BLOGS

The Telefile
<I>Rob</i>: Insert a Spanish Interjection for Pain Here

I'm just going to jump right in and address the 800-pound sombrero-wearing gorilla in the room: This pilot is racist. I don't care how accurate the premise is to Rob Schneider's real life, many of the jokes rely entirely on ugly stereotypes of Mexican-Americans. Even worse, it's yet another show that forces Hispanic-American actors to take these kinds of roles if they want to be on network TV. I could see how a person may argue that it's more a shock-humor type of deal and that this show explores a group of people who aren't often shown to mainstream American audiences. That argument might carry more weight if Rob didn't basically take the worst parts about the already-bad Jack and Jill (it even features Eugenio Derbez!) and let's-just-say-ridiculous A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas and stretch them into a series starring already-annoying Schneider.

Honestly, Rob is so bad that I don't even need to make jabs about the series forcing us to imagine what it looks like when Schneider has sex with an elderly woman. Even if you somehow, against all odds, don't find Schneider grating (I, for one, actually enjoy him in roles where he stars as various inanimate objects, and thought he was excellent in this film in particular) and can appreciate this show in the same way audiences enjoyed My Big Fat Greek Wedding ten years ago, I can't imagine you'll get past that CBS-patented awful laugh track.

While the jokes aren't my cup of tea -- the comedic timing and rhythm feels more like an early '90s sitcom rather than something from 2012 -- some of them were actually kind of funny in their own right. The pilot was penned by Schneider and Emmy Award-winning Lewis Morton (who has worked on the writing staffs of Futurama, Undeclared and NewsRadio, to name a few), and between Cheech Marin and Lupe Ontiveros alone, I know the actors are strong enough to pitch in. I actually think that if the subject matter was less obsessed with Mexican-American stereotypes, this show could be okay. But unless the second episode of Rob somehow manages to ditch its fixation, it's doomed... or, as they say in Spanish: Just kidding, I'm not falling into this trap! Your move, Rob.

While it's true that there are only so many stories in the world, vlogger Sean Crespo still wonders why CBS bothered with this one.

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