Sydney: Dad, this is not something you do to a partner. My name is on the door now.
Simon: Really? I thought that was my name twice.
The Crazy Ones is a comedy which began airing in fall of 2013 on CBS. The series focuses on the Lewis, Roberts + Roberts Advertising Company, headed by Simon Roberts (Robin Williams) and his daughter Sydney (Sarah Michelle Gellar). Sydney has recently been promoted to partner, which means she not only has to contend with her buffoonish and off-the-wall father on his own terms but also the charming copywriter Zach (James Wolk), nebbish art director Andrew (HamishLinklater), and ditzy assistant Lauren (AmandaSetton).The series is mostly carried by Robin Doing Something Funny and Sarah responding to it, but it has its fair share of standard workplace comedy and father-daughter heartwarming moments.Cancelled after 1 season.
Ambiguously Brown: Lauren. She's brought up an uncle in Syria and being in the Middle East when she was younger. Everyone had different theories.
Lauren: I'm from Long Island!
Simon: But you're our diversity hire! If anyone asks, just say you're "other." note For what it's worth, Amanda Setton is Jewish (Syrian Jewish on one side, and Ashkenazi Jewish on the other)
Ambiguously Jewish: Zach, at least early on in the series. This bugs Andrewnote who actually comes from a very large and very Irish family because everyone thought that he was the Jewish one.
Artistic License - Geography: Lauren points out that an old commercial Simon did featured a British man, a French maid, and a windmill in the background, and wonders what country it takes place in. Simon points out it was the 80s and nobody cared about those things yet.
As Himself: Fred Melamed, the voiceover artist, plays a haughty lascivious version of himself on the show.
Simon goes into a meeting with McDonalds executives knowing they plan on firing him and taking their account to another company, spins the entire situation into a sob story about the good old old days with his daughter, and leaves with a second chance at making them a better ad.
One of Simon's techniques when dealing with an uncooperative client is the "pivot": go along with all of their requests, then convince them that it isn't working and try to make them come along to his side. He tries it on Kelly Clarkson in the pilot, but she's seen it before.
Berserk Button: Australia for Simon. It was the cause of his last and worst bender, before him finally deciding to clean up his act.
Although on second thought, it might have been New Zealand.
St. Patrick's Day as well for Simon.
Simon also doesn't like being accused of abandoning Sydney in a mall when she was a child.
Bi the Way: Lauren, though Sydney suggests she's far more advanced than the rest of the group and shouldn't be labelled.
Ear Worm: In-universe, Sydney gets a song written about her that absolutely no one can get out of their heads.
Sydneeeeeeey, you're one of a kind...
Eureka Moment: Used as a legitimate plot device considering that this show is about an advertising agency.
In "The Spectacular", Sydney's disastrous hot coffee pitch is described by the media as "resembling a horror movie". Sydney makes a new pitch, retooling the damning footage to look like a grainy old horror movie. She nails the deal.
There's one ep where Simon needs a pitch for an unconventional breakfast burrito. Sydney thinking she'd done something unethical by kissing Andrew when he had a girlfriend inspires him to write the tagline "Cheat On Your Breakfast".
Genre Savvy: Kelly Clarkson has seen people try to "pivot" her before, and won't fall for it again.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: In 'She's so European' Simon and Zach after discovering that they are both sleeping with Helena have a confrontation that involves a jar of mayonnaise. They both struggle to open it while making their respective "O-faces" in front of a horrified/disgusted Sydney before the jar slips out of their hands and it falls between the men's feet, leaving a gloopy white mess on the floor.
Gone Horribly Right: The gang tries to mediate a dispute between their Spoiled Brat intern and her roommate over who gets the bigger bedroom. They manage to convince the roommate that smaller is better only to have the intern change her mind over taking the bigger room as well. This results in the two girls launching themselves at each other across the conference table with our heroes desperately trying to keep them apart.
When working out how to campaign for an award Simon's been nominated for, Lauren off-handedly mentions she's good at sabotaging other campaigns (citing the use of eye drops during a beauty pageant that took her competitor out of the running). She then goes on to say, in detail, how easy it'd be to take over the ad company by killing Simon and Sydney, while laughing it all off as some hilarious joke. Simon looks mighty uncomfortable that she's put that much thought into it.
The models, led by Adriana Lima, in "Models Love Magic" reveal that they are part of a book club and are seen knowledgeably critiquing Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis". Meanwhile Sydney, who had been holding onto the belief that she is at least intellectually superior to women who are much more beautiful than her, is completely lost and sheepishly reveals that she doesn't know any of Kafka's work.
