For the second week in a row, CBS series The Crazy Ones opened with a photo shoot—although faux-to shoot would be a more appropriate term. Hard to believe anyone familiar with the advertising industry might be consulting on the program. Creative directors who run photo shoots and instruct the talent are hacks, unless they’re toiling at in-house studios or small-market shops. Roberts + Roberts supposedly works for clients like McDonald’s and Procter & Gamble.
Simon Roberts is clearly a washed-up failure. But Sydney Roberts is worse. Despite being a creative director, she displays all the characteristics of an account person. A really bad account person. Sydney defends mediocre concepts with focus group results and tries to sell clients via promises of increased sales. Plus, her big ideas are positively awful. The woman’s lofty position at Roberts + Roberts can only be explained by her blood ties to the agency founder.
Zach the copywriter is essentially the male prostitute on the cast. Lauren the assistant is the ditzy slut. In this week’s episode, she literally told the Windy City coffee client she’d sleep with anyone showing preference for the brand. Andrew is nothing more than the unattractive foil to the rest of the cast. Clients are cartoon caricatures of what the creators and actors imagine clients might be.
Can’t help but think that The Crazy Ones is not a comedic view of the advertising industry; rather, it’s a sobering view of the network television industry. That is, a flimsy premise can be propped up by key Hollywood players with fan bases (David E. Kelley, Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar) and shat onto the airwaves in the hopes that enough curious viewers will be too lazy to change the channel.
CBS has used the premiere episode’s ratings to crown The Crazy Ones as the #1 new comedy. Let’s hope nobody buys the hype.