Bad news for anyone whose spine still shivers from January’s nightmarish reinvention of the McDonald’s Happy Meal box. This season’s McDonald’s reboot has taken aim at rebooting another familiar character, and what was once a pleasantly chubby ginger Hamburglar is now a scruff, svelte, enviably stylish, arguably attractive manburglar.
According to a new ad campaign from the Golden Arches, the Hamburglar is coming back to TV—and he’s now a married suburban father who ostensibly moonlights as a burger thief to get McDonald’s products before the expiration of limited time offers.
When he transforms, gone is the black-and-white onesie and comically oversized Lorde hat that the original Hamburglar boasted since the ‘70s. The New Hamburglar is ripped right from an autumn Gap ad, with a sleek new trenchcoat, bright red hightops, and a vintage pirate tee that’s either from H&M or Party City. His jeans are locked in a bitter battle with his tie for the title of “Who’s skinniest?” and the mask covering his perfectly symmetrical smoky eyes seems straight out of a Halloween episode of Pretty Little Liars.
This new Hamburglar poses a problem.
For one thing, he’s pretty, and I don’t want to go to McDonald’s expecting to see someone hotter than me holding a double McSwiss burger (or whatever McDonald’s has been rolling out these days). I know that this New Hamburglar, who sublets a studio above a gym and has not touched a carb since his bar mitzvah, can afford to eat these calories because they’ll simply be spun or kickboxed or hot-yoga’d off his body within 24 hours. I, on the other hand, must enter into a non-verbal contract with every cheeseburger because I know we’re going to be stuck with each other for the long haul, or at least through tank-top season.
To that point, I am perhaps most troubled by my confidence that New Hamburglar (likely named Jake or Brandyyn with two Y’s) does not even enjoy burgers. Old Hamburglar believably looked like he would actually shrivel and die if not for the mouthwatering combo of meat, cheese, and bun served into his bloodstream. New Hamburglar, on the other hand, probably won’t eat anything unless it’s served in an artisanal mason jar. Not only that, but I glean that New Hamburglar disagrees with all your restaurant choices but doesn’t actually suggest any himself. New Hamburglar gets a side salad and makes a big deal when the bill comes. New Hamburglar never shows up to events on time, refuses to dress for a theme at costume parties, and has never read Harry Potter because he “just never got around to it.” Shame on New Hamburglar.
Even if New Hamburglar is a closeted burger lover, I stand by the belief that he should not be allowed to endorse hamburgers simply because he does not passably make you believe he enjoys their company. Even William Shatner has probably at least tried Priceline.
And has New Hamburglar ever even stolen anything aside from school mascots and collegiate virginities? New Hamburglar doesn’t exude the bad-boy aura of a criminal; New Hamburglar comes from new money and always had hamburgers handed to him literally on a silver platter. He did not grow up in the streets like Old Hamburglar, who was forced to turn to a life of crime to feed his younger siblings, eventually becoming so synonymous with the very nature of his Machiavellian larceny that any identity from the life he once led is but a specter in the past for a man whose feared name is also his very essence. New Hamburglar stole a pack of Necco Wafers once.
Most of all, the problem here is that New Hamburglar just looks like he has it all together, which is absolutely not the message I’m taking with me when I find myself back at McDonald’s. If New Hamburglar is saying, “You can have McDonald’s and have it all,” Old Hamburglar said, “I’m just doing the best that I can.”
What doors does this moderately sexy new hamsplainer open up for the rest of the McDonald’s cast, assuming they remain on payroll and are not replaced by younger, hotter mascots from the CW? Should we expect to see abs on Ronald McDonald, arguably the least sexy brand mascot since Frankenberry? Will we notice Birdie’s waistline shrink and bustline grow the next time she’s photographed by the paparazzi sneaking a McNugget between McGreen McJuices? And what of Grimace!? Who will tell him that his curves are beautiful in a world full of unrealistic shades of purple?
I also have a similar problem with the Wendy’s girl.