There's a recurring irony every year the Walker hosts the British Arrows Awards: For a showcase of the best television ads the U.K. has to offer, it's pretty easy for the actual consumerist angle to slip your mind. Part of that owes to the prevalence of brands that don't make it across the Atlantic, which renders the product itself moot in the face of how that item's being touted. And even the most memorable spots can lose that one specific crucial detail of what the clip's actually been shilling when the pitch overshadows the goods. In that way, the Arrows feel more like a short-film festival and a brief window into across-the-pond aesthetics for Anglophiles than a parade of product placements. This year's offerings skew a bit laddish in their comedy (thanks, Lynx) and subdued in their showmanship, with simple jokes and deft storytelling taking precedence over self-important big-budget flashiness. But the memorable moments — the Guardian's contemporary social-network-era news-media take on the story of the "Three Little Pigs," Lurpak's literal rainbow of colorful kitchen procedures, an abrupt montage of tragic shock interrupting the Public Enemy-scored triumphalism of a Paralympics promo — are more than worth weathering any denied impulse to channel-surf. $12. Thursdays through Sundays, plus Monday, December 30. Check online at www.walkerartcenter.org for tickets and showtimes.
Thursdays-Sundays; Mondays. Starts: Dec. 6. Continues through Jan. 5, 2013