3:00 p.m. PT Welcome to HitFix’s live blog of Super Bowl XLIV. Mostly, of course, that means a live blog of the commercials, but that doesn’t mean that I plan on ignoring the football game.
3:01 p.m. A large chunk of my childhood was spent in Mississippi and for my family, the closest thing we had to a local NFL team was the Saints. So I grew up on the Bobby Hebert and the late Craig “Ironhead” Heyward at a time when it seems beyond the realm of possibility for the Saints to even win a playoff game, much less make it to the Super Bowl. The family moved to New England and I’ve been a Pats fan for nearly 20 years, but for the purposes of this game, it’s been easy to throw my support behind New Orleans, even if my betting instinct would be to predict a win for the Colts.
3:05 p.m. I’ll be back after the National Anthem…
3:19 p.m. Technical issues clearly plaguing Queen Latifah as she sings “God Bless America.” She does well, after appearing to remove one of her earpieces. That’s why she’s the Queen.
3:21 p.m. The “Star-Spangled Banner” is being sung tonight by “How I Met Your Mother” guest star Carrie Underwood. She’s introduced by “How I Met Your Mother” guest star Jim Nantz. It’s a small world at CBS.
3:22 p.m. That last note was a little pitchy, dawg.
3:23 p.m. The “Last Airbender” trailer has me intrigued right til it gets to the end. That whole “Written and Directed by M. Night Shyamalan” thing gets me every time. Check it out:
3:25 p.m. Why is it funny that Dwight Howard and LeBron James pretend not to know who Larry Bird is? They’re young, but they’re not stupid, either one of them. Also, H-O-R-S-E with actual shooting is cooler than H-O-R-S-E with dunking, no matter what McDonalds thinks.
3:28 p.m. The Saints win the coin toss. Who dat?!? Apparently the NFC has won 13 consecutive coin tosses. I don’t need “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” to tell me how unlikely that is.
3:30 p.m. That was the last of the “cheap” commercial blocks. Here comes the kickoff…
3:33 p.m. First series, third-and-short and you go for a deep throw? Not such a good use of that first possession, Saints. How ’bout some commercials? Nope.
3:39 p.m. Peyton Manning already picking the Saints defense apart. Gregg Williams is gonna have to earn that salary today. Meanwhile, how about some commercials?
3:42 p.m. A man builds a house from Bud Light cans with predictable structural instability. Cute.
3:43 p.m. Betty White playing tackle football? She eats a Snickers and becomes a man. ABE VIGODA?!?!? Big Winner for Snickers.
3:43 p.m. The Tim Tebow anti-abortion ad has been drained of all politics and all message. That’s either ridiculous or brilliant, since it means people will go to the website to find out why, exactly, somebody felt like wasting money to expose Tim Tebow’s mom to Super Bowl audiences.
3:45 p.m. Presumptive Oscar winner Jeff Bridges does voiceover for Hyundai. This is good value for Fox Searchlight, which didn’t need to purchase a Super Bowl ad for “Crazy Heart.”
3:46 p.m. Boost mobile resurrects some old Chicago Bears stars for an awkward reprise of “Super Bowl Shuffle.” More sad than funny. That’s the meanest thing to happen to Bears fans since the birth of Jay Cutler.
3:47 p.m. A dog with an anti-bark collar is told he has to speak to get Doritos. He removes the collar, puts it on his owner and barks, electrocuting his owner. The dog goes off to eat his Doritos, leaving the guy twitching on the ground. It’s my assumption dogs probably don’t do a very good job digesting Doritos, so the guy is going to have to suffer again later when he gets to scooping.
3:51 p.m. Universal’s “Gladiator 2” is the first movie trailer of the game. Oh. It’s not “Gladiator 2”? “Kingdom of Heaven 2”? Oh. “Robin Hood.” Consider me unengaged. Check it out:
3:52 p.m. A guy shows up for a date and meets his date’s young son. The son slaps the date and tells him not to eat his Doritos. Wow. Doritos phoned two straight commercials in. “Doritos: People and Animals Will Be Obnoxious For Them” appears to be the company’s revised slogan. Meanwhile, who was going to watch the kid when his mother was out trying to score?
