In retrospect, it seems the Maroon 5-fronted halftime show for Super Bowl LIII (pronounced “Leeeee!”) was specifically calibrated to my most obscure interests. Exhibit A: Big Boi appeared dressed like Weezy Jefferson. I stan.
Exhibit B: instead of making an actual statement, Levine & co wrote inspirational words on lanterns and set them loose in the darkness and that’s the kind of deeply ironic Insta-influencer scam that I live for. They’re so close to making flower crowns and handing out mason jars full of wishes.
The list of words includes such literal bon mots as Forgive, Laugh, Cry, Express, Soften, Dance, Stand and Kneel in case you have some spare throw pillows lying around that need bedazzling.
And finally, Exhibit C: during the halftime show Adam Levine, who has managed to manifest the energy of that dude you hook up with every year when you go home for Thanksgiving but whose friend request you will not accept, did a sexy lil strip show and revealed his very complicated Prison Break tattoos.
The strip show took up most of the show as Levine was wearing many layers, including a sports coat, a track jacket, and a tank top that looks like the arm chair in your dentist’s office.
When he finally got his Magic Mike on he revealed the ever-growing collection of tats on his chest, arms, neck and torso.
Levine, whose sexiness can best be described as “Skeet Ulrich-y,” has been adding tattoos to his body for years, to the point where he now sort of looks like the little suggestion chart they hand you at a tattoo parlor when you don’t know what you want. “I’ll have a Levine 6 please, in red.” “Ah, the swooping eagle, an elegant choice, madam.”
Levine, who has a tattooed lion jumping out of his pubis like a metaphor I refuse to think further about and also will never stop thinking about, kind of looks like the person whose body holds all the secrets on a season of True Detective. I feel like I need a dictionary, a stack of old newspapers with reports on mysterious crimes, and the advice of an drunk local medium to decipher it.
Cut to the montage of me with thousands of pictures of Adam Levine pinned to my conspiracy board (to go with the thousands of pictures of Adam Levine pinned to my thirst board). I’m pacing in the room, I’m chain-smoking, I’m yelling at the sky, I’m definitely going to get a Golden Globe for this. Suddenly, I stop and stare at the frontman from Maroon 5’s naked torso, I circle a couple of tattoos, scribble some words on a piece of paper, and then turn one image upside-down. Suddenly I see it: the solution to the mystery, the identity of the killer, and the formula for time travel. They’ve been right in front of me this whole time. “My God, you brilliant monster,” I mutter as I dash out the door, hoping it’s not too late. The camera pans down to reveal the words I’ve scribbled on the paper. It reads “Forgive, Laugh, Cry, Stand, Kneel.” Case closed.