Buzz off, Seinfeld. Stop trying to sell to me

seinfeldbee.jpgFROM JASON’S ACHING EYES — I’m more than a little frustrated that Bee Movie is making so much sweet moolah.

That’s the last of the bee puns. I swear.

Anyway, most of them were already Gene Shalit-ed by the newspaper film critics after Jerry Seinfeld’s way-the-hell over-promoted CG comedy raked $72.2 million into the the honey pot over the last two weeks.

Sorry. I’m trying. Really.

It’s not that I have anything against Seinfeld; I still watch the sit-com on a regular basis and it gets laughs even though I’ve seen each episode a dozen times.

Rather, the reason Bee Movie has me so get-off-my-lawn cranky is the advertising campaign. Honestly, Jerry’s been worse in the last month than the Jehovah’s Witnesses, trying to sell me on his product through every known medium and cross-promotion. If he showed up at my door right now wearing the above bee suit, I wouldn’t be the least surprised.

I’d probably punch him right between the antennae, though.

If there’s any saving grace to the Writers Guild of America strike, it’s an end to those damned Bee Movie TV Juniors that NBC has been running in its prime-time line-up. They’re horribly scripted, and Seinfeld’s ghastly “I can’t believe I’m doing this” facial expressions scream “fail” louder than canned laughter.

I can see what studio execs are trying to do. Traditional TV advertising is finally seeing the doldrums via the Law of Diminishing Returns. Viewers — especially the younger ones in the Internet and Tivo generation — don’t respond to a 15-second spot anymore. We’ve developed bad-ad immunity. We won’t be sold or branded half as easily as our more receptive parents and grandparents.

So what we get are trying-to-be-zany-without-Larry-David spots that run far too long with little to no pay-off. I mean, come on, Jerry. What exactly is your audience, here?

Couple that with a lame 30 Rock guest appearance that was as obvious as it wasn’t funny. I still can’t tell whether Tina Fey and company were doing some subtle self-mockery for agreeing to such a pandering commercial tie-in — but I certainly hope they were. The whole episode seemed to reference the idea of selling out in a very meta way, at any rate.

Then there’s the HP commercial featuring “Seinfeld’s” hands as he does the voice over, and makes sure to let everybody know that his handlers at the studio want him to do not one but two Bee Movie mentions.

Add to that the crummy fast food branding, merchandising on every child’s toy available, the logo on every food item that contains or may at some point in the future contain sugar (whether it’s honey or not doesn’t matter)….

It’s all a little bit much, and leaves me hating a comic I once revered as brilliant. I wanted fire and brimstone — no, I wanted a troupe of bears to savage the colony and eat the queen — before Bee Movie even hit the screens.

That was the last one.


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