Some things really never change. Bands, cheerleaders and dance troupes are a parade mainstay because they provide wholesome, harmless entertainment for the whole family. I'm actually happy about this. It's nice to have something you know you can enjoy with your kids, especially on a holiday. I always appreciate how well-choreographed NBC's coverage is, even if the banter they force on the hosts is older than me. There were other things that don't seem to have changed either, which I understand and appreciate less, however. It's 2007, right? I didn't magically go back in time, did I? Because in today's parade I saw Menudo (which my daughter pronounced "disgusting!" and "gross!"), Up With People (really?), Sarah Brightman, Patti Labelle, The Care Bears, Scooby Doo, Kermit the Frog ("Miss Piggy's too mean to him!") and, of course, The Rockettes. I was sad that they didn't immediately precede Santa, however, because that used to totally be their gig! And, hey, guess what? Bob from Sesame Street is still alive! Awesome!
The people who are perched atop various floats and asked to "sing" their songs (or someone else's), need to really work on their lipsynching, because most of them sucked. Not surprisingly, the best ones were the two kids from High School Musical, Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay) butchered the 80's classic "Last Christmas" by Wham! My daughter liked her though, as she does not know any better yet. She was not happy with Corbin Bleu (Chad) however, as he had the nerve to grow some facial hair, which she said is "not allowed in pre school!" Uh-huh. Yeah, I know they're names...leave me alone!
As usual, there were lots of Broadway numbers, which I am a total geek about. I was into the "Young Frankenstein" number, and "Xanadu", which apparently is a spoof of the movie and not a re-creation, looks really fun. "Legally Blonde", though, looks really bad. Like, awful. Hannah was confused as to why the leads in "Mary Poppins" didn't really looks much like Julie Andrews or Dick Van Dyke, although she just kept saying, "that's not them, Mommy!" But, here's what I really want to know: who gets to sit in those grandstand seats in front of the Macy's entrance? I hope they're family members of Macy's employees, but I fear they are not.
(Sidebar: You can tell me every day for the next month that Nick Lachey is a "music superstar", Clash of the Choirs commercials, it doesn't mean I have to believe you. Ever.)
Finally, there were a couple of priceless moments that were so wrong they were right in my evil little mind. First, there was a performance by some acrobats from the Big Apple Circus; you know the kind who basically use each other to balance and do tricks. Yeah, the one totally slipped and landed right on the other guy's package. The camera cut away quickly, but we all saw it. The best jokes did not belong to Matt and Al, who tried, but to Mr. Peanut, who came along in his phallic and aptly named "Nutmobile" moments later. You can't write this stuff! And the winner of the awkward lottery? Poor Jordin Sparks, the reigning American Idol, much maligned for her weight, arriving at Herald Square atop the Pillsbury float, accompanied by the doughboy himself and an assortment of dancing pastry. Now that's just mean!!