Sunday, February 24, 2013


Let's take a look at another one of the Super Bowl commercials from this year.....

"We're sworn to protect The City.
And we're just going to have to face it:
that includes the sewers."
'The Tick'

Had it not been for the alien invasion at the end of this blipvert, I would have accepted it as part of Earth Prime-Time with no hesitation. Up to that point, everything that happened in the City could have happened in some unnamed sitcom location. All just part of a day in the life of The Rock.

It takes years before a world-wide alien invasion can be accepted into the Toobworld timeline. Enough time needs to have passed in order to blend the event in by way of collective amnesia about the specific events that occurred at that time. So it's been nearly fifty years since the Canamid invasion and the first major Cybermen invasion; around thirty years since the arrival of "the Visitors". We know how the Cybermen and the Visitors were thwarted, and we can assume that - with the help of the Doctor - the Canamid people-eaters never again came to Earth to sample the human fare - er, race.

The same could probably be done in this case, where we don't remember the details as to why nobody in other TV series remember being invaded by these little bug-eyed monsters who looked like the stick-up figures you'd find on a car window. Or we could say that the whole thing happened, and then was wiped from the history of Toobworld by yet another revision of the timeline.


That's looking at this invasion as being a world-wide attack by the alien race. What if it was regionally located to this one City, by just this one spaceship? That would be a lot easier to splain away as to why we never saw any mention of it happening in other TV shows. Those characters weren't affected and their topics of conversation thus had nothing to do with the news story, big as it was. Those TV characters were more concerned with investigating vicious felonies which were considered especially heinous, or just the simple act of making their way in the world today (which would take everything they've got.)

About the only characters who might have taken notice of such a small-scale alien invasion on a regular basis would be Dr. Walter Bishop and his colleagues, or that gang of CalTech nerds gathered in Stuart's comic book shop. And even then, we just never got around to seeing them mention it on air.

(Thirty years later, Ted Mosby just never got around to mentioning it during his long-winded conversation with his kids.....)

So where did this invasion happen? It couldn't be New York City or it would have to be a major plot point in 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit', 'CSI: NY', 'Person Of Interest', and 'Girls'. (And the same holds true for the New York City in alternate TV dimensions where 'Blue Bloods', 'Elementary' and 'Castle' take place.)

The same argument could be made for Washington, DC ('NCIS' and 'Bones'), Las Vegas ('CSI'), Chicago ('Happy Endings', 'Chicago Fire'), Vancouver ('Continuum'), and Los Angeles ('Californication', 'Modern Family', and 'NCIS: Los Angeles'.)

It's certainly a plotline that would put the lie to the title 'The New Normal'.

And that argument on smaller levels would apply to individual shows like 'Hart of Dixie', 'Parks and Recreation', 'The Office' or 'Suburgatory'.

So where could we stick this mini-invasion?

How about the City that's not currently being used for any TV series, but which would be the natural location for so many of the events that happen in this ad besides the invasion - like the escape of the circus animals, the bank robbery by masked wrestlers, or just the simple dilemma of a cat up a tree?

I'm talking about the nameless metropolis of 'The City'.

'The City' was a very short-lived (but very funny in my book) sitcom starring Valerie Harper. And The City was also the center of activity for the superhero team of 'The Tick' and his sidekick Arthur, the Moth. (Or if you prefer, the Bunny.) I wouldn't be surprised if other TV shows in the past were set in nameless cities which could also be considered "the City."

And when it comes down to it, it doesn't have to be such a nameless city at that.

Maybe by calling it "the City", the citizens were just making a short-hand reference to their hometown of Gotham City.

Why not? Gotham City seemed to be some kind of magnet for the costumed criminals in the past when Batman and Robin patrolled the streets. So why shouldn't it continue long after the Dynamic Duo seemed to have retired from the scene, when super-heroes like Bat Manuel and Captain Liberty were there to help fill the void?

Somewhere out there in the City, as seen from the view from the Rock's window (whoever he was playing if not himself), the Tick and his costumed companions were joined in the fight against the aliens. Meanwhile, at City Hall (said in the voice of the 'Batman' narrator), Liz Gianni and Roger Barnett were busy implementing the emergency protocols.

And eventually the Doctor would show up to save the day, and the government could finally sweep the whole affair into an X-Files folder with the splainin that it was mass hysteria caused by gas leak hallucinations......

  • "Got Milk?" blipvert
  • 'The Tick'
  • 'The City'
  • 'Batman'
  • 'Fringe'
  • 'The Big Bang Theory'
  • 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'
  • 'Cheers'
  • 'The X-Files'
  • 'How I Met Your Mother'
  • 'Doctor Who'
  • 'The Twilight Zone' - "To Serve Man'
  • 'V'

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