CBS, a network that dominates in ratings and total viewership, has won the rights to broadcast Super Bowl XLVII (5:35 p.m. Sunday). Barring a sudden seismic shift in viewing habits, it will be the most watched television event of the year.
Just why it will be remains a mystery. Having watched at least XXXV of the previous XLVI Super Bowls, I can name only a handful that amounted to exciting football.
Some will say that the commercials are the real stars. And, if so, I say we need better stars. If watching the newest incarnation of a Doritos commercial is your viewing highlight of the year, then it’s time, in the immortal words of William Shatner, for you to get a life.
Seriously, to everyone besides the Mad Men who created the commercials, the drivers of Doritos delivery trucks and the investors in whatever corporate behemoth now owns Doritos, a chip commercial should be seen as an annoyance, an impediment to viewing, something to be overheard while taking a bathroom break. Hardly as an end in itself.
And is it me, or have Super Bowl commercials only grown more idiotic since YouTube upped the ante on dazzling viewers with short attention spans? Oooh, there’s a baby doing something outrageous! Wow, a flying cat! Oh, that frisky Betty White! Look at that voluptuous woman degrading herself on behalf of Go Daddy!
Is everyone pretending to be 12 years old?
• Some years back, an urban legend grew that Super Bowl Sunday brought about a spate of domestic abuse. It wasn’t true. But the Investigation Discovery network does not let that stand in the way of its cheeky counterprogramming, an 11-hour marathon of “Wives With Knives” (5 p.m. Sunday), tales of women wronged or just plain angry, who go after their hubbies with sharp objects, often leaving them dead.
Sunday’s other highlights
• A tradition for nine years, “The Puppy Bowl” (2 p.m., Animal Planet) returns.
• “Live From New York: The First Five Years of Saturday Night Live” (8 p.m., NBC) discusses the show’s beginnings.
• After last week’s tragedy, Cora gives Robert the cold shoulder on “Downton Abbey” on “Masterpiece Classic” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings).
• Hannah tries to throw a grown-up dinner party on “Girls” (9 p.m., HBO).
— Copyright 2012 United Feature Syndicate, distributed by Universal Uclick.