If you were, or are still, a fan of King of Queens, which ended 14 years ago, although it’s still showing on C4’s morning (when there’s no cricket) then you’ll recognise Kevin, the crew boss in ‘The Crew’ on Netflix.
Kevin James, now minus the hairpiece, has played the same recognisable character in his other sitcoms and films so it will be no surprise to see him playing a less than dynamic manager of a failing NASCAR racing team whose life becomes more complicated when Catherine (Jillian Mueller), the daughter of the retired owner, takes over as the big boss.
The show based around the NASCAR racing season sees ex-racing driver Kevin, scheming ways to undermine Catherine’s forward thinking ideas at every opportunity.
The, basic theme, of ‘The Crew’ is work colleagues adopting a defensive attitude against accepting new working practices, particularly as they are being implemented by a woman. The situation is exacerbated when Catherine, hires a young up-and-coming female racer, Jessie (Paris Berelec), as a rival for the team’s current driver Jake (Freddie Stroma). Narcissist Jake, not the brightest bulb on the dashboard, whose attempts to hit on every woman he encounters are brushed aside as a roguish quirk not sexual harassment, as is his failure to grasp simple facts (not a recommendation for someone driving a high powered computerised racing car).
There are few good lines and most viewers, mainly fans of Kevin James or NASCAR, will find the show entertaining in parts (unlike the lamentable season 2 of Kevin Can Wait) however the canned laughter track is distracting, annoying and unnecessary.
The show contains clear product placement, although, to be fair, the opening titles do feature a rider to that effect. Nevertheless the placement is so blatant that at times viewers could be forgiven for thinking they were watching an infomercial.
Overall, there are a lot worse ways to spend 30 mins.