"Everyone on my team [read: family] always wants something different to eat. That's why we go to the $4.99 Cici's Buffet."
Sure, it's $4.99. Yes, the commercial appears to take place right after a kids' summer ballgame, which I remember as being a crazy, exhausting time when Mom was a little more willing to punt on things like dinner.
But what happened to "community"? What happened to being "part of a family"? What happened to "you don't get exactly what you want every time you want it"?
I think the part that bugs me about the commercial is not that the mom is taking the family to a restaurant, not that it's cheap, not that it makes the family happy. The part that bugs me about it is that it makes the family happy in such a way that none of them actually has to be part of the family.
What happened to "Johnny's team won, so he gets to pick the restaurant!" ?? Or "Sarah picked last time so Dad gets to pick tonight." ?? Where is the sense of self-giving and communal life that comes with actually being a family??