Thursday, April 22, 2010

It’s hard to argue when you won’t stop making sense – Volume 3

I’ve got another round of questionable products and one fact that just rattles the mind for ya! I received my Garmin 405 in the mail Friday while I was on vacation and successfully ran with Garmela (my Garmin’s nickname—more on that later) so I’ll hopefully have a review of it in the near future. It’s looking like a 2- or 3-part segment because I want to give you the scoop on the ordeal I went through to get it as well! Silly eBay…

Shake Weight

Has everyone heard of the Shake Weight? Because I’ve been spoiled by DVR, I don’t get to see too many commercials (or in this case infomercials). Also since I’ve moved, I’ve been sans cable! Shocking…I know, but I’ve gotten used to watching minimal TV and I’ve made my peace with leaving 15-20 hours a week of television-watching behind. Anyways—I’d not seen this apparently well-known infomercial for the Shake Weight until my brother and I were sitting at the bar of a Texas Roadhouse. I was floored at what I saw these men doing. The entire concept behind the Shake Weight is completely absurd and I’m honestly appalled this made it through marketing and R&D and passed the CEO of the company’s desk and…so on. We pointed the infomercial out to our bartender and she laughed. “OMG! I know, right?! The first commercial was with women [demonstrating it]!”

What was this company thinking? What was the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office thinking when they approved this? What was ESPN thinking when they decided Yeah, let’s go ahead and run this advertisement! Do they have no standards? Are they just a glutton for advertising revenue? I realize I’m not entirely normal, but these are the questions that immediately pass through my head when I see this kind of stuff…

I fully admit this isn’t even new “news”…everyone’s jumped on the parody band wagon for this—SNL, College Humor, etc…and others are just blogging the hell out of it! But for those of you late to the comedic brilliance known as Shake Weight, here ya go (DISCLAIMER: If you’re easily-offended, don’t watch this!):

Bimbo Bakeries

I know everyone’s heard of this company. I crack up every time I see a delivery truck that just has a big “BIMBO” logo on the back of it…delivering goodies to the nation. I’ve personally never tried their products, because I don’t want to be caught holding something that says Bimbo on it. But did you know this is the largest bakery company in the U.S.? What we see here in the states is the American trading arm of a Mexican company called Grupo Bimbo. Seriously! Group of Bimbos? Wow. At least this isn’t an American company…makes it easier to poke fun at it. Actually no it doesn’t. I’d still make fun of the company if they were domestic! Sadly, they purchased my beloved Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries in 1998 and it was their largest acquisition. I totally didn’t know that until I researched it just now. Yup, I just teared up a bit… But what were these Mexicans thinking? I read elsewhere there’s no Spanish to English conversion for this word so it’s not like it got “lost in translation” like the Chevy Nova (no va = no go) or Nigaz (Gazprom’s JV in Nigeria). Simply put: weirdos.

delivery truck

Secret Stealth Sound Amplifier

On my flight back from MSP airport this past weekend I opened up the skymall magazine, because let’s face it…this puppy is like a flea market—full of great stuff junk you never realized you wanted until you actually saw it. To my amazement, I saw what I thought to be a dying piece of technology…the nerdy Bluetooth earpiece on a goofy older gentleman. But no! I was about to flip the page until the bold headline grabbed my attention: Improve your hearing—and enhance your image. hahaha what?!

A) How is this stealth? Stealth means secret, so it’s redundant to say both, and there’s nothing secret about a foreign object hanging off the side of your noggin. B) It says you can “hear soft voices from 50 feet away.” Creeper! C) Somehow you get a more “youthful appearance” from it…uhh, no. It should say a more “DB” appearance.

secret stealth sound amplifier This guy’s “I’m so cool!” look on his face boggles my mind… Why?!

A, B, and C people! Seriously! A, B and C. I rest my case. If you decide that my mockery is foolish and want to fall heir to this little bundle of joy, Amazon’s selling it for $30. Or if you want to pay more and possibly get some airline miles out of it, you can go directly to the SkyMall website and grab one for $40.


