Saturday, January 29, 2011
Hey Applebees, the Olive Garden called. They want their schtick back!
Ugh, the stupid, it just BURNS!!
Why is it that all these commercials feature completely generic, grinning jackasses who act like dinner at Applebees is the most gosh-darned awesome thing any of them could ever hope to experience?
And while we're at it, what is it about dinner at Applebees (or Olive Garden- really, what's the difference?) that makes these people act like empty-headed, clueless, classless shmucks?
Here we have a group of Real Men eager to outdo each other in the "I'm gonna eat the kind of meal that just screams I'M A GUY AND EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE NO GIRLS HERE I HAVE TO KEEP UP APPEARANCES SORRY HEART" department, ordering burgers, ribs- you know, the usual suspects.
Then we've got the lone wolf- or maybe the Beta Male of the herd, who actually finds the guts to pipe up "I'm going to try one of these 550 calorie or less meals." His reward is an all-too predictable dismissive, disbelieving chortle from one of his "friends." I don't know exactly what that snigger is really supposed to mean- my guess is that the ad men who put this mess together don't know either- it's just kind of a throwaway gesture which projects to the audience "draw your own conclusions. We couldn't come up with actual dialogue. Hey, this ain't Shakespeare, people. It's just a crappy ad for a crappy restaurant."
When Our Hero gets this plate of Something Under 500 Calories, one of his friends does something which convinces me that the person who wrote this ad really doesn't give a damn about staying within the realm of the believable. Just before the cutaway, this guy reaches across the table with his fork to cop a taste!
Ok, Applebees, listen very carefully. Nobody takes your commercials seriously. Nobody thinks they are an example of art imitating life, even if we could convince ourselves that this is some kind of "art." We understand that when we watch television, we should expect to suspend disbelief from time to time. But you take the concept too far here. Because never, ever, EVER in the history of this great nation has a man reached across a table to steal a forkful of another man's dinner at a restaurant. I mean, it just DOESN'T HAPPEN.
And if you are going to include such a preposterous scene in an ad like this, at least end it with the victim stabbing his idiot friend's hand with his fork, then taking him down with a left hook. Amidst thunderous applause. These are GUYS, after all.