You won't find anybody less interested in sports -- any sports -- than I am, but of course it's Super Bowl weekend. The Super Bowl -- on NBC this year -- is inextricably tied with television, with the elaborate half-time show, this year starring Bruce Springsteen (who was just robbed of an Oscar nomination for his song for the movie The Wrestler, after winning a Golden Globe for the same) as the big draw. Of course we've also got the cadre of people who claim they watch just for the commercials.
Actually, you might want to skip this year if that's the only reason you watch. The best/worst thing I've heard so far about tomorrow's event is that NBC has sold a spot to the direct response advertiser Cash4Gold. Yikes! How desperate can you get? Nothing like selling grandma's gold fillings for a few bucks...well, I guess you're supposed to sell jewelry, that's bad enough. (The New Yorker had an interesting article on the jewelry sell-off resulting from the Madoff scandal, as a matter of fact, the other week. It's available online here.)
Even more depressing is that the spot stars Ed McMahon and M.C. Hammer. Geez, the economy really is in the toilet, isn't it? And pop culture, too, by the looks of it.
A little more heartening is a nice photo feature in today's L.A. Times online detailing the programs that have aired in the valuable post-Super Bowl timeslot on the various networks. It's an amusing mixed-bag of hits and misses, and it'll bring back some memories.
I'm posting the Cash4Gold commercial -- not the one in the Super Bowl, thank goodness! -- just because it's pretty bad.