Yes, NPH. Neil Patrick Harris! The man we all know and love from his early years as Doogie Howser. Currently he’s on the hit CBS show How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM, or “him-yem” amongst fans) as a “supporting actor,” but only because there are no leads in the show. There are five main characters that you could either classify as all leads or all supporting roles. He absolutely KILLS it on this show as Barney Stinson—his comedic prowess is unmatched, though many would argue Marshall (played by Jason Segel) is just as funny on the show too. I think he’s a very close second to the Barnicle.

Neil Patrick Harris & Jason Segel Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel

What doesn’t make sense to me…what makes me tilt my head like a dog in confusion and go “hmmm…why?”…is the fact that he’s never won an award. I don’t count the “people’s choice award” he won in 1990 for Doogie. I’m talking Emmy. I’m talking Golden Globes. Nothing! Sure he’s been nominated many times, which is an honor in itself. But how has he won nothing?! I will give him credit two of those years—in 2007 and 2008 he was up against Jeremy Piven (Ari Gold, Entourage) and that’s just not fair to have to compete against Ari!
Ari Gold Jeremy Piven

If he wasn’t on HIMYM, I honestly don’t know if I’d watch the show with such fervor. I could easily find something else to do on Monday nights, but no—I set aside 22 minutes to watch my second favorite show on television (behind, of course, Lost). NPH’s Barney can bring me to tears with his quips and his never-ending supply of brilliant one-liners. In real life, no one would like this guy. He’s the guy who gets all the girls, brags about how awesome he is, and thinks no one is better at life than him. I’d never allow myself to hang out with someone like that. Yet NPH makes this character lovable. You can’t help but root for Barney in his crazy conquests.


To me, that takes talent as an actor. You could compare this (easily) to Michael C. Hall in Dexter. Hall has taken a type of person (serial killer) NO ONE would ever like and made him lovable. You find yourself rooting for the supposed bad guy to be able to get away and not be caught. What?! We’re not supposed to cheer for the bad guy…we’re not supposed to cheer for the cocky, arrogant guy…but if you’re a good enough actor, you can pull the audience in and make them love you. Has MCH ever won anything for his great acting? Yes! A Golden Globe! A SAG! But no, nothing for NPH. It’s a shame really.

 Michael C Hall as Dexter Morgan

I could probably write a novel on this guy (because he’s that great) but I won’t. I will, however, give you a rundown of his bio and career. He’s a 36 years old gay man who’s been in the industry for 22 years. His first big success was with Doogie Howser, M.D., where he filmed 97 episodes from 1989-1993. Everyone remembers the theme music  and the opening sequence with him sitting at the old school PC typing away as a teenage medical doctor.

He’s been in tons of one-time performance roles in television and had small-time roles in B- and C-grade movies. But never the lead in a major motion picture. Then in 2004, Harold & Kumar went to White Castle and picked NPH up along the way. The next year, HIMYM’s pilot was picked up and a star was re-born (to date, he’s been in 110 episodes; his longest-running series). Since his non-rewarded success on the show, he’s done two voice-over roles each for both Family Guy and Robot Chicken. Last year he was the voice of Steve the Monkey in the animated flick Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. In the summer of 2011, you’ll hear his voice in the lead role of Johan in the highly-anticipated Smurfs movie! Ok, maybe I’m the only one anticipating it!

This year he’s staring in Beastly, a modern day take on Beauty and the Beast, and the indie film The Best and the Brightest. NPH is the lead in this indie film and if it can garner enough success it has the potential to go from limited release (like most indies) to full release, like last summer’s (500) Days of Summer. This would give NPH the best opportunity for having a huge leading role in a movie, something that has eluded him in his acting career.

Either way, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that he’s never been rewarded for his acting ability. I think we need to start some sort of petition…who’s with me?

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