Sunday, July 1, 2007

If this doesn't annoy you...

... you're probably the guy who wrote the commercial:

Hungry for Italian food yet?

(Camera zooms in on restaurant through window)

Oh, it's a cozy joint, isn't it? Yes, the Olive Garden is like a little piece of Tuscany, nestled right into the middle of your local suburban strip mall.

Hostess: Hi! Can I help you?

Woman: Oh, hi, yes, I'm looking for my date. He's very handsome and his shoes are probably untied.

Ba-whaa?! How can he be both handsome and in possession of untied shoes? This commercial is confusing -- I can't seem to make heads or tails of it. Unless, perhaps, it were leading into some kind of incredibly lame joke.

Annoying kid: Mom!

Oh! It's her son! Ha ha. Adorable. Very cute. And sort of small towny and family-oriented. Mom and pop. Just like Olive Garden.

Also, kid, this is a public place - don't holler across the restaurant. And tie your damn shoes.

Voiceover: Introducing Olive Garden's new stuffed rigatonis, filled with five Italian cheese like mozzarella and Parmesan.

"Introducing"? You mean the saccharine scene with the mother and the hostess was somehow related to the stuffed rigatoni?

Voiceover: Try our Rigatoni with grilled chicken and a roasted garlic alfredo, or rigatoni with sausage and tomato alfredo

Pretty fancy dishes, Olive Garden. The boys over at the Culinary Institute of Tuscany must be busy. They're hard at work learning the "secrets of great Italian cooking." These dishes, however, do not look particularly authentic. In fact, the term "alfredo" is an American invention. Italians would never call pasta cooked in Parmesan, butter and cream "alfredo." Additionally, even in American cooking, there really isn't such a thing as "tomato alfredo." That'd be more like vodka sauce.

Voiceover: starting at $9.95.

Here's the thing. A $10 dinner is pretty cheap, but if you live anywhere near a city, you can easily find similarly-priced meals at an authentic Italian joint. Italian food just isn't that expensive -- it's noodles and sauce and maybe some meat! You do NOT have to settle for watered-down, corporate Italian -- you have the right to drive a little farther into the city and pay the same price for the real thing. And while you're eating the real thing, you can think about how happy you'll be next time you mute an Olive Garden commercial, because you didn't buy into the bullshit.

Voiceover: Plus, endless breadsticks and salads.

Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Endless breadsticks? Every Italian restaurant I've ever been to has had free bread and oil. Call it "endless" if you want. Salad may not be endless at a real Italian restaurant, but you'll almost certainly get a humongous portion size of whatever you order. You won't need free salad to fill you up.

Woman: I love date night.

And I love forced payoff lines.

Even if you LOVED Olive Garden (i.e. you'd never been to a real Italian restaurant, or you lived in Alaska), wouldn't this commercial just make you hate it? How could you watch this commercial and then think, "Mmm, sounds like a fun time!"? Going out to eat at Olive Garden is like wanting to cook dinner for your family by microwaving Lean Cuisines.


c12h22o11 said...

Oedipal complex, faux-Italian style!

Quivering P. Landmass said...

I'll see your Oedipal complex and raise you a Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome. Why else would she be taking her kid to the Olive Garden all the time?

c12h22o11 said...

In fact, it's an Oedipal three-way.

Stephen said...

i know im WAYYY late on this, but the new commercial is so much better. with the son and mom on a date. whoever casts, directs, writes, shoots, edits, or anything else to do with these commercials should be drug out to the street and shot