Spring 2012 Review: Rob

10 Feb


I’m still a bit confused about the actual title of this show, and how many !s should be in it, and where they should be placed.  So let’s just accept that I’m talking about the new Rob Schneider sitcom, in which he impulsively marries a Mexican woman, and boy does he not realize, that’s he’s married to her family also!  Where Work It indulged heartily in stereotypes about women, Rob digs in to Mexican stereotypes.

Disclaimer:  After writing the Work It review and this one, I do want to say, it’s not that the use of stereotypes can absolutely never ever be funny.  It’s just that it’s usually not funny, and is usually terrible and offensive.  I just want to leave that door open for the few who trade in this general type of humor more effectively, a la Chapelle’s Show.  Stil, for ever Chapelle’s Show that does it well, there’s ten Mind of Mencias that do it terribly.

Either way, I would like to focus in on how bad Rob is as a television program.

Basically, Rob meets his wife, Maggie’s family, and while needing to impress them, constantly embarrasses himself (think Meet the Parents but with a stereotypical Mexican component).  Rob was as difficult to watch as Work It, but for a very different reason.  Rob basically contained the this-man-can’t-do-anything-right type of pratfalls, as he stumbled through physical comedy bits embarrassing himself, but without any of the actual laughter which comes from when this type of humor actually works.  You get the hard to watch part without the funny.

Rob takes on hard hitting issues like illegal immigration, mentioning to Cheech Marin, who plays his wife’s father, that he feels that the borders should be open, while Marin responds that he wants a wall to be erected so he doesn’t have any competition.  Rob mentions he’s a landscape architect to his wife’s mother, who labels him a gardener.  I love that they think they’re turning stereotypes on their head, for example by showing us that these Mexicans are successful – father Cheech Marin says he owns several car washes, contrary to what us stupid Americans, who have low expectations for Mexican=-Americans, think.

There’s a lot of low brow, physical comedy.  It’s not that I think all low brow comedy is unfunny, but there’s caught-in-a-situation-where-someone-mistakes-you-as-masturbating joke, and there’s a caught-in-a-situation-where-someone-mistakes-you-as-masturbating joke.  Party Down manages to pull it off when goofy boss Ron gets caught trying to use a stain pen on his pants, but Rob not so much when his wife’s grandmother catches him trying to put out of the fire that has erupted on his pants when accidentally knocks over his wife’s grandmother’s devotional candles to her dead husband.  Rob even follows it with an extremely creepy and terrible joke and he ends up in an awkward sexual position vis a vis the grandmother, after trying to cover her mouth to prevent her from screaming out what a mess he’s made setting the room on fire.

What’s really sad is that there is a dearth of Latin American actors on television, and likeSt. Louisdeserves better than Work It, Latin American actors and actresses deserve better than Rob.

Will I watch it again?  No.  Sadly, while Work It was quickly cancelled, this is on CBS, so people watch it.  I look forward to never having to think about this program again, except in the litany of terrible projects Rob Schneider has been associated with.  It’s amazing how the man, in a town where so many talented comedians never get a chance, manages to continue to get a work, and get a project where he gets to have an attractive, much younger wife.

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