Features TV/Movies

GEICO’s “Cavemen” should tell you why “Uncle Drew” may not work

I hope I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong as hell.

Entertainment is such a broad medium. What works in one avenue can fail horrendously in another, while a flop within one realm can flourish under different lights. Audiences can be cruel, cruel mistresses, determining the fate of what seems to be a great idea with nothing but an ill-timed yawn.

Advertisements have always had the ability to create brands one could relate to, or a character that is entertaining to watch. Turn on the TV during any commercial break and you’ll see Flo talking about Progressive’s great rates or Dean Winters as the literal manifestation of everything that could go wrong with your car or home (Mayhem). These characters continue to run because of positive audience reactions, but that’s the only realm we want to see them in. Remember these guys?


GECIO has shown definitive proof that you can really run something into the ground when you get too far ahead of yourself and don’t think out your spur of the moment ideas. Back in 2004, GEICO began expanding upon the idea that checking their rates versus competitors rates was so easy “a caveman could do it”. This singular line spanned a whole series of commercials (which were likely planned, but still) that grew a bit in popularity before, like what would become the theme of GEICO commercials, they got run into the ground and got on our nerves.

Then ABC stepped in.

caveman sitcom
“when you reach the end of television, and find out you’re in hell”

Oddly enough some executives at ABC were just in love with the idea of a Cavemen themed sitcom as the idea of two-dimensional characters primarily used in 30 second advertisements that were based on a whimsical premise of being another “other” in society would work wonders for the television audience. That sentence was wordy. What I’m saying in short is 30 second commercial characters don’t often translate to a full-blown sitcom. The series flopped horrifically with only SEVEN of the shows 13 produced episodes airing before the plug got pulled. GEICO eventually laughed about it though, as seen on an ad during Super Bowl 42:

I set all this up to say that shows or movies based on characters from advertisements are NOT good ideas….then comes Uncle Drew.

NOW TO BE FAIR, PEPSI DID MAKE A SHORT FILM OUT OF UNCLE DREW, this was based on the series of commercials they did starting in 2012. So there’s an extended playout of what COULD happen with this character, but advertisements have diluted this into “popular black celebrity mashup extravaganza.”

Again, isolated, that’s okay, but if you’re pushing the movie as this to us, it sends a red flag TO ME that this movie isn’t going to be good. Another movie with that sort of advertising IMMEDIATELY pops to mind.

Coincidentally this is the movie that launched Kevin Hart’s career so……

Now I could be wrong, this could turn out to be a solid film with pretty good moments of comedy. I mean we’ve got Shaq in old man makeup likely dunking on folks and talking copious amounts of trash, so, that’s a positive. Also, if it DOES do well, it sets Kyrie up for a possible movie career after basketball is over, which would be a LONG time from now. Come to think of it, if it flops, that’ll be okay for him to, since he’s still got a LONG time to play.

Wait. Who directed this? Charles Stone? Hold on. Checks IMDB

Well, s***, when does it come out?


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