There comes a point in your time as a student where your brain becomes so numb from two weeks of strenuous exams and finals. 2020 doesn’t give any relief to the stress and absurdity. To add, Lifetime showed the commercial for its collaboration with KFC, "A Recipe for Seduction," all day in between their wholesome Christmas movies.
Lifetime is known for its suddenly diverse Christmas movies, predictable thrillers and mediocre and meme-able celebrity documentaries. KFC is known for fried chicken. Who came up with this collaboration?
KFC has a history of pushing this sexy Colonel Sanders on the public. In 2019, KFC funded a dating sim game called “I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator.”
Sadly, I'm not kidding.
Is this a new kind of sponsored content similar to YouTube? Has just 2020 numbed advertising executives' brains? Are marketing teams finally feeling the effects of Zoom fatigue?
I don’t know what is going on at KFC headquarters, especially the marketing department, but some of us just want to get our food and go. We don’t need all this. It is exhausting how brands are trying to personify themselves.
The cast and crew managed to shoot this commercial (sorry, mini-movie) in October 2020. The premise is a girl is suited to marry a wealthy man but is falling for the chef, Colonel Harland Sanders. Then, add in the wannabe soap-opera plotlines and melodrama only telenovelas can master. They managed to add in the secret formula as a plot point.
At first, I was wondering how this could escalate to the point Colonel Sanders is tied up, and someone is on the staircase passed out or possibly dead? Over some fried chicken? How could so much happen in 15 minutes?
To summarize what I witnessed:
Jessica Mancera (Justene Alpert) declines the proposal of her wealthy suitor, Billy Garibaldi (Chad Doreck), at a Christmas themed dinner with shots of KFC chicken. The next morning, she meets Colonel Harland Sanders (Mario Lopez) when he hands her mother, Bunny Mancera (Tessa Munro), the Christmas dinner menu. Turns out, the Macnera’s are in serious debt, and Jessica must marry Billy, who she despises. Then Sanders and Jessica take a walk and learn about each other.
Later on, Jessica confesses to her friend, Lee (Martin Morrow), who is waiting for his date at a country club, that she is in love with Lee. In the background, Mrs. Mancera is eavesdropping on the conversation. She goes to the country club herself and meets Billy. To add another plot twist, Mrs. Mancera had an affair with Billy. Jessica and Sanders kiss despite just meeting a day or two before.
Fast forward, Lee goes back to the Macnera’s manor and starts yelling at Mrs. Mancera. He then ends up on the staircase, knocked out by her. Eventually, Jessica goes for a walk in the garden and hears something in the shed.
A lot more happens but I won't spoil the ending for you. Too much happened in 15 minutes, and my post-finals brain could not handle all of this.
It wouldn't be as bad if they didn’t make Mario Lopez dress in a bad toupee and Colonel Sanders costume. If they flesh it out and make it into a full cheesy Lifetime movie, it actually would be a decent.
Honestly, I don’t know what to rate this. It’s a solid bold question mark out of five stars. Maybe add an italicization to emphasize how confused I am. The person who wrote and directed this didn’t even allow their last name to be in the credits. That’s how bizarre this is.
I don’t know if this was a marketing scheme from both Lifetime and KFC, a mockery of Lifetime movies and the Colonel Sanders dating simulator, or a promo for Lifetime’s Christmas movie stunt.
It wasn’t bad; it was weird. (Mind you, this is on the comparison level of Lifetime movies. I’m not talking about blockbuster hits or award-winning films). The acting wasn’t as cringey or dry as other Lifetime movies. The setting was beautiful. It was a humorous little mini-movie with predicable drama.
“A Recipe for Seduction” sits on the cusp of marketing, romance, humor and fried chicken. The writing and plotline did not take themselves so seriously. The people behind this movie knew what they were doing. The mini-movie does its job of getting Twitter and every other media outlet to write a thought piece on it.
To conclude, what did I watch and is there a part 2 coming?