In the first five minutes of CBS’ new ¡Rob!, we had jokes on siestas, Catholics and their birth control — or lack — guacamole and Julio Iglesias.
Then there was the gardener with the leaf blower joke. And of course, the illegal immigrant Mexican uncle.
I haven’t felt this regretful about watching something on TV since The Real Housewives of Miami stole hours I never can recover.
Did you watch it?
Maybe it is worth watching just to learn what some TV executives really think about Latinos in America.
I would suggest every single person involved in the show sit down and watch some Que Pasa, USA? Thirty-plus years later and it still is the champ at portraying the funny and crazy of culture clashes with truth and passable stereotype.
I’ll leave the rest of the reviews to the professionals.
And, I’ll watch again…and hope…and likely, regret.
But lastly, why Cheech Marin, why? Why Lupe Ontiveros, why?
Reviews on ¡Rob!
Los Angeles Times: “Rob’s culture shock turns into schlock.”
No doubt there is a grain of truth in the absurd tensions that fuel “Rob” — the overwhelming and sometimes invasive tendencies of a large family, the real cultural differences “mixed” couples encounter, the revelations of early marriage — but Schneider clearly does not think his audience is sophisticated enough to deal with anything more nuanced than Frito-Bandito slapstick.
USA Today: “What’s bad about Rob? The whole enchilada.”
There can be no question that Latinos, the nation’s largest ethnic minority group, are underserved by and under-represented on network TV. So yes, what a shame that the comedy Rob (* out of 4, CBS, Thursday, 8:30 ET/PT), starring Rob Schneider as a man who marries into a Mexican-American family, plays less like a gift meant to appease these neglected viewers then as a weapon meant to silence them. It’s as if CBS were saying, “Keep complaining, and we’ll give you more shows like this.
Time: CBS’s ¡Rob!, Why It ¡Stinks!, and How Not to Do Race on a Sitcom.
When a show like ¡Rob! makes gardener jokes or 2 Broke Girls makes its Asian manager a nerd who mangles English, on the other hand, they’re not drawing on any real experience of life as it exists today. In fact, they’re going out of their way not to: the whole point of this kind of easy, hack-y joke is that you write them so that a viewer can get the jokes without knowing anything about another culture beyond decades-old clichés, based on other TV shows. You don’t have to know anything about what’s changed in America since All in the Family; you don’t have to have any awareness of Latinos since Chico and the Man.
Que Pasa, USA? videos
To cleanse the palate.