Wednesday, January 11, 2012

CBS Mid-Season Pilot Review: Rob - Premieres January 12; TCA Winter 2012 Press Tour: CBS


Rob

Rob - Thursdays 8:30PM ET/PT on CBS
Premieres Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 8:30PM ET/PT

By Pavan

Rob is a comedy starring Rob Schneider as a lifelong bachelor who just married into a tight-knit Mexican-American family. Rob is a successful landscape architect who, after a whirlwind romance, marries Maggie, a beautiful, smart book translator, who is way out of his league. After eloping in Las Vegas, Maggie and Rob must break the news to her overprotective, judgmental parents, Rosa and Fernando, that they are married. Shocked by news that they've eloped, the family remains skeptical of Maggie's choice for a husband, with the exception of her uncle Hector, the black sheep of the family, who immediately declares himself Rob's best friend. Rob hopes he will one day win over his new in-laws, aunts, uncles and Maggie's Abuelita, and live happily ever after with his one true love, Maggie.


Cast Details:

* Rob Schneider as Rob
* Claudia Bassols as Maggie
* Cheech Marin as Fernando
* Diana Maria Riva as Rosa
* Eugenio Derbez as Hector
* Lupe Ontiveros as Abuelita

Rob Schneider (Rob) created the comedy series Rob, which is loosely based on his whirlwind romance and marriage to Patricia Azarcoya Arce, a TV producer from Mexico. Schneider is well-known for his longtime relationship with Adam Sandler and has starred in several of his Happy Madison films, including Grown Ups, Bedtime Stories, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, The Benchwarmers, 50 First Dates, The Longest Yard, Eight Crazy Nights, Little Nicky and Mr. Deeds. Also for Happy Madison, Schneider co-wrote and starred in Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, The Hot Chick and The Animal. Other film credits include Shark Bait, The Waterboy and Big Daddy. After opening for comedians such as Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld, Schneider made his major network television debut in 1987 on The David Letterman Show. In 1990, Lorne Michaels hired him to be a regular on Saturday Night Live. During his four seasons at SNL, Schneider was nominated for three Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.

Claudia Bassols (Maggie) has been able to participate in many international projects. In 2008, she co-starred alongside Gwyneth Paltrow in the PBS TV series Spain... On the Road Again. She starred in several feature films, such as The Eagle Path, Suki Singh's Emulsion and Todor Chapkanov's Vampyre Nation. Her latest feature is One in the Chamber, where she co-stars with Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. Bassols has appeared in some of Spain's most renowned television series, including Amar en Tiempos Revueltos (Love in Difficult Times), El Mundo de Chema, C.L.A. No Somos Angeles, Mis Adorables Vecinos, La Riera and Gavilanes. Bassols was featured in Esquire’s Sexiest Women Alive issue in November 2010.

Cheech Marin (Fernando) is best known as one half of the irreverent, satirical counterculture duo of Cheech and Chong. Recently, Marin reunited with his comedy partner, Tommy Chong, with whom he continues to perform on a national comedy tour. In addition to eight feature films from the Cheech and Chong series, Marin appeared in Tin Cup, Spy Kids, Once Upon A Time in Mexico, The Perfect Game and the Robert Rodriguez film Machete. He lent his voice to the animated feature films Hoodwinked Too!, Cars 2 and The Lion King. Marin's television credits include Judging Amy and co-starring with Don Johnson in Nash Bridges, on CBS and on ABC's Lost, Grey's Anatomy and Off the Map. He also appeared on the short-lived Golden Girls follow-up series The Golden Palace with Don Cheadle.

Diana Maria Riva (Rosa) has established herself as a dominant force in television, film and theater. Her film credits include Our Family Wedding, 17 Again, What Women Want, Employee of the Month, Chasing Papi and The Third Wheel. On television, Riva starred in The Good Guys and Side Order of Life. Other television credits include Common Law, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Everybody Loves Raymond and NYPD Blue, among others.

Eugenio Derbez (Hector) is one of Mexico's best-known actors and comedians, as well as one of the most recognized actors among the Spanish-speaking population in the United States. Derbez created and starred in the popular Mexican series Vecinos (Neighbors) and XHDRbZ and starred in Univision's La Familia P. Luche. He also served as host for the 2009 and 2010 Latin Grammy Awards. Derbez stars in the Adam Sandler comedy Jack and Jill. His additional feature film credits include See if I Care, Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Under the Same Moon.

Lupe Ontiveros (Abuelita): Whether portraying Nacha in the Academy Award-nominated film El Norte (The North) or as a founding member of LA's Latino Theatre Company, Ontiveros has made both memorable and lasting contributions to the entertainment industry. Ontiveros' feature film credits include As Good as It Gets, Selena, The Goonies, Picking Up The Pieces, Chuck and Buck and The Brave. On television, Ontiveros' credits include Real Women Have Curves, Desperate Housewives, Greetings From Tucson and the voice of Abuelita on the animated series The Adventures Of Maya and Miguel. Also, she appeared on the web series Los Americans. Ontiveros' work has gained the respect of her peers, as well as her community. She has received numerous awards including an Independent Spirit Award, an ALMA Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award by The National Hispanic Media Coalition and Cinequest's Film Festival Maverick Award.


Pilot Plot:

#1 "Pilot" (Airs January 12, 2012)
After eloping in Las Vegas, Rob meets his wife's large Mexican-American family for the first time and, after unsuccessfully attempting to fit into his new cultural surroundings, realizes he's the odd man out in this tight-knit family.

