Super Bowl 2014: Best and Worst Commercials

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This was not the best Super Bowl for commercials (or football)! You know it’s an off year when two of the most memorable spots involve Greek yogurt. That’s just a rather bleak landscape in general, “live culture” notwithstanding. Meanwhile, my favorite healthy snacks Doritos and M&Ms, which usually bring it hard for the Super Bowl, barely registered. Below, 2014′s Best and Worst ads:

BEST

Radio Shack, “The Phone Call”: ’80s celebs like Hulk Hogan, Mary Lou Retton, Dee Snider, Kid ‘n Play, John Ratzenberger, Chucky, Alf, and even the California Raisins storm the store to reclaim their old stuff and make way for the future. What the future of a store with “Radio” in its name looks like is anyone’s guess, but the spot gets major funny points for its self-awareness.

Cheerios, “Gracie”: A girl with the best “Dad, please, I can play with my food, too” face ever bargains her way into a pet puppy as her parents use Cheerios to illustrate that a new baby brother’s on the way. Simple and not too sweet, just like the cereal (agh, what am I doing?).

Dannon Oikos, “The Spill”: You cannot throw yogurt lothario John Stamos’ Full House costars Dave Coulier and Bob Saget into a commercial and not have it land in a pop culture blog’s “best” list. Jesse Katsopolis, Joey Gladstone, and Danny Tanner, and  are together again? Have mercy/Cut it out/Clean out your refrigerator (of other yogurt products), thanks.

Audi’s “Doberhuahua”: When a couple dreams up a staggeringly disproportionate canine hybrid, not even gentle animal-loving ASPCA spokeswoman Sarah McLachlan has the patience for it. Sometimes you build a mystery and then it eats your guitar and craps all over everything. Buy an Audi, which is not a scary dog-monster.

Budweiser’s “Puppy Love”: Bud’s surefire hit, released early, has something for dog fans, horse fans, and hot farmer fans alike. Its mere existence is like a firewall against cynicism. These #BestBuds dare you to dislike them!

This Bud’s on them, too: “A Hero’s Welcome”:

Coca-cola’s “America the Beautiful”: Look, not everyone speaks English, okay? Cue outrage.

Microsoft’s “Empowering”: Try not to cry as former NFL player Steve Gleason uses Technology to communicate with his son.

NEXT PAGE: Anyone for cow sex?

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