3:53 p.m. That Bud Light commercial, with partying astronomers, was less amusing than the Bud Light house. But it did feature the Asian dude from “Lost.” I’m not sure why CBS is accepting advertisements from the Dharma Initiative.
3:59 p.m. Fantasy football owners are wondering where this Joseph Addai was all season.
4:01 p.m. I remain baffled that there’s an NFL player named “Pierre Garcon.”
4:02 p.m. Poor Mr. Burns. He’s lost all of his money. He’s sad. The only thing that can make him happy? A Coke, courtesy of Apu. SPIDER-PIG!!! If you could give me a commercial featuring Spider-Pig and Abe Vigoda, I would purchase seven of whatever they were selling. And yes, that’s a CBS commercial advertising for a FOX show. CBS is giving lots of love to the competition.
4:03 p.m. Danica Patrick is getting a massage. The woman giving her the massage recognizes her as a GoDaddy girl. I’m not sure if the joke there is that nobody in their right mind would ever recognize Danica Patrick as a successful race car driver?
4:05 p.m. A guy conspires to be buried in a tomb of Doritos just to miss work. He gets so excited in his corn chip casket that the coffin falls over and the chips come falling out. Yawn. Hey Doritos? Time to find a new ad agency.
4:06 p.m. T-Pain for Bud Light? Only slightly amusing. But fiddle-playing beavers? AWESOME. They play in the subway and make it all the way to Carnegie Hall, becoming celebrities and scoring some… um… women of their own. Please add a fiddling beaver to my Spider-Pig/Abe Vigoda ad.
4:07 p.m. Oh right. The beaver was in an ad for Monster.com.
4:07 p.m. That was not a necessary ad for “Wolf Man.” It didn’t make me any more excited than I was $3 million dollars earlier. The movie’s already achieved advertising saturation. Why bother?
4:08 p.m. Three friends are trying to save a killer whale. “Now that was a bachelor party,” one of them says as they spin out on a pier, tossing the killer whale into the water. This ad will not help me remember Bridgestone. It may, however, remind me that “The Hangover” was a funny movie.
4:09 p.m. We learn a lot about some guy named Timothy, who had a very exciting life. He’s very capable, but none of his abilities make him more able to purchase a new car without the help of Cars.com. It’s a Cars.com ad paying homage to a well-received Cars.com ad from last year?
4:17 p.m. I guess Dwight Freeney is feeling OK. But the Saints hit a field goal to get on the board.
4:18 p.m. The bridge is out. Nobody cares. But there’s a Budweiser delivery truck on the other side! Suddenly the townspeople care and they work to create a human bridge to get the beer into town in time. Even the dog seems enthusiastic about getting beer. Is that the same dog who amused his owner to get Doritos? I’m sensing a behavioral pattern.
4:19 p.m. I didn’t love the book, but I’d be happy to watch “Shutter Island” now, please.
4:19 p.m. Mark Sanchez loves women. He has a heartbeat. Those of use who remember reports from when Sanchez was just starting his USC career are chuckling ruefully.
4:20 p.m. Jay Leno, Oprah and David Letterman on a couch? Yay! Now do something funny? Oh well. Can’t get everything. So that was a CBS advertisement using an NBC property. So CBS has given spots to ABC, FOX and NBC.
4:21 p.m. A guy was happy about Casual Fridays at his new job, until he saw that his new colleagues take “casual” more seriously than he does and he’s soon surrounded by pale people in ill-fitting underwear. CareerBuilder.com usually makes good Super Bowl spots and this one is solid.
4:22 p.m. Two straight commercials with men skipping pants? Odd. This one for Dockers.
4:22 p.m. Tee-hee. Brett Favre wins the 2020 MVP. Then it becomes a Hyundai commercial.
4:26 p.m. Another “Lost” commercial? No. Survivors of a plane crash on an Island pick the beverage cart over the woman who’s trying to help them. Because you know what’s *always* a funny combination? Airplane pilots and alcohol.
