The best thing about this week is the advertising seems like it stepped up a notch, even if I'm left with some uncomfortable feelings around it. Having a slogan for breakfast burritos be "Cheat on your Breakfast" is something that feels real. Hasn't Taco Bell or Carl's Jr. had something like that? Either way, it's the first ad from this show that could possibly exist in the real world. But split seconds after acknowledging that triumph for Roberts & Roberts, I was left feeling a little icky at the motivation behind the ad itself. If we're operating on the assumption that advertising is a reflection of societal values or impulses, that slogan is concerning in a couple different ways.
The first implication behind the ad, that we are a society so concerned with caloric counting and low-fat food that eating a burrito is an edible affront like unto betraying a spouse, is somewhat understandable if still grotesque. I understand the appeal of the diet "cheat day," and harnessing the power of that delicious forbidden food is a good selling point. The second implication, that "cheating" is inevitable and encouraged, that the desire to cheat on something is so ingrained as to be attractive and ultimately desirable, is deplorable. Has society fallen so far that cheating has become something so casual and accepted that it can be used in a pithy ad campaign?
The cheating angle becomes especially pertinent after a small scene of Hamish cheating on his terrible, cardigan-wearing girlfriend by kissing SMG. The lead up to the moment is actually believable, with the two actors doing so well that it is one of sadly few moments I was completely engrossed in the world of the show, and not desperately wondering what was going on and what kind of character consistency the writers are shooting for. Instead, the out-of-nowhere love stuff between the two characters was nicely built up over the course of the episode, and even continues to exist after SMG rebuffs Hamish's awkward kiss. Their unexpected friendship is one of the few genuine things in this series so far, and I hope it isn't abandoned in the future.
The other wonderful thing this episode built upon was Lauren's mysterious past. There have been hints in previous episodes to a hardcore background, with gigs in the Lebanese army and whatnot, and The Crazy Ones pushed her more to the edge this week. Her violent love poetry (for an ex-girlfriend, no less), was hilarious and unsettling, and I hope they continue to make her a constant surprise of an enigma.
Robin Williams. Well, he awkwardly referenced Patch Adams--doing service in a clown nose? Ew--and then made a drug-smuggling reference. Unlike Lauren's backstory, I am still completely unconvinced in his checkered past. He's just not emitting an air of sketchiness. It's still all hyperactive seven year old.
In other news, James Wolk got a crush on someone. As soon as he went out a date with the object of his affection, he hated her. Thus is life. I was so onboard with Wolk's character at the beginning, but it's starting to get old. There's just so many times he can flash a naive handsome smile before it feels forced. We're getting to the limit of his dental work.