Guest starring in "Pilot" is Ricky Rico as Kid. The episode was written by Lew Morton and Rob Schneider and directed by James Widdoes.


Analysis:

Basically this show is Meet the "Mexican" Parents. And we only meet the female's parents on this pilot. Rob has eloped with Maggie but he has no idea what he is getting into with Maggie's family. That's basically the plot of the pilot. Rob meets Maggie's family and they don't approve. Rob Schneider, of course best known playing Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo in the movies, is not as funny here. This is only the pilot, so maybe he will get better but I don't see why he is doing a sitcom. I know years ago he recurred on Coach and then later co-starred on Men Behaving Badly, but it just seems strange to see him on a sitcom. Also, maybe it was meant for laughs, but Rob's shirts are hideous on this pilot. The cast is very good though. Whenever you have Cheech Marin and Lupe Ontiversos on the same show, that is a good thing. Both were one of the few bright spots in this pilot. Cheech plays Maggie's father on this show, while Lupe plays Cheech's mother. That seems a little bit strange since in real life Lupe is only four years older than Cheech.

I did laugh a lot during the scene between Rob and Lupe. I won't give it away but that was clearly the highlight of the pilot by far. It's just funny and what happens is what Rob does best I think (hint: being a male gigolo). Maggie's uncle Hector also has some laughs, but he is the typical sitcom sidekick type character. I could see some good future scenes between him and Rob, but not so much so far in this pilot. Eugenio Derbez, the actor who plays Hector, is very well known in Mexico, so he could be a draw for Hispanic viewers. Also, I think the chemistry isn't there yet between Rob and Maggie. They seem off pace and the culture clash between Rob and Maggie's family is the comic drive of this show. In this pilot, both parents don't like this marriage but it seems Rosa (Maggie's mother) is the one who is most against it.


Conclusion:

There have been some bad sitcom pilots this season and some great ones, but unfortunately this is in the bad pile. There has been nothing really in between (well I think Work It is in the in-between, but most people say it is in the bottom). Hopefully it gets better, as the cast is great, but right now it just isn't there. It even has the look and feel like it is going to be a very short-lived sitcom. Will it last longer than How To Be A Gentleman (which lasted 2 airings) is the question. Will CBS be bringing back old savior Rules of Engagement once again? David Spade to the rescue for Rob Schneider? Or perhaps they could get Rob's friend Adam Sandler to appear on this sitcom to give it a boost in quality and in the ratings.

It's a traditional multi-camera sitcom, so most of America will find the humor easy to follow. It's just too bad we don't have more humor in this pilot. I was expecting something funny like George Lopez, but that was an actual family comedy. This show will air after The Big Bang Theory, so perhaps it will get sampled but I just don't see this show lasting beyond this season. I thought Work It was funnier. The cast is great so I'll root for them, but please give us more Rob and Lupe in scenes together. Lupe's character Abuelita didn't even say a word in English and was hysterical. To phrase this pilot in one sentence: it's a disappointing start.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3/5
Funniness: 2.5/5
Overall: 3/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Thursday, January 12 on our message board.

Related Links:

  • CBS.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Rob Photo Gallery

    Preview:









  • Today CBS is up at the TCA Winter 2012 press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, California and we will recap what has happened there today. After a buffet breakfast, we had the all-important CBS Entertainment Executive Session with CBS Entertainment President, Nina Tassler. After that session, CBS turned it over to show panels with the Monday sitcoms starting it off. Mike & Molly was up first. On hand were stars Billy Gardell & Melissa McCarthy and producers Mark Roberts, Chuck Lorre & Don Foster. That was followed by a Two and a Half Men panel. On hand are stars Ashton Kutcher, Jon Cryer & Angus T. Jones and producers Chuck Lorre & Lee Aronsohn. And breakout new sitcom 2 Broke Girls has a session next with stars Kat Dennings & Beth Behrs and creator Michael Patrick King. The final panel for the Monday comedy is for How I Met Your Mother, with stars Jason Segel & Alyson Hannigan and producers Carter Bays & Craig Thomas. Then via satellite there was a panel for the new CBS morning series CBS This Morning with hosts Charlie Rose, Gayle King & Erica Hill. Then it is lunch time!
    After lunch, CBS will have a session for Undercover Boss, which returns Sunday. Following that, there was finally a panel for a new series, Rob, which we reviewed above and premieres Thursday. On hand for that are stars Rob Schneider, Claudia Bassols, Cheech Marin, Diana Maria Riva, Eugenio Derbez, & Lupe Ontiveros and producers Lew Morton, Eric Tannenbaum & Kim Tannenbaum. Then there will be a quick snack break, followed by a 200th episode panel for NCIS. On hand will be stars Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Cote de Pablo, Sean Murray, Pauley Perrette, Rocky Carroll, David McCallum, & Brian Dietzen, and producer Gary Glasberg. Then finally it will be off to meet with showrunners and executives at the cocktail party!

    Come on back in this spot for any further updates. CBS has not announced a premiere date for new drama NYC 22 (aka The 2-2).

    Look ahead: Up tomorrow it will be The CW to end the broadcast portion. On Friday (Jan. 13) thru Sunday (Jan. 15) will be the cable portion. Stay with us for key updates from these events.


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