Let’s get Real, Rob
Netflix Original Comedies, this is not one. Literally. Netflix acquired Real Rob whole Rob, straight from Rob Schneider, who independently financed, produced, and stars in it along with his actual wife, who co-wrote the eight episodes with the former Saturday Night Live cast member and frequent cameo-maker in his SNL star buddy Adam Sandler’s comedy films.
Real Rob debuted Monday, the same day the streaming service held the world premiere live screening of Sandler’s first film in a multi-picture deal with Netflix, The Ridiculous 6.
Would it be ridiculous to think Sandler convinced Netflix to acquire Real Rob as a friendly gesture?
Would it be ridiculous to think Schneider exclaimed “You could do it!” first?
You could watch Real Rob. You could do it. (And if you’re betting the over/under on how many times that catchphrase gets uttered during the eight episodes, the push is FIVE.) But you don’t have to.
I’ve watched the entire season already, and Schneider’s new sitcom is such a Laymer, Richard Laymer version of other better comedies that The Robinator was clearly makin’ copies. So we can skip straight to the end and get to where Netflix puts its Suggestions For You.
IF you want to see a successful comedian who cast his actual family as his actual family, Aziz Ansari just did that with his own mother and father on the thought-provoking and amusing Master of None. On Netflix.
IF you want to see an absurd situation cut away for a few minutes of stand-up, which Schneider does in a venue that seems like a sterile soundstage simulation of a comedy club, well -- Louis C.K. does the same thing but better in front of a live audience at the famous Comedy Cellar. So watch FX's Louie. Also on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon.
IF you want to see the action cut away to the actor delivering a confessional straight to camera, Schneider does that, too. Only he doesn't have an office. Or The Office's deadpan qualities. You can catch up on The Office also on Netflix.
IF you want to see a beautiful Latino woman who's unafraid to show off her curves or her accent while exasperating her husband, well, actually, Patricia Schneider fits that bill. But if you want bigger curves and bigger accents, see Sofia Vergara on Modern Family. New episodes on ABC, old ones on Hulu.
IF you want to see a comedian pitching a show like the actual show you're watching within the show itself, Schneider already did that himself with his 2012 sitcom, ¡Rob!, coincidentally only lasting eight episodes before CBS cancelled it. IF you want to see the happier ending version, see Seinfeld (on Hulu, Crackle or in syndication). IF you want to see a former NBC star who's unhappy with his meta-product but happy with the results offscreen, see Matt LeBlanc on Showtime's Episodes (online via Showtime Anytime).
IF you want to see a former network TV star trying to capitalize on that fame, even if the star's assistant is incompetent and the star's agent never has a suitable offer, don't call it The Comeback. Just watch The Comeback. On Amazon or HBO Go. Or witness Schneider beside himself as he shills for a Taiwanese product that embarrasses him on a Sunset Boulevard billboard.
IF you want to see a TV/movie star having cringe-worthy run-ins with fans, former fans and stalkers alike, but with more of a pay-off, perhaps try the improvised mayhem of Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm. On Amazon and HBO NOW.
In episode 7, “What’s My Thing?” Patricia suggests to Rob, “You know what else celebrities are good at? Blowing their money on dumb ideas.” While Rob later tells the network suits: “I just thought we were going to do a show more like Everybody Loves Raymond, you know, with a little Mexican thing.” You know, like ¡Rob!
You could just watch those shows, too. Both Everybody Loves Raymond and ¡Rob! are on Netflix.