4:26 p.m. Set to “The William Tell Overture” we learn that men should be using their own brand of Dove cleaning products. [Disclosure: I’m currently using a bar of Dove For Men soap. It makes me feel both cleaner and manlier.]
4:36 p.m. Men think about their responsibilities. They don’t look happy. Are they using Dove products for men? What will it take to make these men happy? A Dodge Charger. “Man’s Last Stand,” the ad says. If you are a woman and might like to drive a Dodge? Think again! Or stop making so many demands!
4:37 p.m. A hot red-head gets a box of dead flowers. She learns an important lesson: Only date guys who use TeleFlora.com. And yes, the nerdier girl was the sorority representative who annoyed the girls on “Greek.”
4:39 p.m. “Alice in Wonderland” looks like everything you’d expect from a Tim Burton “Alice in Wonderland. And it has a pig. Not Spider-Pig, though.
4:40 p.m. Dr. Pepper Cherry has “a little kiss of cherry flavor.” That explains why the ad includes both Kiss and Dwarf Kiss.
4:41 p.m. Punxsutawney Polamalu? Freaky. New Orleans going for it on 4th Down? Gutsy! But denied! A huge stop for the Colts.
4:44 p.m. Yawn, Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios.
4:46 p.m. Jim Nantz returns. He’s talking about an emasculated guy who needs something called FloTV because his girlfriend removed his spine. Why can’t that guy just buy a Dodge Charger? Or Dove for Men? Is that a theme of this year’s advertisements? Alternative forms of masculine restoration?
4:48 p.m. An Intel tech guy raves about their new processors as the best thing they’ve ever made, insulting the sentient robot waiting to join him at lunch. Poor Jeffrey!
4:50 p.m. The Saints hit another field goal and it’s 10-6 at halftime.
4:51 p.m. Ugh. Doritos is sponsoring the halftime show. More lame Doritos commercials?
4:52 p.m. Now *that* was a good FloTV commercial, featuring a Will.I.Am remix of “My Generation.”
4:53 p.m. Men, you know what else will help you recover your mojo? HBO’s “The Pacific.” It’s like miniseries Viagra!
5:01 p.m. Melinda Newman will review the Halftime Show. So I’ll just watch it and eat a cookie.
5:15 p.m. Wow. That performance by The Who did nothing to change the prevailing wisdom that The Who are either dead or old.
5:17 p.m. Good gracious. That trailer for “The Back-Up Plan” guaranteed I will not be seeing “The Back-Up Plan.” A game where all of the advertising is targeted at men and you do an ad that practically kicks male viewers in the nads? What a load of shrieking tripe. I guess CBS Films productions (like TV.com) probably don’t need to pay for on-air advertisements in a CBS Super Bowl?
5:20 p.m. The dramatic gopher and dramatic cockatoo advertise for CarMax. Way to pick up on a three-year-old meme!
5:24 p.m. Sean Payton starts the second half with an on-sides kick? Damn. Somebody used Dove for Men body soap, watched FloTV and purchased a Dodge Charger at half-time. Saints ball!
5:27 p.m. Who dat?!?
5:28 p.m. “Prince of Persia” or “That movie where Maggie Gyllenhaal’s little brother got all ripped.” And why is Jake talking with a British accent? Somebody doesn’t know who or what (or when) “Persia” is.
5:29 p.m. Megan Fox in a bathtub. She sends out a picture and it prompts nationwide slapping and masturbation. Yes. That’s actually what the commercial argues. A commercial for what? I have NO idea. Didn’t you hear me? Megan Fox in a bathtub.
5:29 p.m. Why is there so much slapping in this year’s Super Bowl? At least the punching in this commercial for VW makes sense. Amusing oddball punchline with Stevie Wonder and Tracy Morgan.
5:30 p.m. Barney!
5:37 p.m. And that, New Orleans Saints defense, was *not* how you carry over the momentum from the start of the half. Weak.
