The Crew: A Netflix Algorithm Sitcom – Netflix Review

Kevin James, Gary Anthony Williams, and Sarah Stiles get thrown into a NASCAR pit.

SUMMARY

Kevin Gibson (Kevin James) is the crew chief for Bobby Spencer (Bruce McGill) Racing, a low-ranked NASCAR team. He oversees chief mechanic Chuck Stubbs (Gary Anthony Williams), chief engineer Amir Lajani (Dan Ahdoot), and office manager Beth Paige (Sarah Stiles), as well as idiot driver Jake Martin (Freddie Stroma). The owner, Bobby, retires and puts his daughter, Catherine (Jillian Mueller), in charge of the program. An Ivy-leaguer, Catherine’s more sophisticated and by-the-books management quickly gets on the nerves of the more traditional pit crew, but when Jake and the crew start winning, it turns out that maybe this was just what they needed.

Busch: Because you don’t want to watch this sober.

END SUMMARY

A while back, Netflix announced that it was using various computer algorithms to try and generate ideas for new shows.  Some of those shows, like House of Cards, ended up being fairly successful.  Some, like The Ranch, did fairly well with a targeted demographic, but didn’t receive critical acclaim.  This show will probably end up in the latter category.  It’s not particularly well written, nor is it very original, but it has just enough talents on camera to keep it going at just the right speed to be bingeable.  It’s like a slow drip of morphine.  You are not getting high off of it, you’re just getting numb for a little while.

Admittedly, there are some fun scenes, usually when Kevin’s mad.

This is not to say that it doesn’t have its moments.  Kevin James, despite some of his career decisions in the past, does tend to make me laugh.  Gary Anthony Williams, who I have always found to be pretty entertaining, makes a decent foil for many of the aspects of NASCAR that tend to give it a whitewashed reputation.  The rest of the characters are mostly stock.  Amir is the neurotic character who is often the butt of many of the jokes, Catherine is the elitist who tries to steamroll everything into her own image, Bobby is the old Southern boy, Jake is the moron who gets by on his looks and natural talent, and Beth is the only woman inside a boy’s club.  I will admit that my natural fondness for Sarah Stiles, especially since she played Spinel in Steven Universe, made me enjoy the scenes with her character more than I might have otherwise, since I felt she was massively underwritten.

Sure, the NASCAR parts are sponsored by Busch, but the beer is unlabled.

Overall, though, this show just felt so generic that it genuinely seemed to have been written by a computer designed to churn out mediocrity and inoffensive jokes.  Skip it.