Progressive’ s “Flo’s Family”
Many of us suffer through the holiday gatherings of our dysfunctional families. It can then be strangely comforting to view the mouth-fighting, absurdities, and friction crackling through the air at meal gatherings of Flo’s Family, she of Progressive Insurance fame. While Flo is strangely disquieting and surreal, the viewer emerges from such commercials with a better understanding of the family dynamics which produced her, and indeed may feel oddly sympathetic. Flo has actually done remarkably well for herself, considering her background. This is the family from hell, and perhaps we may see a bit of our own in it.
Actress Stephanie Courtney plays six roles in a number of spots, including Flo, Janice, Todd, Diane, Dad, and Grandpa. Most of the commercials are a mere half minute long, but in some such as Creative Thanksgiving, the ads expand to about two minutes, providing a kind of mini sitcom. Flo’s relentlessly cheerful mother Diane announces that the family is having a “creative” Thanksgiving, which amounts to a euphemism for crazy. Instead of a traditional turkey, Mom has made turkey balls, turkey burgers, turkey rolls, turkey sliders, and so on. Eyeing a turkey ball with toothpick on his plate, Grandpa complains, “What is this? The Great Depression?!,” crying out to Flo as “Nurse!” She does look like one, as Flo dresses in her white Progressive uniform every day. Sister Janice proclaims that this constant attire is an insult to her creativity. “Well, they were all out of tube tops at the gas station,” retorts Flo. Dad ventures that he gets creative in where he leaves his socks. “What’s a man gotta do to get a hot plate around here?!,” complains Grandpa. Crazy stuff…err, I mean creative!
And so it goes…funny thing is, this would be a better sitcom than half of those currently on television!