Comcast revives 'E.T.' to hawk cable and internet service

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Comcast

Tech companies often like to mine nostalgia for a few quick bucks, but Comcast is probably pushing that emotional exploitation a little too far. The telecom has posted a short film that reunites E.T.'s namesake alien with human pal Elliott to pitch Xfinity internet and TV service. Yes, it's exactly as cheesy and manipulative as it sounds -- it shows E.T.'s comic struggle to adapt to tablets, voice remotes and VR (complete with that music), and basically rehashes major themes of the 1982 movie in the space of four minutes.

Comcast quotes Henry Thomas, the actor who plays Elliott, as saying that the short gives fans "everything they want out of a sequel" minus the parts that "could destroy the beauty of the original." Thomas, we love you, but that's just not true -- it doesn't really advance the story (apart from showing that Elliott raised a family) and reduces a Spielberg classic to a marketing tool for a company with an anti-consumer reputation. It won't completely sour your childhood memories, but we'd suggest watching the original movie afterward as a palate cleanser.