If Mr. Robinson is any indication, maybe NBC needs to vacate the comedy arena completely. Debuting on August 5 for a three-week, six-episode run, the series starring Craig Robinson and Peri Gilpin, as my video review above says, is distinctly unfunny and manages to swing from the nauseating way too nice to the unnecessarily mean-spirited with no rhyme or reason. Blessed with America’s Got Talent as a lead-in, the most interesting thing otherwise about this summer burn-off about a struggling funk musician-turned-high school music teacher is the variety of ways it hits all the wrong notes.
For one thing, among other misfires, the show set in inner-city Chicago aims for that valued Millennial market with its frequent use of terms like “bitches”, and happy sex trade workers who moonlight as math teachers. The goal may be to be “real,” but the ensemble result is a creaky mess that seems pulled off a best-left-forgotten shelf from the early 1990s. There’s the unattainable jilted prom date from Robinson’s past who walks into one of his gigs, the seemingly canned laugh track, the flat to dumb jokes at the Indian science teacher’s expense, the boob jokes, the saccharine kids, and Gilpin as a now-hardass hard-drinking principal who used to be a wild ’80s rock groupie — again, among other misfires. The name of Robinson’s band on the Universal TV-produced show is Nasty Delicious, but the music, which should be the saving grace of such a premised show, is pretty much neither — it’s just lame.
Despite a long gestation and re-casting, Mr. Robinson does not serve Office alum Robinson, Frasier alum Gilpin and everyone on the so-called sitcom well. It serves viewers even worse. NBC, if you want to go the music teacher comedy route, see if you can get Will Ferrell to lend you his Marty Culp character from his SNL days. At lest the joke won’t entirely be on us.
Take a look at my Mr. Robinson review and tell us what you think.