November 24, 2011

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2011

0901: Matt Lauer and Ann Curry are our Today anchor team; apparently, it's her first time in the slot once held by Jane Pauley and Katie Couric. Al Roker is at Central Park West and 77th. Amy Kule must be new on the job as the Macy's producer. She's in purple; if memory serves, her predecessor used to wear blue trimmed with blue.

0902: Shelby Lynne Moorer? Yay! This year's cast is huge; the guy's been talking for two minutes. Isn't Priscilla, Queen of the Desert something not for the general audience? One wonders.

0908: The 85th dancing types are amusing. Meanwhile, we're suffering a bit of a technical malfunction here and there's a rogue centering tag running around somewhere. If it can be found, it'll be fixed. It has snuck in from somewhere; I've not done anything to the blog as you, viewers, are quite aware.

0911: New Year's Eve is not reaching me, and neither is Smash. More importantly, the parade. It's 38 degrees in NYC per the on-screen graphic, but Roker says it's 41. Go figure.

I haven't seen a single episode of Parenthood ever, so I don't know who Peter Krause is.

0914: Newsies---wasn't this a movie in the 1980s? The lone woman in this snippet is reasonably good-looking; big-eye brunettes are not a bad thing. I don't know that I'd pay money to see this musical, but I would like to learn more about the strike or movement these people were in. This song was, "King of New York".

0917 - Well, well, well, it's Elle McPherson and others less notable than her. Kristen Bell for Neutrogena and other commercials prove this program isn't targeted to my demographic.

Arthur Christmas, featuring Justin Bieber, isn't interesting. NBC helo support above Columbus Circle is a quick shot of---wow, Elle McPherson's tall, or Roker's really short. At least she's still good-looking, and this may be the first time I've ever heard her speak.

Sweetheart, you're probably part of the percentage of America (albeit with an Australian accent) that will never worry about money or employment. It's almost insulting to hear that from you. At least I won't be watching your program.

Sister Act is so 1990s. I of course love how a Roman Catholic convent choir can only be improved by the injection of a lounge singer's performance standards, but then again, of course Hollywood & Broadway wouldn't understand the value of a Gregorian chant or the like. There's probably some sort of unwritten moral imperative in these two burgs that fairly traditionalist Christians must lose anytime they're compared to a secular influence---or perhaps it's posted somewhere in a writer's room. The title's something to do with spreading love around.

An ad for Hugo and "Peggy" is back, hooray---this is a great concept for a credit card commercial.

0928: Sailor Mickey Mouse, the first balloon noted. There was some concern with the wind in the the City of New York but they're going forward. Now, Daniel Radcliffe. I'd rather seen Alan B. Shepard in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Flying...Much. At any rate, this looks like a musical with the cast of Mad Men. Nevertheless, I'd go see it.

Having quickly checked, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert is in no way, shape or form valid for a "family" broadcast. That is, unless you're a "modern family" approved of by the Left. If I had kids, I'd change the channel. A "wild and life-affirming" story, Ann Curry? Really? Breakfast time.

Sonic the Hedgehog, hooray. Jane Krakowski with, hopefully, her husband.

The Spider-man outtake is surprisingly entertaining. I wonder if a "$65 million dollar freak show" is a reference to the production of Spider-man. The people watching with me enjoyed that more than anything else thus far.

0951: State Farm has licensed the theme song to Cheers, and that's amusing. M&M's desert island ad is funny. More Macy's stars, which are far superior to Justin Bieber.

0952: The Radio City Rockettes, hooray. This year, they're red and green, looking vaguely like something from the 1920s. They're quite precise. There's something marketable in attractive women performing precision dance numbers, and hey, I'm watching. I'm generally unimpressed with modern NYC, but the Rockettes aren't modern, and that may be why we like them.

0955: The Believe clock is set to about 11:30 or so.

0957: The Macy's Great All-American Band is well put together, as it should be. Some sort of music by Tyler Brandt (phonetic) and they're moving on. Here's the NYPD motorcycle unit arriving on 34th Street. Amy Kule replaced Robin Hall for the first time this year.

Sonic the Hedgehog is 20 years old? Well, I feel old. If there's a new Sonic game out, nevermind. The Macy's Pilgrim caricatures are always welcome. I wonder how they're supported. Tom the Turkey is deployed for the Cooking Channel's entry. Debi Mazar and her husband are atop the thing, with Avril Lavigne singing some song. Since I don't really watch TV, Cooking Channel must be new, and Ann Curry says something to that effect. Lavigne really needs to lay off the eyeliner.

