In Spike Jonze’s phenomenal new film, Her, we see a look at the near-future. In it, a man can fall in love with an operating system, companies will write love letters for you and Joaquin Phoenix can pull off a mustache and wearing his pants up high. Also in this future, video games are taken as just another form of entertainment. It’s socially acceptable to talk on a date with Olivia Wilde about a video game you interact with, both physically and verbally. Hell, even Amy Adams is making video games in this future.
But back in 2013, video games are for losers. At least that’s what The Crazy Ones seems to believe. In “The Face of a Winner,” the ad agency has two accounts they have to take care of: a spa company and a video game entitled “Medal of Glory.” Simon Roberts is struck with inspiration. Why don’t the guys take on the spa account and the girls take on the video game account! That wacky Simon! Girls don’t know anything about video games, and guys hate spas! Have stereotypes taught him nothing?!
Let me summarize what happens in this episode in one sentence: the guys learn they like having soft hands and wearing facial masks, while Sydney becomes obsessed with the video game due to her need to feel like a winner. Congratulations, I’ve just saved you half an hour of your life.
At the very least, “The Face of a Winner” is light on Robin Williams, who for the most part does his typical stereotype impression then disappears to return in the outtakes at the end, laughing at basically nothing. But back to the real problem in “The Face of a Winner,” can you think of a time when a video game was a focal point of a TV episode and it wasn’t about a person going insane and becoming obsessed over them? You never see a show about a person who is nerdy for watching too many movies. It just seems like a pathetic idea to base your entire episode on.
Plus it all just comes off like older people talking about things they don’t know, almost like David E. Kelley is Drunk Uncle, complaining about “those kids today!”
But I’ll digress from nitpicking the handling of the United States’ most successful art form as something played by sleep-deprived nerds in dark rooms. Even without that, the episode is just sloppy. There’s no meat to “The Face of a Winner.” It’s just a flimsy episode without anything much to say other than girls can sometimes like things that guys usually prefer and vice versa. Nothing really happens and nothing changes and nothing is funny. Which to be fair, is something that could be said of every single episode of The Crazy Ones Guys shouldn’t like it. Girls shouldn’t like it. No one should like it.