Friday, November 2, 2007

To BEE, Or Not To BEE?

Last summer, when I first learned Jerry Seinfeld was starring in a full-length animated feature, I was intrigued by the possibilities. Would Elaine, Kramer and George show up as cameo Bees? Would the movie be as funny as his old series was? Or would it suffer the so-called Seinfeld curse?

While all these questions were swirling through my mind, I witnessed my first real preview of the movie. A long drawn out mini-sketch featuring Jerry in a Bee costume, being hoisted into the air. Not really funny, but this was a live-action skit after all. The real animated movie would surely be better, right?

Then came a few short previews of the actual movie, which started to look sort of cute. And funny. Or at least clever. But definitely something enjoyable to watch.

However, the same can’t be said for the recent advertising campaign featuring the terribly unfunny “TV Junior” skits. What the Hell is a “TV Junior,” anyway? Did anybody ever explain that phrase to us? Because something about it reeks of condescension. Does it mean the producers don’t think we’re ready for TV Seniors, because those type of commercials would go right over our heads? So instead, they decide to pander to the lowest common denominator with a TV Junior? I’m not sure, but I think I feel insulted.

In my opinion, the TV Junior commercials seem a little desperate. And not particularly funny. But maybe Jerry was afraid that unless he made an appearance in the commercials, people wouldn’t come see the movie. Like we might not be intelligent enough to accept an animated version of him, especially if it was in the form of a bee.

I can’t wait until this movie opens, but not for the reasons you might think. I can’t wait because then they’ll eventually pull all those obnoxious TV Junior commercials out of rotation. They’ve been bombarding us with promos for this movie for a year now, and I’m not so sure I even want to see it anymore. At least not until it comes out on DVD.

But if I go to the theater this weekend, am I also sending a message that TV Juniors are a good marketing tool? And would the industry then perceive this as the new “standard” in movie promotion, and inundate us with millions of them in the future? Or by staying home, am I pulling a Norma Rae without a significant cause to rebel against?

So that leaves me in a little bit of a quandary. To BEE, or Not to BEE? That is the question.

What think you, Fair Reader?

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