Rob: The TV Equivalent of Every Rob Schneider Movie Ever

Your opinion of CBS's newest comedy, Rob, will largely depend on your opinion of series star Rob Schneider's body of work, which includes such catch-'em-on-afternoon-cable classics as Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, The Hot Chick, and The Animal. There's a time and a place for those color-by-numbers comedies, and it's usually when you're hungover and alone. Rob is pretty much the same, except it airs during primetime, so there's really no reason for it to exist, let alone for you to be watching it (if you're hungover at 8:30pm, you'll be dead soon anyway).

Rob, which is no more than a story about a gringo who marries into a Mexican-American family but is really 30 minutes of "How did this guy get this girl to marry him?," is quintessential Schneider packed with trademarks from his films. It just wouldn't be a Rob Schneider project without an awkward situation that's mistaken by others to involve grandma sex. And, as with all his movies, it's an excuse to pair the shlubby Schneider with a just-fell-off-a-magazine-cover gorgeous chick, in this case, screen-licking-worthy Spanish actress Claudia Bassols, who plays Rob's wife Maggie. The humor is typical swing-at-every-pitch-and-hope-you-make-contact-once-or-twice, and Rob's series premiere got in a few hits (like, two and a half) via accidental chuckles -- though I will never admit to that in person.

Where Rob goes really wrong is with its handling of potentially sensitive racial humor. In the pilot, Cheech Marin's character -- Rob's father-in-law, Fernando -- says he'd like to see a giant wall erected on the U.S.-Mexico border to keep "competition" from coming entering the United States. Yet he's risen from working as a lowly towel boy at a car wash to being an affluent owner of an eight-car-wash empire who isn't afraid to employ illegal immigrants to his benefit, making him a Mexican Tio Tomas. His background will surely become the butt of many jokes, and I've got to think some people will have a problem with that. Meanwhile, Maggie's uncle Hector has just arrived in America, and he embodies a painful stereotype: the opportunistic freeloader. And of course, Rob's knowledge of Mexican culture is based on a Chevy's menu. The funny thing about all this is that Rob is based on Schneider's own life -- he's really married to a Mexican woman -- yet he treats it like... well, a CBS sitcom.

There is one legitimately good part of the show, and that's Marin. He's the only one who looks comfortable and knows how to sell a joke without throwing in a stupid hand gesture or voice inflection to tell the laugh-track guy how hard to press the "laugh" button. But I'll be honest with you, years of Cheech & Chong fandom will prevent me from ever speaking ill of Marin. And in the end, there's an adequate amount of heart and recognition that the human experience transcends culture to think the show won't just be a constant flow of jokes about tacos.

It's appropriate to compare Rob to contemporary comedies, and the bar for comedy is currently so low it's halfway to China, thanks to ABC's embarrassingly bad Work It. Stacked side-by-side against the cross-dressing atrocity, Rob is merely not that good.


Did you tune in? What did you think?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (23)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
although i didn't watch this show yet, it couldn't possibly be bad as Work It. now that's a show worth the phrase ' worst show ever'
Reply
Flag
His movies are pretty funny, I enjoy them. Though I'm not sure I'll enjoy watching too much of this at once. It was okay, but honestly, I started playing on my phone halfway through...
Reply
Flag
NOT That good! I think its funny and i laughed my a** off,, i will watch it
Reply
Flag
I watched the show and did not hate it ....... or enjoy it; I was simply bored the entire time. The most egregious sin of this program was, like many other failed comedies, terrible line delivery by the 'star'. I looked the whole episode to see if I could see the script that Schneider was reading off of.... terrible. At least Cheech Marin had his script memorized.
Reply
Flag
Is the the Rob Schneider haters board or is it about the show Rob? Serious, I watched the show and though it was pretty funny. Strong supporting cast and for the first episode they did a good job. I'll continue to watch.
Reply
Flag
I started watching and after the the picture into the candles into pants off in front of old woman, I said No Mas y Aye Ca-rumba!
Reply
Flag
I give every show a chance...but Rob Schneider? Really? I'll give it a couple weeks...if people like it than I might watch it.
Reply
Flag
They should have Rob Schneider's show with him working in Kinkos. His job: Making copies what else.
Reply
Flag
I have not seen "Rob" mainly because I have heard nothing good about the show. Plus, once you have seen one of his movies, you have had enough of Rob Schneider to last a lifetime.
Reply
Flag
The whole episode was an excruciating blur (if that's even possible).

Kind of like getting socked in the nuts with a pillow. It hurts, but not for very long (weird euphemism I know. It's the middle of the night. I'm groggy).

Another show where a complete doof marries a hot chick.

What the hell is going on?? Is 2012 the year of failed comedies?? First we had Work It, then they gave us Chelsea Handler's trainwreck last night (the poop joke sealed the deal right there) and now this??

With the future of Community shrouded in ambiguity, is the comedy genre doomed?

Are we damned to live a humorless existence??

Screw it. I'm going to start watching Seinfeld reruns again.
Reply
Flag
i will watch Rob because Rob Schneider is funny and im a fan of his i watched all the movies he has been in and i will watch his tv show.
Reply
Flag
not a Rob Schneider fan at all, I'll never see this. I'd actually rather have watched Man Up or Work It.....
Reply
Flag
I love Cheech Marin but I do prefer him in roles like Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Machete. That said, I'll give the show a few more chances because of him. He was really the only bright spot in this pilot. I can't stand Rob Schneider when he's the star of a movie. I can usually stand him in a supporting role. I know he's the star of the show, but I may be able to stand him for 22 minutes a week. We'll see how it goes.
Reply
Flag
I laughed. That said, I did not like the uncle / brother of the mother. I think they crossed some line with him. Marin was not that funny. He seems tired now. Claudia Bassols is cute, though. I only know about her from some series she did on PBS with Gwynyth Paltrow, Mario Batali, and some food writer guy hat toured Spain exploring the cuisine it offers. I thought she was some Spanish TV show host or something. She was actually, and surprisingly, the best thing about this show.
Reply
Flag
I can't believe they replaced Rules of Engagement with this piece of crap.
Reply
Flag
Urg I hate Rob Schneider. Did not watch. Won't be watching.
Reply
Flag
Cheech & Chong were never funny. This alone disqualifies you from any future critique of any comedy show. You probably think Don Rickles was funny.
Reply
Flag
Its way better than Hot in ....!!!!

and anything by Tim allen!!!!!
Reply
Flag
Based on this one episode, Cheech is definitely the star of the show. The grandma is also a legit actress despite her small roll; maybe she'll have an opportunity to shine in future episodes. But just like any new series the actors are just getting to know each other and their chemistry is still a bit awkward.

I'm not Mexican but I have a hunch it will be a hit within that demographic if given a chance.

So my verdict is, it started kinda bad but I think it has potential..
Reply
Flag
Rob Schneider dee derpy derpy deedly deedly derpy dum!
Reply
Flag
Wow Tim, I am sorry that you had to endure this show. I will not watch it. Rob Schneider is a lot like David Spade. They were decent on SNL and then just became horrible. And have further devolved and can only get jobs from Adam Sandler. I would give this a one and done episode count. But CBS kept How to be a Gentlemen for a bit, so it is negligible as to how long it will last.



But I would like to thank them for introducing Claudia Bassols, love Catalonian women.
Reply
Flag
Oddly enough, David Spade has actually been pretty successful in that very timeslot.
Reply
Flag
I know, yet I still can't understand how he keeps getting work.

Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook