The Super Bowl commercials we missed

The trouble with watching an American presentation of an American event using a Canadian feed

TV Done Wright did us Canadians a favour and assembled the Super Bowl commercials that we didn’t see here. Because even though we were watching an American presentation of an American event and hearing American announcers comment, it was technically a Canadian feed.

Also, Glee is on while I write, and raising the question of whether a show can ever make a “comeback” if the ratings say it’s not in a creative slump. This is a semi-serious question. I feel about Glee more or less as I felt before — it’s a flawed, fun, crazy show that makes no sense but gets points for doing things most shows won’t try to do (and for being an episodic show that isn’t doctor, lawyer or cop). The character inconsistencies, for example, are not handled very well and are ultimately a flaw, but at the same time, not trying to keep everything consistent is something I admire it for, since shows are often too hung up on consistency.

But a lot of people feel it’s lost its charm, and are evaluating it as a show suffering a sophomore jinx, like Heroes. But the ratings are up this season, so unlike most sophomore-jinxed shows, the audience is very strongly saying that the writers are doing a good job — maybe not saying it online, but saying it in the way that counts, by watching. The writers would, on that basis, be crazy to think they have a problem and need to fix things. Except eventually the problems may get out of hand, they’ll lose viewers, and by then the problems will be too far gone to fix.

That said, on the subject of post-Super-bowl shows, Entertainment Weekly did a slideshow about the 20 most-viewed shows in that slot. It didn’t make the list, but The A-Team was one of the most important uses of that all-important slot. Building on the exposure the Super Bowl gave it, it became NBC’s first big hit in a while and more or less held the network up for a year and a half while it rebuilt itself. So the revival of NBC can sort of be traced back to its choice of that new show to follow the Super Bowl.

Perhaps as a reward to Stephen J. Cannell for saving the network three years earlier, NBC gave him its next Super Bowl spot as well, handing it to The Last Precinct. This was a shameless Police Academy clone that got many more viewers than The A-Team in the same slot, and yet ultimately proved one thing: no matter how many football metaphors you use in promoting the show, and no matter how many people sample it, a bad show is still likely to be a flop in the end.


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