Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Oedipal--err, Olive Garden's Creepy Storyline

I don't know where Olive Garden is going with it's Mom Wants To Know About Son's Girlfriend commercials. I'm sure I don't want to. Because first, judging from the age of the kid (maybe sixteen,) it's not going to end with a "we're engaged!" announcement (and what if it did? Why should we care?) And second, this woman is just way too wrapped up in her son's life- seriously, she and her husband must being going through some serious issues.

In the first commercial, mom tells us "when my husband works late, I like to take my son out to Olive Garden." I suppose Freud would have a field day just with this statement- but it's the mom's body language that disturbs me- she's curled up on the couch, right next to her son, knees up against her chin, wearing this stupid smile as she minces "and maybe I can find out about his new girlfriend!" Ugh. And as if that's not bad enough, throughout this commercial- and the second one- she's constantly tugging at her kid's clothes, picking at him, brushing his hair back, stroking his ear- good lord woman, what is WRONG with you? BOUNDARIES!!

In the second commercial, mom has successfully maneuvered her teen-aged son (who, btw, is the oldest of the preteen "heroes" from the film Unaccompanied Minors. Hey, there was nothing else on) into a booth at Olive Garden. Surprise surprise, she's sitting right next to her son (practically on his lap) and is constantly leaning toward him, touching his shoulder, and otherwise violating his personal space. And always with that same stupid "count my teeth" grin on her face.

"So, is it serious?" she asks her boy. "Yeah!" He responds, holding up his fork. "This is SERIOUSLY good!" Naturally, this evokes a chuckle and yet another lunge by mom.

The way this "storyline" is progressing, I suspect that the next episode will feature the mom tucking in her son and smoothing his hair back before giving him a kiss on the forehead (if we're lucky- hell, it wouldn't shock me to see this woman crawl into bed with the kid) before heading off to lay out his clothes for the morning. The weird vibes these commercials set off- who thinks this is cute?- make me nostalgic for another "we had an amazing time doing something really stupid" Smirnoff's ad. They sure don't make me hungry for cheap, faux-"Italian" food.

And I thought that the Taster's Choice Soap Opera of the 1980s was lame. At least that involved a romance developing between two unrelated adults. These commercials are just disturbing. I don't want to see some middle-aged mom trying to live vicariously through her 16-year old son, thanks anyway, Olive Garden. Please go back to pushing the Endless Spaghetti and Bread Sticks angle. Those commercials didn't convince me to go to Olive Garden either, but at least they didn't creep me out.

1 comment:

  1. "The only thing greasier than this mom's slithering incest is our mouthwatering fettuccine!"