The Super Bowl halftime show was an absolutely loaded event this year, with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and Eminem all taking the stage to perform their big hits. If that weren’t enough, audiences got yet another surprise appearance when 50 Cent appeared on stage. There’s no denying it was one of the most star-studded performances in some time, but was it truly one for the ages, or more of a forgettable affair?
As with most Super Bowl performances, it looked like everyone at the halftime show itself had a blast, while reactions are all over the place online. Music is subjective, of course, so everyone's mileage will vary. In the minutes that followed the big show, here are some of the things that went through my mind.
The Show Was Entertaining, But Felt Short
Putting so much iconic talent together in one single stage show is something only the Super Bowl tends to get away with, at least on this scale, but there’s a downside to the vast array of rappers that were on display. Halftime shows are relatively short when compared to concert performances, and I definitely felt the truncated timing during this show. In reality, I think it was more the case that so many people were involved, as opposed to one person getting more or less time than others. The end result made things feel a bit rushed, even if it wasn’t really any shorter than previous shows. I guess that's why most artists go the medley route.
The Actual Set Was Spectacular
When the show started and revealed Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg on top of that massive all-white structure, I was skeptical. That didn’t last long, however, as setting up the stage throughout a house was a masterful way of making a packed stage seem way less crowded (possibly intentionally because of COVID) by separating people in different rooms. I never thought the Super Bowl needed more than a flat stage for performers, but I was wrong, and it truly felt like a party was happening throughout.
Mary J. Blige Is Still So Awesome
It’s been over 20 years since Mary J. Blige last appeared in a Super Bowl halftime show, along with Eminem’s “rival” and *NSYNC singer Chris Kirkpatrick, but you wouldn’t know it. In her section, Blige oozed the same energy she’s brought to her music for decades, and in my opinion, she had the strongest mini-set of the night. It’s great to see she’s still got it, and we should all hope we’re half as talented more than two decades into our own careers.
We Didn’t Really Need 50 Cent
50 Cent was a decent surprise for the Super Bowl halftime show, considering others involved, but his appearance necessarily meant less time for one of the talents actually advertised. I personally would’ve been alright seeing Eminem (who admitted he had nerves performing) do another song, or maybe Kendrick Lamar hop in with a collaboration with one of the others on stage.
What Was That Ending?
The halftime show fell within the normal parameters of what I expect from a Super Bowl, including moments that were weird and hard to explain. Such as at the end of the overall performance, as the scene cut to a shot of the top of SoFi stadium, where Dr. Dre stood watching fireworks go off. The thing is, we’d only just seen Dre down on the field, so even though we know he wasn’t actually up there, the bit didn’t make a ton of sense. Was there a deeper message I’m missing? Was it a reference to Lady Gaga’s rooftop situation a few years ago? I’m not sure, but I wasn’t a fan.
The Super Bowl LVI halftime show is over, but the conversations about it and other big moments from the night could go on for days. Keep an eye on CinemaBlend for more reactions in the days following the Super Bowl and for a look at what new shows are coming later in the year.
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I like good television but also reality television. His day largely consists of balancing his workload between reporting on the latest and greatest news in Star Trek and other sci-fi, as well as 90 Day Fiancé, WWE, Big Brother, and more.