Monday, January 16, 2012

REVIEW: iRob!

CBS - Thursday 8:30/7:30 Central

Rob Schneider takes the apparently hilarious relationship he has with his wife's Hispanic family and turns it into a television show.  I think it's supposed to be a sitcom, but the laughs come only during the commercials when that All-State commercial comes on featuring Mayhem.

Hands down the most offensive show on television, iRob! (get it, because it's in a hispanic family?  Good stuff) suffers from stupid characters, bad dialogue, that insane laugh track, poor writing and situations that cannot get better.

1.  Does it entertain me?
Like most of this midseason, no.  I'm really getting tired of watching bad shows for the off chance that they might be good.  I hate that these shows keep getting made, and I hope that network executives keep thinking these are good.  That's the problem with television right now: it doesn't matter if a show is funny or not, as long as people watch it.  Which says more about the people in the country than anything else.

I generally like Rob Schneider, and that may be a fault of mine, and I know that he does not venture into the cerebral very often (one of the many ways he differs from his good friend and contemporary Adam Sandler).  And maybe I expect too much of our comedians these days, but I want to see a show that I can laugh at and where the writers make me feel good about laughing at that.

"Rob" manages to be offensive to Mexicans, Catholics, Caucasians, men, women, children and out of work poor siblings.  Given this is based on Rob Schneider's life, this is what I learned of his family
1.  They are lazy.
2.  They drink.
3.  They are scoundrels.
4.  They don't treat him well.
5.  They put up with his insensitivity
This is not an ideal family to live in, and if this is the case, I feel bad for him.  It must be tough living in a world where you are not accepted and you have no filter on your asinine comments about your family.  No wonder he turned this into a sitcom and pointed out where his family let him down.

The real issue is that, as bad as the show is, and as poor as the character are, there is no room for growth.  There don't seem to be enough situations that they could take the show and the characters that is redeemable or could be funny.  It's poorly written with no thought for the future.

2.  Is it realistic?
No.  No one is as stupid as the character of Rob, and no one could possibly spit out the nonsense he does.  No one would get caught in the inexcusable positions he does, and no one would keep saying the things he does.

I get it, this Mexican family is different than his family, their customs are different.  But no one is so ignorant to think that Mexicans use siestas to make babies, and even if they are, they don't say that out loud the first time they meet the in-laws.  Some things just don't happen.

3.  Are immoral actions defended?
The only immoral actions are the things that come out of Rob's mouth, the offenses and slurs against his wife's families.  And these are done as shock value in the confines of the show, but they are never revisited.  If I said the kinds of things to my wife's family that Robs says to his, I would be drawn and quartered.  But Rob gets to get away with them, because we, the audience, are supposed to feel uncomfortable yet identify with him.

4.  Are traditional family values upheld?
The strange thing is that there seems to be a genuine love between Rob and his wife.  They laugh about strange situations, they talk in the car, they spend time together.  Rob and his father-in-law have a heart to heart to discuss the family ways.  These are genuine moments.

Too bad they are surrounded by stupid situations and absurdity.

The Mexican family and their values is insulted, the Catholic Church is insulted (the reason, Rob says, they have so many children is because they are Catholic and thus don't use protection.  Completely ignoring the Church's true teaching on the dual nature of marriage and sex).
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Once again, Rob is not worth your time.  It is not family friendly, is not funny, and it doesn't have hope that it will ever be.  It's offensive to Mexican families, to the Church, and to fans of good comedy who think television can be a way to enrich our lives, not destroy it.

Grade: D-

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