At this point, we all know no one is really watching the Super Bowl for the game itself, but rather, for the halftime show’s potential for strange and/or controversial moments. And last night’s fiftieth event in Santa Clara (not the most glamorous place in California, but definitely one of the most glamorous places the Super Bowl has ever occurred) proved rife with plenty of such instances.
Let’s start with Lady Gaga’s rendition of the national anthem, which was all very technically “good” (she’s all about that right now, post-Grammy Julie Andrews tribute). And with her new shtick being primarily about the staid aesthetic, it’s only natural that she would opt for a pantsuit. The problem? The easy comparisons to Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) from Hunger Games.
And then there was Chris Martin’s subtle nod to his latest video with Beyoncé, “Hymn For the Weekend” as he ran onto the field. His allusion to the visuals from it was apparent in his paint-splattered jacket, though Coldplay surprisingly chose not to play the song in spite of Bey’s presence–but that didn’t stop Martin from taking advantage of the hippy-dippy aesthetic by shouting at the audience, “We’re all in this together!” What exactly does he mean? We’re all stuck in this American shit hole together (until I go back to Britain)? A very bizarre turn of phrase indeed, and not nearly as straightforward as, say, Michael Jackson’s message of peace when he performed at the Super Bowl back in 1993. Which brings us to the semi-lovingly put-together clip show during the “Fix You” portion of the show, at which time everyone except the inimitable Madonna seemed to be paid respect to. That 2012 show was fire, and you know it.
But before this slight, there was also the unnecessariness of, once again, digging up Bruno Mars and his goddamn “Uptown Funk” song that just won’t die. And yeah, Mark Ronson was there too, but no one really cares. Being that Mars put on one of the most boring halftime shows ever in 2014, perhaps this is why the NFL saw fit to bring in the aid of Beyoncé (the power-outage causer of 2013), who gave us a briefly awkward incident when she nearly fell on her ass yet again.
As if these snafus weren’t enough, Chris Martin decided to put a cap on it all by standing in between Beyoncé and Bruno Mars to sing “Uptown Funk” along with them, which, I think we can all agree, looked like one of the most forced scenes in TV history. But alas, it all makes for great fodder, doesn’t it?