Tuesday, February 24, 2009

'Trust Me' Bags It ... Sort Of

'Trust Me' on TNTBy LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Can I just say that I would have loved, at any one point during my previous tenures in marketing and advertising, to have been able to just let loose my frustration on a client's product as a direct result of said client ... uh, bailing on me? Thinking I'm no longer any good? Trying to one-up me? All of the above?

Griffin Dunne's Tony Mink did just that this week on Trust Me, and I was envious. His put - your - Arc - Mobile - cell - phones - in - this - bag - and - watch - me - beat - the - heck - out - of - it moment was a classic.

Why was he doing this?

Oh, you know ... the account has gone into the dreaded "review" phase.

Read: client wants out. Or, as Chief Big Boss Denise so kindly puts it to us at the end: they want the team to do more for less money.

But up until THAT moment, we're pretty much thinking Tony, Mason, Conner and the rest of the team are screwed given the loss of their biggest client. Better get to replacing that $75 million, eh?

Now, aside from that classic outburst moment by Tony, the rest of the episode was so-so for me. Yes, we've got Mason inevitably trying to do the right thing - wanting to save the client, wanting to not think the world is coming to an end, remaining ridiculously dedicated to his job AND still trying to be a nice guy.

We've got Conner doing what Conner seems to only do - find ways to convince Mason to do the impossible all in the name of being some sort of genius, renegade, don't-do-things-by-the-book Creative Director.

We've got Sarah pretending she's still married to her ex-husband, and thus, forcing him to take her out on a date to celebrate her birthday (for which she sends herself her own gift basket at the office).

And we've got Tony trying not to have a nervous breakdown in light of the fact Mason and Conner decide to proceed shooting an Arc Mobile commercial even after a) Tony says no; b) the firm doesn't want any more money spent on the account given it's in "review."

Right, like that's going to stop Conner from finagling Mason into flying across the country (again) to do something they shouldn't do (again) only to try and save the day (again) when all the odds are stacked against them (again).

Do we see a pattern here?

We do. And it's kind of bothersome to me.

Almost like a formula: Mason has problem. Conner needs to try and help Mason fix problem. Conner's idea to fix problem is absurd. Mason balks, but then eventually consents. Mason still frets. Conner flies by seat of pants. A little push here, a little push there, problem gets strangely solved only to lead to new problem. And at the end of the day, we still have Mason being the "boss," Conner the copywriter with too much iPhone time, and Sarah as the neurotic co-worker.

I do formulas on procedurals; not on non-procedurals.

And while I do see that this whole what to do with Arc Mobile/how do we get our $75 million back is going to be the overarching theme for this season, I sort of feel like we're going in circles. We just watched Conner and Mason fly to Los Angeles on a whim last week ... did we really need to see that again this week? It rang too similar. And I'm still not finding any real depth to the Conner character. The super-speed-talk schtik is getting old. Mason has some depth thanks to the homeslice sequences with wife Erin. And Sarah has at least got some issues on display that do NOT have to do with some sort of missing tag line for a client's campaign.


So, Trust Me, what can you really do with this formula that won't bore the heck out of us who really, really, really, really want to like your show?

We shall see.

Trust Me airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on TNT. You can learn more about the series by visiting the Trust Me Official Web site.


RichE. said...

More "finagling" please :-)


John said...

I am losing patience with the show.

Yes, Connor offered "solutions" to problems, but they seemed like sitcom solutions, not real world solutions.

Mason continues to want to be what he is - he wants to be hip and he isn't; he wants to be a daring risk taker and he really isn't (and with a wife and child shouldn't be). He lets Connor lead him by school yard taunting.

Connor continues to act like he is 16 and that gets old.

And Sarah continues to be irrelevant.

Right now, Tony is the best character. I wonder what horrible mistake he made that his daughter won't forgive him for?