1003: The Chevrolet 1965 Impala ad where the guy gets his back is great. "Chevy Runs Deep" is a bad tagline, but I can sympathize with recovering something once lost. I wouldn't mind having one of those; it looks like a Dodge Charger.

1005: Homestead High School of Cupertino, California in "Silicone" Valley, performing a fantasia on an ode to joy. Whether it's the Ode to Joy is yet to be seen. Yes, it is. Eyecatching uniforms from the hometown of Apple. Wait, they're done? Wow. Give them 20 seconds, would you?

The Ocean Spray float, representing cranberry growers, is impressive. An Indian groundhog or woodchuck, whatever, is amusing. The kid in gray beside whoever this singer is leaned into the camera, and that's funny. Wouldn't you, if given the chance?

1009: The Diary of a Wimpy Kid has a balloon. Can't say that I'm really familiar with this series. The Sesame Street float is lively, but the song's not holding me. Cookie Monster and Elmo hang out with Big Bird in a nest---if I remember right, Pat Nixon visited Big Bird once. NAMM wants us to believe in music and that anyone can perform it. Well, that's sort of true, but only certain performances are worth listening to, and that doesn't generally include anything I do, either. Ah, the Ocean Spray ad. "The fig's going to be bummed". Heh.

Katharine McPhee is good-looking and has a good voice, but I'm not interested in helping reignite Debra Messing's career. I do have to quibble with "introducing" McPhee, but perhaps---oh, nevermind. Harold the Policeman from Macy's, class of '47, is worth looking at. Wow, the woman on the Hamburger Helper float has---oh, it's Ingrid Michaelson in glasses that would be well fit for the 1980s. I have one of her albums, but she's so mind-numbingly generic that I can't recall a blessed thing about her, and this segment ends mercifully fast.

Harold is also a fireman. This is more interesting than a young Ingrid Michaelson, so you know there was a problem.

The Dobyns-Bennett High School from Kingsport, Tennessee plays "Dynamite". Maroon and black uniform jackets with white plumes on a black shako and black pants. I've never heard of the tune, but hey, good band. Alex Hice gets some sort of Bob Hope scholarship.

1020: Buzz Lightyear. That one looks bulky.

1021: Red Wing Larry Murphy and Bruin Cam Neely on the NHL/Discover Card float with some kids playing hockey. There's something incongruous about 1970s R&B or whatever being played with a hockey theme. Shouldn't it be Sarah McLachlan warbling "Oh, Canada"? Or perhaps Avril Lavigne; she was already there.

1023: AFLAC has a duck float. Wonder if that's Gilbert Gottfried's voice being used. Dice or a version of a Rubik's Cube float behind it. Discover's USA Prime Credit with Peggy has a hockey star. This AFLAC animal ad is really sort of funny. The major medical pigeon is annoying, as it's supposed to be. I'm umpressed by the Kinect, and I want to punch the fool responsible for Justin Bieber for Macy's.

1027: The Zhu Zhu Pets float is apparently new. I've never heard of Savannah Outen---apparently targeted to a younger demo than mine. Something called Camp Broadway supplied the dancers for this float; they're all kids.

1029: The Pillsbury Dough Boy requires 54 handlers? Interesting. Three million biscuits to fill their balloon? Impressive. Home Baked Goodness float, courtesy of Morton's Salt. Someone named Scotty McCreery just missed his intro, or the audio synch guy did, so the McCreery lip synch is a touch off. Hey, my family's used Morton Salt for decades, so I've bought a tiny percentage of this float. Get someone better than McCreery!

1031: I can't say that Michael Feinstein is legendary; I've never heard of him. Does Shelby Lynne Moorer count as country? I suppose so. The AT&T Blackberry ad, with Will Ferrell or someone who sounds & looks like him, was amusing. However, the Prudential ad with the Muslim-named dude is boring and reaches me not.

1034: Ah, it's the Kool-Aid Man. Oh yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! An upbeat version of Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild" accompanied it. 160,000 cups of Kool-Aid would fill him; there's 500 million or so servings of Kool-Aid consumed yearly, says Ann Curry, if I heard her right. Yawn, Spongebob Squarepants. Next float, please.

