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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

This Target spot features Blackalicious' "Toy Jackpot."

In Movies & TV Commentary

Last year's Target ads had an unpleasant tone.

In Movies & TV Commentary

Shaun Robinson has to work on New Year's Day.

OnMedia: Christmas ads on Target


Christmas commercials are everywhere.

While they're not quite as annoying as the horribly negative political advertising that took over our televisions up 'til the November elections, some of it comes pretty close.

In particular, I'll have to say I was a little worried about this year's crop of Target spots when I saw the series of ads for the chain's post-Thanksgiving sale featuring manic comedian Maria Bamford.

The spots showed a crazed shopper prepping like an Olympic athlete for the annual madness and one featured her maniacal face pressed against the front door of a Target store. I know pre-dawn "Black Friday" shoppers can look pretty ridiculous. But should a store seeking for their business paint their own customers as ridiculous?

Then there was this one:

After seeing those spots, I was prepared for another season of annoying Target spots.

I found last Christmas to be a particularly unpleasant Target year, characterized by this look at an extremely uncomfortable Christmas morning:

Funny? Maybe.

But there's an odd tension between the couple that makes for an unsavory holiday message during a recession. "Maybe Santa doesn't need any help doing Santa's job," the woman tells the man questioning the expense of a new television.

That's hardly the spirit of Christmas. It even stretches the message of Christmas commercialism.

So I was presently surprised to see the series of Christmas spots Target has begun airing, featuring a series of music videos on holiday themes.

Among them is this look at creative ways to hide Christmas gifts around the house with music from Bishop Allen:

Target's even offering free downloads of the songs at its Web site.

No, I don't expect to put them on my iPod. But it's nice to see that Target thinks a little more highly of its customers this season.

Speaking of ads: I'm not in the market for a new car this Christmas, but I do like Hyundai's series of holiday spots featuring new takes on Christmas songs by Pomplamoose.

The best is this version of "Up On the Housetop":

Are there any other particularly good -- or bad -- Christmas commercials out there?

On TV: One-time Channel 12 personality Shaun Robinson joins Al Roker as co-host of NBC's New Year's Day broadcast of the "122nd Tournament of Roses Parade."

  • IFC is becoming a repository for quirky (and ground-breaking) old TV comedies. Starting next month, it'll be airing reruns of Garry Shandling's "The Larry Sanders Show," "The Ben Stiller Show," and "Mr. Show," with David Cross and Bob Odenkirk.
  • It's not official yet, but all signs point to a sixth season for Showtime's "Dexter."
  • TNT reports "Southland" will return for a new season on Jan. 4 in the 9 p.m. Tuesday slot.

So far, it's just a rumor: This tweet from comedian Paul Scheer seems to be the basis for a rumor Thursday that Howard Stern was moving to Apple to do an Internet TV/radio show, and was going to sign a $600 million three-year deal.

When considering the rumor, remember that Stern was rumored to be going to "American Idol," another unlikely fit of an R-rated personality with a generally G-rated product.

Talkbacks

Bunderscore | Dec. 3, 2010 at 5:10 p.m. (report)

i was really glad to see Pomplamoose on the ad. the first time it was on i had only heard it, and i thought "wow! that sounds like Youtube's Pomplamoose!" Kind of exciting for them - I hope they don't get called "sell-outs". Also, i enjoyed the Target Black Friday ads, I thought they were hilarious and it was pretty great that they featured the "training montage" music from Rocky IV (is that right?).

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