Screenshot via Stella Artois
Last week, Jeff Bridges tweeted a mysterious clip of him dressed up as the Dude once again, Pendleton cardigan and all, mugging to the camera while a tumblin' tumbleweed revealed a date: February 3, 2019. Big Lebowski fans the world over immediately started speculating about what, exactly, this could mean.Had the Coen brothers somehow shot a Lebowski sequel without anyone knowing? Could a full trailer be dropping next month? Is it possible that we live in a world so secretly magical that something as wondrous as Big Lebowski 2 could just materialize in our lives, fully formed, without any warning at all? The answer, it turned out, was simple: No. Bridges was just teasing a goddamn Super Bowl ad.
And on Monday, the Stella Artois ad in question finally debuted online, and, good lord—the thing is terrible enough to turn us all into nihilists.Watch it if you dare:Yes, that is Sarah Jessica Parker reprising her role as Carrie Bradshaw alongside Bridges' Lebowski as the two of them reject their signature drinks—a Cosmopolitan and a White Russian, respectively—to order, uh, a pair of Stellas. Carrie Bradshaw, the Dude, booze—what could go wrong? As it turns out, pretty much everything."Changing can do a little good," Bridges-as-Lebowski says, before throwing in an inexplicable "the Dude abides," even though the phrase has no logical place in their conversation.First of all, what? Why Carrie Bradshaw and the Dude? What conceivable argument can be made for their pairing, other than the fact that both characters like specific alcoholic drinks and both actors were apparently willing to subject themselves to this trash? Secondly, if you're getting two stars to reprise their beloved roles years after the fact, can't you at least come up with a script that isn't just Bridges lamely repeating his old catchphrases on camera?Of course, this isn't the first time that Bridges has pocketed what we can only assume is a massive paycheck for some Super Bowl commercial work. A couple of years ago, he teamed up with Squarespace to make a bizarre album of songs you can sleep to, but at least that had some spark of creative ingenuity and fun. This Stella ad is too painfully self-conscious, too obviously a cloying nostalgia grab, to make the Dude's return anything less than awkward.Plus, this is the Dude here. We all expect Carrie Bradshaw to sell out this easily, but Lebowski? This is the guy who wrote the SDC's Port Huron statement—the original one, not the compromised second draft. The man who was in the Seattle Seven, well, him and six other people. No amount of expensive rugs could get him to stand behind this lame, consumerist garble, right? Has the whole world gone crazy?Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.