“What’s for dinner?” is a loaded question. Between accounting for picky eaters, special diets, prep time, grocery shopping and the listless ache of another quarantine meal, it can get more complicated than it needs to. HelloFresh Canada has been “taking the drama out of dinner” by putting it into their ads, with an overwrought soap opera starring Annie Murphy from “Schitt’s Creek,” fresh off her Emmy win.
Murphy channels Moira Rose, her co-star Catherine O’Hara’s daytime TV alter ego, as a much put-upon socialite who contends with the dreariness of making dinner while pining for her long-lost love, Bartholomeus. Their precocious son Benicio is equally over-the-top, and the duo are hopelessly out of their depth in the kitchen, at least until they remember to place an order from HelloFresh, which delivers pre-prepped ingredients and an easy-to-follow recipe.
The campaign from TAXI Toronto puts a fun spin on the typical kitchen demonstration pitches by leaning heavily into soap tropes: diffusion filters, a slow pan over chopping vegetables, dramatic pauses and the inevitable surprise reveal of a new co-star. The third episode ups the ante over the previous two and should fuel rampant speculation about Benicio himself.
The series took a hiatus when the pandemic hit, but it is back to its original schedule, with Episode 4 due out next month.