Hawaii All-State Marching Band's up next. Nearly five thousand miles to play "The Hawaiian War Chant". I don't hear a martial theme here, but eh. It's more like something you'd hear in the Tournament of Roses Parade, but go figure. The dancers are reasonably skilled.

Cartoon pirate ship Jolly Polly with Michael Feinstein. Can't say I've ever heard of him, and this ship appears to have second- or third-tier Muppets aboard. OK, now we see Sailor Mickey, a "symbol of Disney Cruise Line". The Disney Fantasy will join the Disney Cruise fleet in March with some sort of ride aboard, and it will be the fourth ship in their fleet.

NBC and Microsoft ads are sort of amusing. This Bieber Macy's ad is infuriating. The Lincoln Financial Group is not meaningful. Meanwhile, St. Jude's has an ad---they're worthy of donation. Cancer's an awful thing to stick a child with, and the work of St. Jude's is useful against that.

1044: The Power Rangers Samurai scene was boring. Maybe it's because I've known of that franchise since the first Clinton Administration. OK, a globe balloon, followed by the Kung-Fu Panda. The Hess float is "Bridge to the Future", which was the Boy Scout National Scout Jamboree theme in 1993. Cobra Starship is a band on this float; it sounds to me like something Grace Slick dreamed up in the mid-1980s, but whatever. I heard of these people last week; I don't appear to have been missing anything.

1047: Carmel High School of Carmel, Indiana. I missed what they're playing and there's some connection to the weather-destroyed locale of Joplin, Missouri. They're not as snazzy as Dobyns-Bennett HS, but budgets may be different.

1049: Louis the Duck is a nice float set. Makes me think of an old Fisher-Price toy. That might be exactly what it is. This singer is annoying---just like Cobra Starship, she's heavy on the Autotune distortion. That was novel in 1990-something when Cher's people came up with it. Julius is some kind of monkey with a jet pack. Never heard of it, or Paul Frank.

Snoopy and Neil Diamond are next, along with a "salute to America". Sherlock Holmes will be seen. I'm not convinced that a LeapPad would be useful for any kids of mine. I could, however, be convinced to watch the NHL game tomorrow. It's better than the NBA or the NFL, for sure.

1054: The Oneida Iroquois tribe dances and sings for us, with one of their own, Joba Chamberlain, looking on. I would like to have seen more of that. The World War I flying ace, binoculars in hand, is next. That's always welcome, as is Woodstock signalling with flags. Woodstock the LSO? Could be.

The Homewood High School Patriot Band of Homewood, Alabama, wins the uniform contest, with Revolutionary War Colonial-inspired kit. Reportedly, that's a third of the high school, playing the Sewanee River song, the old Al Jolson standard.

South Dakota's tourism board has its Mount Rushmore float, with Neil Diamond singing that one about people coming to America. Given that we're now north of 300 million people, can we retire this song? I wonder if Mark Krikorian likes it. (I'm thinking not.)

Looks like we'll miss the locomotive. Coldwell Banker's "stupid husband" ad is hackneyed. John Herlihy's joke about a dog looking like a cigar just blew up in his face was amusing.

First error in the broadcast that I've caught with the cameras being on a dance troupe that hasn't started yet. The colors are sickening, but that might be the point. At least they say Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I want the briefcase drill team back; they were fun. I suppose singing a song about joining the circus harkens back to an earlier era when that was a viable career. Who cares if these people have never been to New York? Lauer says this as if going to NYC is some sort of world-historical event. (Newsflash: Having done that myself, it's not.)

Ronald McDonald on the ground and in the air. I've somehow managed to skip McDonald's food for quite some time. Next float, please. OK, that brings us a circus wagon from 1903. Barry Lubin, some veteran clown, is leaving a NYC circus.

The Macy's float has Felix the Cat. Jean McFaddin and Robin Hall, prior parade producers, with their signature cowboy and top hats, respectively. They have thirty-five years of parade service, which is appreciated.

Barbie might be able to go to the moon, but America can't and we'd like to thank Mattel for reminding us that NASA and the government are no longer interested in tremendous feats of engineering and daring. I can't get excited about a Lorax movie, especially after remembering that the American space program lacks the capability for a modern lunar system.

1110: Cap 21 Dancers and United We Sing handle "The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy". The Andrews Sisters were better, but they were professional veterans and should have been. Ah, a veterans' display. This is more interesting than Ann Curry. Ah, the Liberty torch. Teresa Scanlan, Miss USA or something. The USNA Glee Club is doing a good job. The fireworks from the torch was nice.

