In Viva’s world, kids can do no wrong

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When the next generation of filmmakers gets around to making fun of today’s coddling parents (as the dysfunctional gen now smugly parodies the ’50s-’60s age of family innocence), they may remember a current TV commercial from Viva. (The ad itself is not online, perhaps because it’s so annoying.) In it, an apparently stupid kid grabs a two-liter bottle of soda pop and, walking toward his mother doing dishes, deliberately shakes it before opening—then seems surprised when a sticky mess explodes all over the place, including his mom, who reacts with a mild outburst. (If it was meant to read as an innocent accident, it doesn’t.) Realizing, according to the rules of her generation, that any discipline, even saying Jimmy’s name with a negative inflection, is a form of prosecutable child abuse, mom “apologizes” by grabbing the dish sprayer and starting a water fight, right there in the kitchen. Presumably Viva will take care of the spill—and society will be left to pick up the mess.

—Posted by Gregory Solman