Sydney is a foot shorter than Andrew. She needs to use a Scully Box when she kisses him in the finale. Even with the box, the top of her head just reaches his eyes.
Huge Rider, Tiny Mount: When Simon is torn between two clients, Gordon (played by The Big Guy extraordinaire Brad Garrett) shows his support for one of them, a used car dealer, by showing up at the lot and trying out a car. Unfortunately the one remaining car is... kinda small. At least it's a convertible.
Love Triangle: Zach and Simon get into one when Helena (a client who owns a dating site) takes them as her lovers. She isn't interested in a relationship and when they get too emotionally involved, she chooses a Third-Option Love Interest - the announcer for a commercial after she gets aroused by his voice.
Married to the Job: Sydney, to the point where she complains when forced to go on vacation.
Sydney: So they all get to stay here and I have to go to Hawaii?
Andrew: Do you even hear yourself right now.
Money, Dear Boy: In-Universe: Apparently Brad Paisley will take any gig as long as he gets paid. He even records answering machine messages at 35 dollars a pop.
Fred Melamed, the voiceover artist, as well. He agrees to do the eulogy at the funeral of a man nobody particularly liked only after Simon agrees to pay him an extortionate fee. He only speaks for all of ten seconds before sitting back down.
My Greatest Failure: Simon's was in "Spectacular". He poured pop rocks into a lake, causing a sugary geyser and killing most of the animals in it.
Only Sane Employee: Sydney, though it's starting to become apparent that "sane" is a relative term here.
Painting the Medium: The Ear Worm written by Sydney's stalker Danny, and played and hummed by everyone in the office, makes its way into the BGM.
Parental Abandonment: Sydney's mother walked out on her multiple times and frequently forgot about her even when the family was together. After being accused of being the neglectful parent one too many times, Simon angrily points out that although he has made countless mistakesnote including, but not limited to, shipping Sydney to Phoenix in a dog crate, he accepts and admits that he was a lousy father and is honestly trying to make up for his failings.
Product Placement: The firm does work for real companies such as Allstate and McDonald's.
Word of God says that the show uses real products without any sponsorship or deals that would allow companies to have any say in how they're portrayed on the show so that the characters can riff however they want to about a product for good or for bad.
During an ad pitch to the Australian Tourist Board, Simon, Zach and Andrew dress as drag queens and dance around as an allusion to The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Hilariously, the Australians (where the movie originated) don't get the reference.
The "quant's" blunt, spartan ad in "Simon Roberts Was Here" resembles the infamous "Head-On" ad campaign.
Small Name, Big Ego: Since his first appearance, Danny Chase has gained some notoriety (of the good kind) within jingle writing circles, but his level of fame is far lower than what his Jerkass attitude would imply. He believes he's in the middle of a feud with Brad Paisley while Brad Paisley has no idea who Danny is.
Straight Gay: Gordon Lewis, Simon and Sydney's other partner at the agency.
Title Drop: In the Pilot, when Sydney is trying to win over Kelly Clarksonnote For those wondering, it comes from the famous Apple ad campaign also known as "Think Different"..
Too Much Information: "She's So European" focuses on this. When Sydney becomes friends with Helena, the latter shares details with her about her sex life with Zach and Simon, which makes Sydney extremely uncomfortable.
Took a Level in Jerkass: Danny Chase's second appearance sees him dressed garishly and greeting Lauren by dipping and kissing her without permission. He acts like a complete douche to everyone in general.
True Art Is Angsty: Invoked by Simon in "Sydney, Australia" while he is trying to get Danny Chase, Sydney's stalker-ish former co-workernote who's subsequently slapped with a restraining order preventing him from getting withing 50 yards of Sydney until 2015 (played by Josh Groban), to sell him the rights to the saccharine love song he'd written. Simon succeeds by pointing out that the material written after Sydney broke the co-worker's heart is much better than the song he's trying to buy. In the show itself this is represented by having Josh Groban sing the first song in a generic pop voice while he sings the second song in the classical baritone he's known for.
Also the second song gets an entire club (including Sydney's current co-workers) dancing and singing along.
Unkempt Beauty: Sydney growing obsessive with the "Medal of Glory" game leaves her ragged.
Sydney, who wants to prove to her dad that she can be just as legendary an ad executive as he isnote Which is tragic because her father is clearly proud and her coworkers (bar one bitchy intern) and clients know she earned her current position through merit rather than nepotism..
Andrew has this relationship with Simon also, though in his case it's closer to "Well Done Employee Guy". Although he does accidentally call Simon dad in "Spectacular".
Zach too, who tells Simon that he knows he's "number one" in 'Sixteen Inch Softball', talking right over Simon's attempt to reassure Sydney.