5:38 p.m. Men like Michelob. And by men, I mean Lance Armstrong, who apparently doesn’t like tasting his beer.
5:39 p.m. Beverly D’Angelo and Chevy Chase reunite for a HomeAway.com commercial. It’s been a good year for Chevy Chase. Much better than that year he did “Snow Day.”
5:40 p.m. Can anybody identify the actress in the Bridgestone commercial?
5:41 p.m. If you use KGB, Kirk from “Gilmore Girls” will answer questions for you. This makes me just want to use Google.
5:42 p.m. Man wakes up in Africa. No pants. Because nobody has pants on this year’s broadcast. Bumps into animals. This would not have happened if he’d used Dove For Men soap. Instead, he restores his masculinity with Coke and ends the night looking across the steppe with a hyena. A pretty good commercial, actually.
5:43 p.m. Oh. Now the annoying ETrade baby has a girlfriend. And a mistress. I never liked the ETrade baby. Now that he’s just another philanderer, I like him even less.
5:49 p.m. Saints field go, but the Colts still lead.
5:49 p.m. Rachael Harris, Bob Balaban and the rest of the Christopher Guest gang in another Census ad. I don’t think I’ve seen this one before, but it’s part of a series.
5:51 p.m. That was a good Google commercial, though it took me a while to see where it was going. I may appreciate it more a second time.
5:52 p.m. Tee-hee. Stuffed creatures travel to Vegas in a Kia. Win.
5:56 p.m. We end the third quarter. Still a close game, so the ad sports retain value.
5:57 p.m. Commercial for the NFL makes me want to watch “Where the Wild Things Are.” Apparently Arcade Fire is donating their fee to Haiti relief. YAY!
6:02 p.m. A huge 4th Down conversion for Peyton Manning and the Colts.
6:05 p.m. But Stover misses a field goal!
6:06 p.m. Beyonce gets grabbed by a robot, as does a zombie man and a small child. The Monster.com beaver, the Twitter bird, some YouTube icons, a Facebook menu and several other things also get grabbed. It has something to do with Vizio. If I figure out what the commercial was about, I’ll let you know.
6:07 p.m. Quirky Emerald Nuts and Pop Secret commercial treats humans like dolphins. We get so much anthropomorphism on Super Bowl ads. Always good to get some zoomorphism.
6:07 p.m. More Arcade Fire.
6:14 p.m. Who dat?!? [The two-point conversation really would have helped.]
6:15 p.m. “Dante’s Inferno” gets big mileage out of “Ain’t No Sunshine.”
6:16 p.m. How the blazes did we wait this long before getting Clydesdales?!?!?
6:18 p.m. That is absolutely a two-point conversation. No question. [And no, I’m not 100 percent on the rules. So you shouldn’t listen to me.]
6:20 p.m. Industrious animated squirrel likes to horde things. That has something to do with a Honda.
6:21 p.m. Chickens. Screaming.
6:24 p.m. Have the chickens stopped screaming, Clarice?
6:26 p.m. If you like animal abuse, I give you the Who Dat Dog.
6:27 p.m. Stay out of my hot tub, Green Police.
6:30 p.m. These Doritos ads are user generated. And it shows. They’re ALL awful. This last one, the Doritos Warrior, is probably the best of a weak lot.
6:36 p.m. So we’re pretty much done with commercials now, right? Sketchers? And another lame GoDaddy commercial?
6:37 p.m. More screaming chickens. But really, they’re roosters. The commercial focuses on how Dennys is going to need more eggs, meaning that it’s another commercial about male insecurities. You know what those roosters need? Dove for Men. Or possibly a Dodge Charger.
6:41 p.m. Maybe it’s just because I’m a Pats fan, but it still makes me nervous to leave Peyton Manning any time at all to stage a comeback.
6:44 p.m. Oh, the 13-year-old version of myself is VERY excited right now. Go Saints!
6:45 p.m. Considering watching CBS’ “Undercover Boss”? Read my Review.
Sound off… Which were your favorite and least favorite Super Bowl commercials?