What I’m thinking about this morning:

1. The Office – it’s over…now, where does it rank all time?
2. Star Trek Into Darkness review
3. Functional advertising – no, for real, it is
4. Nintendo’s attempt to fix gay marriage

1. There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point? So, ‘The Office’ came to an end last week. What did you think? For me it was bittersweet. The best parts of the show were in the flashbacks (a clever way to keep us sentimental up to the end). I was a little confused as to why they waited nine years to all of a sudden flip a switch and make the characters ‘normal’, i.e., Kevin, Toby, Creed getting fired; Dwight being nice and having a heart; Angela being nice; etc. But I understand they needed a way to give the characters some closure. What I did not understand though is why even bother to bring Michael back? He barely had any lines and his impact on the episode was minimal…like he was just passing through. We didn’t need him back to remember he WAS ‘The Office’. He was the show’s heart and soul and what made us love it. The show was dead in the water without him – even if it took some of us a little while to realize it.

With ‘The Office’ ending, I’ve seen a lot of talk about its place on the top 10 sitcoms list. Personally, I don’t feel it’s a top 10 show – here’s 10 reasons why:

  1. Seinfeld
  2. I Love Lucy
  3. The Cosby Show
  4. M*A*S*H
  5. All in the Family
  6. Cheers
  7. Andy Griffith Show
  8. The Flinstones
  9. Friends
  10. Golden Girls

To reference an episode of ‘Friends’, this isn’t my ‘real’ list, i.e, these aren’t my favorite sitcoms – they are the sitcoms I feel are the best sitcoms in the history of sitcoms. But I’m not sure ‘The Office’ would end up on my favorite sitcoms list either*:

  1. Seinfeld
  2. The Cosby Show
  3. Happy Days
  4. All in the Family
  5. The Jeffersons
  6. Family Ties
  7. Cheers
  8. Everybody Loves Raymond
  9. The Wonder Years
  10. The Golden Girls

*I’m not counting ‘Saved by the Bell’ as a sitcom because 1.) it was a Saturday morning show, except for 2) the primetime version, Saved by the Bell: The College Years, sucked.

2. Star Trek: Into Darkness. Ok, so I gave you the opening weekend before I posted my review of the new Star Trek movie. I’ll try not to give away anything to vital if you haven’t seen it. Into Darkness picks up where the last movie left off, in every way possible. Great writing, great job of capturing the characters, great action scenes and a great pace. Abrams runs a tight ship and it shows – for the first three quarters of the movie things are running very smoothly. There are plenty of references to the Star Trek universe to make Trekkies happy; Abrams is having fun with the splintered timeline, especially when it comes to the Klingons and to Kahn. But then the movie hits a wall, with the force of being forced out of warp speed. Abrams does something that is basically his way of saying ‘eff you guys, I’m going to do what I want…and you’ll like it. Oh, and Star Wars fans? I’m coming for you next.’ The audience, in our theater, had been loose and having fun to this point but you could feel the whole theater tense up, almost collectively saying ‘we’re sticking with you…but fix this.’ Thing is, I don’t know if they actually fixed it but the movie did get past it. What I didn’t like about that moment? I’m not sure the movie needed it. I understand what they were trying to go for and establish, but I would’ve liked to see a more original way of doing it. What I did like, despite  questioning the method, was that the movie paid credit to one of the greatest on-screen character duos of all time, giving them a chance to have a moment for this generation of Trek fans.

All in all I give the movie a B+. Cumberbatch is a bad ass and had his coming out party to those who may not have caught him Sherlock Holmes or Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. As I mentioned, the actors continue to a great job capturing the essence of the original characters (Bones steals the show though, again) and the special effects/action sequences were a lot of fun. Now, back to my post on Thursday – where does it rank with the other 11 Trek movies?

1. Wrath of Kahn (II)
2. Voyage Home (IV)
3. First Contact
4. Undiscovered Country (VI)
5. Generations
6. Star Trek
7. Search for Spock (III)
8. Star Trek: Into Darkness
9. Final Frontier (V)
10. Insurrection
11. Nemesis
12. Motion Picture

3. Can advertising be functional? Advertising is challenging enough when it comes to being creative – now we have to compete with this? In Lima, Peru, the ad agency Mayo DraftFCB developed a billboard that would convert Lima’s H2O-saturated air into potable water.

From Time Tech: [The billboard] features five devices that comprise the billboard’s inverse osmosis filtration system, each device responsible for generating up to 20 liters. The water is then transported through small ducts to a central holding tank at the billboard’s base. According to Mayo DraftFCB, the billboard has already produced 9,450 liters of water (about 2,500 gallons) in just three months, which it says equals the water consumption of “hundreds of families per month.”

Can you believe that? The power of advertising, finally on display. But really, when you look at how ‘simple’ this was, it should give us all hope that if the right opportunity comes along, as marketers, we can provide that different lens to view it through. It’s a great feeling – yet one that should be overwhelming to all of us. How can we help solve some of our community’s/state’s challenges through our work? Hmmm. Sounds like it could be one hell of a workshop.

4. Nintendo apparently opposes gay marriage. As the world evolves (hey, 11 states have voted in gay marriage) so have video games. Apparently The Sims was ahead of its time as it always had same sex unions as an option. And now Nintendo’s Tomodachi Collection: New Life has the option for male characters to marry other male characters and raise children together. However, Nintendo has declared that this was a bug ‘that allowed for strange human relations’ and has released a patch to ‘fix’ it.

So…we’re going backwards. At least in our virtual worlds. There are so many disappointing things about this. It’s irresponsible to use words like ‘strange’, ‘bug’ and ‘fix’ when talking about something that represents a personal choice, real or virtual. It’s troubling that this is even a consideration. It amazes me that relationship and sexual orientation is a point of conversation in anything anymore but it continues to dominate headlines. Look no further than the sports page, where last month Jason Collins announced he was gay. And this past week when former Baylor women’s basketball star, Brittney Griner said she was asked to keep her homosexuality a secret ‘so it wouldn’t affect recruiting’. Griner said she talked with the Baylor head coach about her being gay before she committed to the school. Can you imagine if a coach asked a player and discussed being straight with a recruit? The standards we place on one choice v. the other is scary and dangerous rhetoric.