The singing wasn't even that memorable, and this was after Pink's shaky (if valiant) stab at the national anthem, which she did while she said she was suffering from the flu.
Before you get going, allow me to stop you: I don't need every Super Bowl halftime gig to explode like the one in 2016 did, when Beyonce showed up with a small army of dancers in Black Panther-style berets to do "Formation," the radical black-pride anthem she'd released one day before.
Yet Timberlake wasn't forsaking politics to provide joy, as Bruno Mars did a few years ago. Or as Coldplay did in 2016. (If you forgot, which you probably did, it was technically Coldplay's Super Bowl show that Beyonce crashed.)
Or, indeed, as Janet Jackson might have if Timberlake had invited that always-vibrant performer back this year as a means of rectifying the damage her career took after the 2004 incident -- even as Timberlake went on to ever greater success.
No, joy was in short supply Sunday.
This was a show about the dull reality of entrenched power: predictable, witless, a waste of the attention with which we all rewarded it.
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