Super Bowl LII and “This Is Us” Recap

Last night, the three of us Resers sat down in the living room and watched Super Bowl LII. By the time the Philadelphia Eagles had pulled off the upset, Sloan was fast asleep in her crib and Sid and I transitioned to our bedroom to watch “the historic” episode of “This Is Us.” I have some thoughts on both the game and the episode.

When it came to the football that was played last night, I don’t think you could ask for much more (unless you are a Patriots fan). It was an entertaining and close game that lacked penalties and turnovers. Plenty of points were put up on the scoreboard and Tom Brady had a chance to send the game to overtime on the last drive of the game. For not having watched an NFL game from start to finish all season long, I was satisfied.

I thought the commercials were fine. I never let the cliché and expected line of “the commercials sucked this year” influence me. I thought there was a healthy mix of funny, thought-provoking, and moving ads. I especially liked the Pringles commercial (combining flavors to make new flavors, just like you can do with Jelly Belly flavors), the Hyundai Icelandic Vikings spot (loved the “We Will Rock You” remix), and the Blaze Doritos/Mt. Dew Ice cross-promotional campaign (extra points from me because last weekend I actually ate the Blaze Doritos and washed them down with a glass of Mt. Dew Ice). Although I wasn’t blown away by any commercial that I was inspired to re-watch it on YouTube, I didn’t think this year’s crop completely bombed.

Let me start by saying my wife loved the halftime show. She said she didn’t have one complaint. My review isn’t as glowing. I thought Justin Timberlake did a decent job – he performed all his hits, danced his butt off, and showed genuine enthusiasm throughout the entire performance. However, there just wasn’t a “wow” moment for me. Although not a Prince fan, I did enjoy the hologram tribute but it wasn’t enough to make Justin’s mini concert memorable for me. I was looking for something out of the ordinary. When Timberlake ran up into the stands, I thought he was going to fly back onto the field or re-appear somewhere else. I didn’t think it was going to end right there. I was also holding out for a special guest or a viral moment (besides the kid looking down at his phone). The show was good, but it wasn’t great.

Ten years from now I will remember very little, if anything, about Super Bowl LII. Heck, I don’t remember much from last year’s title game either. But it did make for a nice evening of Sunday entertainment.

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I take partial blame for why I ultimately feel this way, but I was underwhelmed with last night’s “This Is Us” episode. Granted, I hyped it up way too much, even going as far as to blog about it. Perhaps my unrealistic expectations contributed to me briefly falling asleep during the final five minutes of the show. Although the show delivered a plot twist, it didn’t seem right to me that Jack died of smoke inhalation. Sure, it was triumphant when he busted out of the burning house with dog in tow after the family thought he was a goner, but his demise just seemed too melodramatic. I don’t want to offer up alternative ways that the show could have killed him off because that is morbid, but I think the way they did it missed the mark.

The futuristic angle at the end of the show (I was able to rewind and get caught back up after dozing off) was interesting. I am intrigued to see how they work with it in later episodes. When the Pearson siblings are depicted as their 37-year-old selves, it is in our present day as they mention current events going on in the world currently through background televisions (i.e. last night’s Super Bowl) so I am curious to see how they explain this new futuristic wrinkle.

I must say that I have had my emotional strings tugged a lot harder in several previous episodes than last night’s. But at least the mystery was solved and we can now move forward.

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Thank you, NBC, for giving us about 6 hours of programming last night. It was quite the ride. With the Winter Olympics right around the corner, let the ratings bonanza continue. Don’t Blink.