It’s a teenager's nightmare: You’re watching a movie or TV show with your parents when, horrifically, the characters on screen start having sex. The only choice is to white-knuckle your way through the action and hope you don’t suffer any lasting trauma. HBO has smartly captured this painfully awkward experience in a series of new ads promoting its HBO Go streaming service.
In the ads, a pair of Millennials and their out-of-touch parents have a variety of cringeworthy conversations as they watch HBO shows in the living room. During a scene of adultery in True Detective, Dad reminisces on the other women he could have bedded over the years. Mom uses a make-out scene between two women on Girls to discuss her daughter’s sexual preferences with her. Perhaps most upsettingly, the mother shows no outward uncomfortableness watching an intense True Blood sex scene with her son in a spot titled “Appreciation.”
The solution to this ongoing crisis? Get HBO Go so you can stream shows from the privacy of your own tablet, laptop or smartphone. The ads’ narrator notes that the streaming service allows users to enjoy TV “far, far away from your parents.” HBO has made several moves to target HBO Go at Millennials. A previous series of deadpan ads argued that the service was more important than moms, and CEO Richard Plepler has said he doesn’t care if young people share passwords to use the service. HBO hasn't released usage figures for Go, but the service has crashed multiple times this spring due to high demand for shows like True Detective and Game of Thrones.
Check out more of the awkward parent commercials below: