It's probably the one time during the year where I stop to watch the commercials, while fast forwarding through the TV program... I'm kinda sorta watching at the game, wondering if any of the ads are going to wow the masses. And, of course, I'm jazzed about seeing what Madonna has in store...
6 p.m.: I'm a fan of country music, but my lord, that opening version of "America the Beautiful" sounded more like "Americer the Real Purty." Couldn't Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton sing without infusing the song with such down-home Southern histrionics? Too much.
Kelly Clarkson, on the other hand, was just marvelous with her 1:35-minute version of the National Anthem. Nice wig, girl! She absolutely nailed it with just the right amount of bravado sans turning it into a would-be gospel anthem, a la 2011's Christina Aguilera. But one question: Why did the camera devote all of a few seconds to Clarkson, whereas the country couple got plenty of face time?
7 p.m.: In the first hour, there have already been nine commercial breaks of varying lengths. My god, this is going to be a long night... The Pepsi spot with Elton John and X Factor winner Melanie Amaro was good stuff... Wonder who that hot guy is in the Hyundai Cheetah ad... Hey, Vanessa Williams is an M&M! Now, Barry Manilow in a post-apocalyptic commercial for Chevy.. that was alarming; really in poor taste... The David Beckham H&M ad (which I've seen online) was nothing but a cheap tease... Pepsi polar bears; what is this, 1980?...
7:07p.m.: The New York Giants score a touchdown. Sweet!
8:00p.m.: Halftime, already, and I haven't watched one second of football. This has been painless! Madonna time! "Vogue" opens... (see it on YouTube here). This already looks mammoth! Is it my imagination or does the quality of the broadcast look different, as if this is film? Thank heavens Madonna is lip-syncing, bless her heart. That stage is magnificent, eh? Hey, Black Eyed Peas: This is how it's done.
Second number: "Music." Madge doesn't dance so much, anyone, does she? More like strutting, while the kid dancers do the heavy lifting... Now her new song "Give Me All Your Luvin'." This is a pretty silly ditty, to be honest. Still reminds me of "Mickey," except for the ghastly contributions of Nicky Minaj and M.I.A, which adds a big dollop of horseshit. I'm just not loving it... And now Ceelo Green and a drum corps are tearing this little breakdown into stinky tatters.
Costume change! "Like A Prayer." What a wonderful choice... The scenery is beautiful. Larger than life (especially Ceelo, who looks like an enormous plum as he screams and tries his damndest to ruin Madonna's song)...
Uh, wait... that's it? It's over? Seriously? Whoa... I'm suddenly longing for Lady Gaga. That was pretty and all, but by no means, historic. Last year's Peas was ghastly. This year I feel... non-plussed. Wowsah...
Jon Pareles writes: Madonna the bad girl was forgotten in her Super Bowl halftime extravaganza. A grown-up flanked by younger collaborators, Madonna was not the indefatigable trouper of past decades; her moves were measured, and she let acrobats from Cirque du Soleil offer distractions. This was Madonna as a former party girl turned regent: a gold-crowned queen on her throne, a homecoming queen strutting in the bleachers, a reverently uplifting church singer.
8: 16 p.m.: More ads: Awesome commercial for The Voice with Betty White. The endless woe-is-us ad for Chrysler featuring Clint Eastwood made me want to jump off a bridge; thanks for that... Will Arnett needs to go away forever; a one-trick pony humorist, and the joke ain't funny anymore... Finally, I can stop and fire up some hot dogs & chips and down a liter of Diet Pepsi. Hey, wait a minute, when did New England take the lead, 10 to 9? I missed that...
8:45 p.m.: Patriots: 17; Giants, 12. Come on, New York. If you have to have a dorky looking quarterback with Eli Manning, you could at least win this thing. New England doesn't deserve hot Tom Brady and the trophy.
9:07 p.m.: The heavily hyped Ferris Bueller commercial with Matthew Broderick just aired... brings to mind a whole lot of nothing again... The MetLife spot was adorable with its cartoon icons—but hey, where was Archie?
9:29 p.m.: The droning anti-Apple ad for Samsung cell was among the most asinine I've seen tonight. And BTW, does anyone really think monkeys in commercials is funny anymore?
9:31 p.m.: Four minutes left in the game. Looks like Mayor Bloomberg is going to miss out on his opportunity to hog face time at the fading possibility of a Giant's victory parade... Hey, wait, Eli Manning just made a brilliant interception of New England's ball... or something like that... Even I get that that was cool. There's suspense here now!
9:41 p.m.: Tick, tick, tick...I have no idea what's going on, but this is tight... New York could win if they get to kick a field goal. I think... God, I loathe when sportcasters scream, as if something truly significant has really happened... one of the primary reasons I cannot bear to watch sports... Nothing is so overwhelming that these dudes need to lose their cool like this... 30 seconds remaining... I'm wholly confused. Whoa, at 9:45 p.m., the Giants score. They're in the lead!! Hey, this game is exciting, after all. I'll be damned.
9:53 p.m.: The Giants win!! Yeah! I'm opening the window now to hear if people are yelling outside! I heart New York! I might yell myself. *