Monday, February 06, 2012
Madonna Video Monday: Superbowl Special
For me, the most anticipated moment of the Superbowl was not the moment when the game would be officially over because the score is so lopsided that the losing team has no hope of catching up or which commercial was the best one. It was actually what Madonna would do with her 12 minute half-time show. She has a history of stirring up controversy in order to get attention. I was shocked last year when I learned that Madonna was selected to be the half-time show performer for the Superbowl in 2012. She's far too risky to trust with a huge, live audience. After all, we can thank Janet Jackson in 2004 with her exposed nipple for causing such a frenzy that ended with the Superbowl organizers selecting dinosaur rock acts (Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Tom Petty, to name a few). They were considered "safe bets". Madonna may actually qualify as a "rock dinosaur" (or more appropriate: Cougar), but she has a long history of being sexually provocative to cause controversy. She's had several videos banned from MTV ("Justify My Love", "Erotica", "What It Feels Like For A Girl", and "American Life").
Fortunately, though, Madonna showed maturity and class by delivering a knock-out performance that focused on imaginative costumes (she entered the stadium in Roman Empress style, with many muscular men carrying her luxury carriage), spectacular lights (beaming images of her past "looks", a music boom box, and ending with the words "World Peace"), amazing choreography (including a guy bouncing himself on a tightwire in ways that actually look painful), and a medley of her most memorable music: "Vogue", "Music", "Open Your Heart", "Gimme All Your Luvin'" (her new single), and ending on a spiritual note with "Like a Prayer". She disappeared from the stage in a cloud of smoke. It was, quite simply, the best halftime show I've ever seen, and I really liked U2's in 2001 (or was it 2002?). Michael Jackson supposedly had upped the ante on half-time shows in 1993, but I honestly do not remember anything about half-time shows in the late 80s and early 90s.
Madonna may be in for a great year. Not only did she finally manage to have her own halftime show at the biggest sporting event of the year, but her new album will be out next month, and her directorial debut is soon to be in theaters (the film W./E.). People love her or hate her, but I count myself in the fan category. I haven't always liked her choices (particularly her sex overkill in 1992 when she came out with an expensive book, a disappointing album, and a horrendous movie that were all about sexual obsession). If 1992 was her creative low-point, then 2012 may be one of her creative high points. She deserves much congratulations for pulling off a great halftime show that was free of any kind of raunch that would offend viewers (as if some of the ads weren't offensive enough).
I'm not sure how long the Madonna half-time show link will be available on YouTube, but I'm posting it here for this week's music selection. If you missed it during the Superbowl, watch it here now and enjoy.