Love it or leave it, sometimes the best thing about the Super Bowl is the entertainment that follows it. To celebrate Super Sunday, here are five TV episodes that brought something special to their post-game moment.
When “The Wonder Years” debuted after the Super Bowl XXII game in 1988, it wasn’t the first series to premiere in that hallowed time slot, but it was arguably the most successful. America fell in love with the charming tale of how Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) and the country came of age during the late 1960s and early ’70s.
In 1997, Fox gave the most coveted annual spot on TV to “The X-Files,” then in its fourth season. The episode “Leonard Betts” was the perfect blend of the show’s horror and humanity, featuring a regenerating EMT who feeds on cancer and a corresponding diagnosis for one of the show’s primary players.
Viewers who believed that Super Bowl LI would be an escape from the nonstop news onslaught that has occurred in the first two weeks of the Trump presidency were mistaken. The only thing the country agreed on Sunday night is its love for Baby Ditka in the NFL’s spot.
Subtle and not so-subtle messages about the immigration policies of President Trump slipped in, injecting some solemnity and perhaps anxiety into Super Bowl parties across the country. Viewers may have been reaching for the tissue as often as the guacamole during the commercial breaks. Puppies, funny anthropomorphic critters and laughter were in short supply. We were reminded that Spuds MacKenzie is dead.
Even the president’s carefully crafted coif took a knock in a spot for It’s A 10 hair care products, which opened with the line, “We’re in for four years of awful hair.”
When rumors began circulating last week that Lady Gaga had arranged for her 90-year-old duet partner to appear during the halftime show at Super Bowl LI, the prospect rang alarm bells for anyone hoping that the outspoken pop star would address the tumult that’s spread through America in the two weeks since Donald Trump was sworn in as president.