Congratulations, New Orleans! One heck of a game. Glad to see a championship come to the city after such a long draught. It kinda sucks to see Manning lose, as he certainly deserves more rings than he has, but I’ve never been a Colts fan – even when Tony “The Coolest Cat Alive” Dungy was coaching there. I was really surprised at the Saints’ lackadaisical first quarter performance, but it seemed like they were just stressed and that once they got their head wrapped around the idea that it was just another football game, they picked it back up.
I must also add that Sean Payton has enormous balls of steel, going for it on 4th down and then calling for an onside kick on the halftime kickoff. I love it. That’s the kind of gutsy football you can’t help but root for. Plus, in addition to the daring play calls and great performances from both sides, the game avoided most of the little irritations that are so typical in big games – there were no controversial calls, and only 8 penalties in the whole game. Just good, enjoyable football.
Now, on the other side, we have the ads, which is the reason we all really watch – right? And was it just me or were these ads particularly awful? Especially the Michael C. Hall Dodge Charger ad:
This isn’t even a funny commercial. This is a serious, kind of disturbing and really quite dark commercial. He lists a series of complaints about his life, specifically complaints against his employer and wife. His solution to his miserable life? He buys a Dodge Charger – which is itself a name that has only recently been grabbed again by Dodge in an effort to salvage their own miserable company image. There are multiple disturbing things about this ad, even if we ignore the materialistic and patently ridiculous idea that such a miserable man could find happiness in a new Dodge Charger.
He lists 18 things that he “will do,” apparently because he is being forced to. Two of them are specifically related to work, the other 16 are specifically related to a nagging wife, who, in addition to the usual stereotypes of asking him to leave the seat down and clean out the sink after he shaves, apparently makes him listen to her friends’ opinions of his friends, brings her mother in between them, and makes him sit through vampire TV shows. She’s a pretty poor wife, from what we can tell. But his response is that he will do all these things because she demands it and because he must, but because he plays the part of submissive husband so well, he will “drive the car that I want to drive.” He then declares: “Charger: Man’s last stand.” Against women, presumably.
Now the commercial is just kind of dark and sad until you realize who’s voicing the ad: Michael C Hall, most famous for his role as Dexter – the serial killer. The “serial killer we identify with,” more specifically. This injects an even darker and more dangerous tone into the commercial for those who identify the voice – which, I think it’s fair to assume, is a large part of the target audience. Now there’s an implication of his wife’s behavior putting him on the edge to the point where if he doesn’t get this car he will start to murder people.
Wow, that’s cheerful. So we have the misogyny of women being the enemy and men needing to make a last stand against him mixed in with an overall theme of emasculation and frustration. I dunno about you, but I totally want to go buy a car now. What was odd, though, is that those two themes came up again and again – moreso than in previous years, at least that stood out to me. FloTV, Bud Light, and Bridgestone were also offenders, among others.