The Crew — 3.0 Gavels 5.7/10 IMDb

Nothing screams ABC, NBC, or CBS like The Crew. For example, Bobby Spencer of Bobby Spencer Racing just turned 70. He announces his daughter, Catherine, will be taking over as CEO. Kevin Gibson, crew chief, says “What! I have underwear older than her.” Just try to remember how old you were when you first heard that joke. To be fair, some jokes fare far worse. Dumber-than-a-box-of-rocks driver, Jake, proclaims his lucky bracelet is made by “Tibetan monkeys.”

Seriously, The Crew could be a sit-com on any channel. It’s only chance of success is that it borrows from NASCAR so it might attract an audience. Still, it is so insulting to the intelligence that I doubt if it can hold them. Disclaimer: I lasted only three episodes. Even during a snowmageddon, shoveling snow holds your interest more than The Crew. It’s a shame. Like Tim Allen, Kevin James is one likeable comedian. Maybe this one picks up speed, but a crash seems more likely. I give the Netflix series 3.0 Gavels and it’s off to a poor start with a 5.7/10 IMDb rating.

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Plot

The Crew hasn’t won a race in four years, finishing in the top ten only twice this season. Currently twenty-ninth in the standing, Stanford graduate, Catherine Spencer, intends to shake things up. Everyone’s job is a stake, especially the unfocused Jake. If you are going to lose, why not hire the hottest, most successful, female driver available? If you need money, drop Big Hoof BBQ for Fake Steak, a vegan steak product ready to hit the nationwide market. Big changes are coming, each resisted by crew chief, Kevin Gibson.

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Actors

Fellow cast members do Kevin James (Hotel Transylvania) no favors. Freddie Stroma (Bridgerton)is so miscast as Jake that one would think he’s related to a producer. An excellent actor, Bruce McGill (Poms), gets very little screen time as the retiring Bobby Spencer. The rest are mere caricatures.

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Final Thoughts

From the laugh track to the dialogue, everything about The Crew just feels stale. When the real critics get a chance to comment, my guess is you will hear lots of “crash and burn,” “blown engine,” “lost in the pits,” and similar NASCAR references.

“Not that long ago, The Crew would have felt like a conventional sitcom. But now, it feels like a relic from an era we are lucky to have left behind.” Variety

“It is early days for The Crew, and a lot of now-classic comedies took at least a season to bed in, but this seems to lack the secret ingredient that might make you root for Kevin and the team. It is all a bit 10th place.” The Guardian

Since the episodes are only 20-30 minutes, it won’t take much time to figure out whether you would like to sit down and have a beer with The Crew. As for me, I’m gonna’ go build a snowman.

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