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Both Rob and Work It are deeply offensive in their own ways, but the real crime is that Rob, which launches on CBS on Thursday, and its ABC sibling lack any real sense of humor. Their wedding—which, naturally, takes place on the spur of the moment at a Las Vegas chapel—comes as a terrible surprise to Maggie’s sprawling family, who never envisioned her with a short, white husband. For the pilot, at least, there isn’t a single Latin name among the writers or producers (Schneider, who has an executive-producer credit on the show, can boast a Latina wife), and the series’s first episode offers a wafer-thin appreciation and awareness of Mexican culture, one that doesn’t go beyond guacamole and the occasional use of the Spanish endearment mija (my daughter).
Work It had seemingly plumbed the nadir of the television comedy, and it seemed it couldn’t get any worse. This is as deep as things go here, though I kept waiting for a tired piñata scene to arrive. )In fact, Rob’s handling of ethnicity and minority culture makes the stereotype-rich 2 Broke Girls appear culturally sensitive by comparison.
It’s a particularly horrific sequence that’s played out for laughs as Maggie’s unnamed Abuelita attempts to fight off Rob, but then later offers him a flirtatious wave in a complete about-face.
CBS isn’t known for the subtlety of its comedies, though one has to wonder just how this show was pitched to the network’s entertainment president, Nina Tassler, and what she thought of the finished product.
He’s meant to provide some semblance of comic relief, his entrances and exits modeled after ’s Kramer, but without the deftness of Michael Richards, depth of character, or humorous dialogue.
He’s a leech in a man’s form, who happily swills spoiled sangria and sneaks into Rob and Maggie’s bedroom.
“I don’t need any more competition,” he says, shrugging, before gleefully admitting that he employs illegal workers. Fernando’s brother-in-law Hector (Eugenio Derbez) is an illegal alien himself, one who asks Rob for a ,200 loan the first time they meet and who tells him that he’s visiting for the weekend but is never leaving.Shows like Rob lower the bar inasmuch as they lower our perception of television as a medium.