Let us take a close look at the following monstrosity, shall we?
We begin with WFAN’s Craig Carton asking some standard spring training questions that actually did arise re: David Wright’s improved physique, to which Wright—as ever—woodenly responds as if he’s memorized from a pre-approved script, though this time that’s actually the case. He even gets his “uhhhhm” in! Very Method. With the phrase “situational training,” we get to the meat of the commercial: Rocky theme blaring as we see shots of Wright and “The Situation” (of MTV’s Jersey Shore fame, though I do not know his real name as I have not partook in this particular pop cultural phenomenon…is it Mike?) running, doing sit-ups, and various other standard athletic pursuits that quickly become absurd (Wright hitting The Situation’s abdomen with a baseball bat).
I was made aware of the ad’s existence during an interview with Wright on WFAN’s morning show with Carton and Boomer Esiason, wherein Carton promised that the ad would showcase “a side of David Wright you don’t get to see.” Clearly I hoped for an ass-shot or some semblance thereof, but obviously Carton meant something about Wright’s humor and goofiness. And certainly the commercial strives towards transcendent goof, what with the ridiculous presence of The Situation, and possibly could have reached it if not for one thing: David Wright yet again exhibits almost zero personality.
It’s a strange thing about Wright; for someone so young and talented, with a face holding immense charismatic potential, he always—at least when speaking—comes off as mildly dull and humorless. There is evidence that this isn’t the case; witness the great bubblegum-hat shenanigans of June 2007 (ah, a simpler, more innocent time). But generally, Wright does and says all the right things, and that’s why we, as a fanbase, love him. Not much of an actor though, which brings down what should have been a hilarious commercial—even if it had simply delved into some lazy homoerotic comedy, though there is a bit of gay panic in Wright’s eyes when The Situation is holding his leg, as well as in the stilted way they interact with each other, like gym buddies who haven’t yet seen each other in the showers—into something kind of embarrassing, especially when the end declares vitaminwater to be “comeback water.” Sheesh, from Coca-Cola’s money to the baseball gods’ ears.
Some good bits: their parallel slides, as well as Wright in a tanning booth. And the pairing does make some kind of perverse sense; with those eyebrows, hasn’t Wright always coded as a little bit guido? (In case you are tempted to say no, please recall the following photograph:
Homeboy looks like a white Bobby Cannavale up there.)
The ad would’ve been funnier if it had been played serious and straight; as it is, we all know it’s a joke and so the humor here already exists in quotes as opposed to being organic or surprising. To paraphrase Susan Sontag (who I’m sure is rolling around in her grave right about now), camp that knows it is camp is usually unsatisfying. See also: Lady Gaga.
The spot would’ve benefited from a better actor, surely. But hey, David Wright isn’t an actor. David Wright is a baseball player. A baseball player who will probably go down as the greatest one to ever play in a Met uniform. And that’s enough for me.
Other than him taking his shirt off for once, JEEZ.
For more (and better) thoughts on David Wright, please read this exceptional piece from Patrick Flood.
We’re always so optimistic on Opening Day, aren’t we? I guess I should thank MLB scheduling for having a day between games 1 and 2 of the season, so that the euphoria of the Mets 7-1 victory over the Marlins could last a little bit longer before the early reality of this team set in.
And now, a new blog segment I’m calling And Now, Time For A Lack of Tact (with Jerry Manuel), courtesy of Surfing The Mets:
Jose Reyes is at Citi Field and expected to address reporters in about an hour. Jerry Manuel was just asked if Reyes would be in the lineup tomorrow.
“Yes, unless he gets hit by a car or something,” Manuel said.
Yeah, that’s actually pretty funny and everything, but good grief, is Duaner Sanchez driving him?
Okay, see you in four months or whatever!