watch this:
I thought the part about: “Cliff, they’re worthy clients! And I’m head litigation partner, so no matter what you say, I’m taking the damn case!” would really resonate.
So, it’s been almost seven months since I’ve had the Lifetime network… I think I feel the loss most acutely during the holidays…