January 13th, 2012
11:14 AM ET
For the last couple of seasons, CBS has been searching for the right show to air after its massive hit "The Big Bang Theory." They've tried "$#*! My Dad Says," "How to Be a Gentleman" and "Rules of Engagement" (twice). So far, nothing has seemed to be able to hold the audience.
"Rob" is probably not going to be the one to break the streak.
Thursday night's premiere wasn't exactly expected to be "Downton Abbey" (as CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler put it). I didn't go in with particularly high expectations, which is the same way I approached watching "Work It."
Here's what I can say (and there already seems to be something of a debate on this point): "Rob" is not as bad as "Work It."
For one thing, Rob the character is kind of a lovable bumbler. Star Rob Schneider has made a career of playing characters like "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo." In the case of "Work It" – try as it might to make the two leads sympathetic with their employment problems, they just aren't.
That's not to say that "Rob" isn't bad. For example, Rob accidentally coming across to his new wife's family as though he "humped her grandmother" is a joke you could see coming a mile away, and the payoff isn't funny.
At first, a lot of the humor comes from the dimwitted control freak, Rob, accidentally offending his wife Maggie's Mexican family. (By the way, Schneider based the show on his own life.)
The character Rob seems to know less about Mexican culture than your average American preschooler. By his own admission, "I took three years of Spanish and retained none of it!"
The show is also trying to sell Maggie's uncle, Hector, as a breakout character, and one of his lines to Rob about how much the family hates him was pretty funny. We'll see how successful they are with that.
Cheech Marin plays Maggie's dad, Fernando, who surprises Rob by espousing his view that there needs to be a big wall across the Mexican border, "and patrol it with cannons." That's the only moment of surprise for anyone (well, aside from the "humping" scene) in this by-the-numbers show.
When it comes down to it, "Rob" is very lucky that it premiered in the same two-week-period as "Work It."
Did you like the show more (or even less) than I did? Share your view on iReport or comment below.
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