NYPD's Tony Giorgio leads the NYPD Marching Band, so that's nice to see. They're followed by Spider-man.

1115: The New York Daily News float has Mary J. Blige. That must be the worm in the Big Apple. I don't care for this song.

1118: War Horse might be a good film, if it shows World war I. The Canon ad with the walking buildings is unnerving. This Estee Lauder ad has an attractive woman, but eh. NBC Olympic ads. I simply no longer care about that event. The 610 Stompers dancing to Bonnie Tyler's "I Need a Hero", also heard in Saints Row: The Third---wow. It's like the Superfans in a dance troupe.

1121: The Energizer Bunny float, followed by Pikachu in the air.

Nation Ford High School of Fort Mill, South Carolina. I don't know that their piece was announced.

1124: Some national cheerleading unit in---Varsity Spirit Cheerleaders---in seemingly Green Lantern-inspired outfits. Seriously, green and black with white trim. The music they're performing to is awful, except for Rock & Roll, Part 2. That was either Gary Glitter or Raymond Castoldi, and I can't remember, because it's been years since I listened to ESPN's Jock Jams.

Up next: Shelby Lynne Moorer. Hooray, finally a singer I can cheer for.

Coca-Cola wants to save polar bears. Good. They're filthy rich and can afford essentially---oh, they want me to pay.

Mobile's Azalea Trail Maids are resonably attractive. The Marion Carole showboat is nifty. And here's Shelby Lynne, singing something about there being nothing like Christmas. One of my companions says she's got to be in her mid-60s. Ow, that's got to hurt, since Shelby's 43.

A solar panel on the Mr. Peanut makes sense. Why a wind turbine is on a float that does 20MPH or so is beyond me. That doesn't look like Mr. Peanut, though.

The Tim Burton float is bizarre, which fits. The Plymouth-Canton Educational Park Marching Band of Canton, MI, is next. They're playing something connected with the Grinch. OK. This is unusual.

1134: The International Clock Tower from Build-a-Bear looks like it belongs. Someone named Zendaya must be Miranda Cosgrove's replacement. I've never heard of her. Someone, maybe Jonathan Last, has written about how Disney can basically switch out its teen idol singers with very similar replacements constantly.

Hello Kitty from Sanrio---yawn. I'd rather see Hello Cthulu. This Citi credit card ad with the woman climbing a rock sounds like it has Cerys Matthews on vocals. This Katharine McPhee project, Smash, is ubiquitous. And annoying.

Some sort of Spanish-language dance troupe that Roker introduces as "influential". OK. Never heard of 'em. I wonder how many English-language dance troupes are prevalent and "influential" in Spanish-speaking countries.

I don't care about Dora the Explorer. I'd rather her be Dora the Deported.

1142: Legacy High School of Bloomfield, Colorado. Roker suggested about 281 hours of practice for them. That's appreciable. I wish NBC would leave the school ID on a banner at the bottom of the screen.

Johnny Weir is this year's "Winter Monarch" aboard a rocking horse float. I don't know that he's a "pop culture icon". A new Macy's elf, which is inspired by a green cheese moon, apparently called "Gazer". A Smurf float and balloon, with a 200-apple high Clumsy Smurf.

The Delta Central Park float is nice, but Straight No Chaser is not catching my attention.

1150: Virginia O'Hanlon is a float this year. That's nice---a good call back to history. A better history than what we have now, anyway.

1153: Mannheim Steamroller and the David DeMarie Dance Studio elves. Well, this is nice. Chip Davis is on his feet, so that's good. I may actually like this performance piece better than any other. Thanks to OfficeMax.

1155: Miami University of Oxford, Ohio is up next, having followed Kermit the Frog. Kudos to Roker for the Swedish Chef voice over. The Miami band is good.

Charlie and CJ and others from the Macy's class of '47 are welcome sights. Again, a better world. Here's Santa Claus---with a CBS ad in the background. A Victoria's Secret telecast, to boot. Meh.

We thank the National Broadcasting Company for its telecast. I like this Santa of course, but I think I'd rather see Roger Sterling in a Santa suit. He'd know what I might want for Christmas. It seems as if the NBC crew has been a lot less interactive with each other this time out. There wasn't a mid-parade cut with an NBC personality in a helicopter this time, and that's strange.

Oh well. It's National Dog Show time.

Posted by Country Pundit at November 24, 2011 09:06 AM