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TV Review: New Netflix race car comedy The Crew is so dull, I blew a gasket

© ERIC LIEBOWITZ/NETFLIXKevin James in The Crew.
Kevin James in The Crew.

Americans have their own version of Formula One, which is remarkable in that it is somehow more dull.

Mostly the sport, called NASCAR, consists of cars driving in a circle – or an oval, to be precise – for up to four hours; which is perhaps why it feels like trying to get parked at IKEA on a Saturday afternoon.

This accursed sport is also the basis of Netflix’s new sitcom The Crew.

Kevin James, aka Paul Blart, Mall Cop, is the boss of a NASCAR team’s backroom staff.

Kevin’s character is called Kevin which immediately demonstrates the innovation on display in The Crew.

Proceedings call to mind Two And A Half Men or King Of Queens in that the punchlines are usually at the expense of someone daft or someone being what Scots would describe as “a big jessie”. At one point we find out a weedy male character likes musicals. This, in itself, is a punchline.

In the vein of Cheers and a thousand other sitcoms who have done it better, the central conceit of The Crew is Kevin’s character getting a new boss.

She’s the opposite of him in every way; he’s a redneck who likes beer and loud engines, she’s from the big city and likes fancy restaurants.

I think we’re supposed to care if the two will clash and hope for sparks to fly in the auto shop. Given the standard here, it’s unlikely to get your engines going.


The Crew, Netflix