The thing about Puppy Bowl

So, I caught a few minutes of the second annual Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet on Sunday. (Dear lord, I hope those were roman numerals I saw, and that this wasn't the 11th annual Puppy Bowl!)

I can't fault Animal Planet for putting this on. They have to put something on against the Superbowl, but whatever they do put on is only going to attract about six viewers per million. So what's an animal-based channel to do? Basically, they punt, and show puppies playing around. Cute. Boring. Calculated to spend the bare minimum on production costs while still getting those six viewers per million who are desperate for some animal-themed programming.

From the Animal Planet site:
Animal Planet has plays, tackles and fumbles too, only ours are much cuter! Viewers can spend the day (or maybe some time between the big plays) with a "stadium" full of man's best and cutest friends—puppies! In the midst of the official pigskin, iron match, it's the family-friendly, feel-good Animal Planet Puppy Bowl

Did I mention boring? Boy was it boring. Five minutes was enough to make me leave the room. Is it a good idea to put a camera under the transparent bottom of the puppies' water bowl? No. Is it a good idea to run a full minute of a puppy drinking water from this view? Hell no. But it's mind-blowing boringnicity is not the thing about Puppy Bowl.

The thing about Puppy Bowl is the commercialism. O Puppy Bowl, why did you have to sell out? Did you really need sponsors? Did you really need to have product placement? And to the sponsors: Volvo, did you get some sort of tax break for paying for a banner at that, um, stadium? Bissel, does having your Spot Bot carried out by the zombie referee to clean up alleged puppy tinkle actually help your bottom line? Common decency dictates that your commercial be wrapped in something that vaguely resembles entertainment.

UPDATE: I was not aware that the half-time show featured a bunch of kittens playing around. Now that is entertainment!

UPDATE II: Holy crap, I wonder how many DVDs of Puppy Bowl they sell.

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