What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this cross-cultural sitcom is relatively light when it comes to language and sex, although there's some sexual humor (with terms like "balls" and "make-up sex") and implied hanky panky behind closed doors. Some jokes rely heavily on stereotypes for humor. There's some social drinking, too, which is typically played for comedy, and a secondary character who smokes cigars.
What's the story?
Rob Schneider stars in this sitcom loosely based on his own life as ROB!, a successful landscape architect with OCD who marries Maggie (Claudia Bassols) -- a beautiful Mexican-American book translator -- on a whim in Las Vegas. Getting to know each other's quirks as newlyweds is only half the battle...because Rob's also got to win over his wife's tight-knit, disapproving family (Cheech Marin, Diana Maria Riva, Eugenio Derbez, and Lupe Ontiveros).
Is it any good?
Saturday Night Live alum Schneider isn't exactly known for breaking out on his own as a comedy lead. (As evidence, we submit Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo, The Hot Chick, Big Stan, etc.). So it's a bit of a stumper to see him cast in his own sitcom -- which not only bears his first name but also bears striking resemblance to his actual life. He also co-wrote the pilot, basing much of the plot on his own experiences with his Mexican in-laws ... but it largely feels like he forgot to add the funny.
There's nothing particularly bad about Rob!, yet there's also nothing that makes it particularly good. And tired cross-cultural jokes about undocumented workers and large Catholic families don't really do much to bring the humor beyond ho-hum. But there is one plus: It at least adds some diversity to prime time.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Rob!'s portrayal of cultural differences. Does it do a good job of representing cultural realities, or does it rely on overstated stereotypes? How fine is the line between funny and offensive?
Does your own family -- or another family you know -- represent a blend of different cultures, religions, or races? What types of issues have come up when trying to mix cultural or religious traditions? How does your family handle potential conflicts?