American Auto has a promise, but it already needs adjustment


It’s been less than 10 minutes since NBC previewed the next workplace Sitcom. American Auto, I jumped on TTAC’s Slack channel and provided a negative rating.

That’s unusual for me-I tend to do new shows for more than 10 minutes before making a decision-but I had a hard time finding redemption qualities. There’s one mistake about the car industry in a show about a fictional car company, but I’ll elaborate a bit on this, but it’s a comedy and I wasn’t laughing.

I was faithfully forced to keep watching the one-hour preview of the remaining two episodes. The show is better, but it still needs work.

The show will actually debut on January 4thth The first two episodes have already been streamed on NBC’s Peacock streaming service. If you missed the preview, there was NFL football that was affected by the playoffs last night, but after all, we’re here to summarize / review before streaming.

Mild spoilers to follow.

American Auto Continue to the fictional Payne Motors based in Detroit. The company seems to be struggling despite more than a century of business and has just hired the first female CEO. Pronounced “chassis”. Her name is Katherine Hastings and she is played by Ana Gasteyer. Saturday night live..

Payne Motors has a family name, so here’s a clear nod to Ford. The company logo font even looks like Ford. And there are many references to how the founder of the company was an exaggerated dislike – La Henry Ford.

You might want to compare Hastings to GM’s boss Mary Barra, but that doesn’t really work. Barra was an industry creature even before sitting in a large chair. A better comparison might be Alan Mulally, an industry outsider from Boeing, but when he joined the Ford gig, Mulally wasn’t ignorant about the car and did some good work at Dearborn. Did.

Gasteyer’s Hastings is surrounded by PR boss Sadie (Harriet Dyer), design chief Cyrus (Michael Benjamin Washington), legal advisor Elliot (Humphrey Ker), CEO Dori (X Mayo) assistant, and descendants of the Payne family. Wesley (John Barinholtz). Assembly line worker Jack (Thai White) is promoted to an unspecified job in the C Suite at the end of the first episode (the subplot of the second episode is what Jack is his new responsibility for. Focuses on trying to understand).

Jack’s promotion is one of many things the show is wrong about the industry. Assembly line workers (even those who appear to be factory leaders like Jack) are invited to brainstorm ideas with the CEO in any world and are promoted to the C Suite. Does your new boss want blue-collar credit among all business majors? It all happens because Jack, an assembly line worker, was miraculously on the test track at the right time to be hit by a self-driving car.

becomes terrible. We first met Jack when we got lost in the office to talk to Sadie, who was sleeping with us during a drunken Christmas party hookup. When will line workers attend the same Christmas party as white-collar office workers? If Jack was the factory manager, he would have been working in a tie instead of a mechanic’s shirt. perhaps. Again, it’s strange that the assembly plant appears to be on the same grounds as both the office and the test truck.

I expected the show to make some mistakes about the industry – Hollywood is always making at least some mistakes about a particular industry when it comes to work sitcom. I also thought the show might have to distort reality for stories, or especially comedy. I was willing to give it a pass to some extent.

But when looking into an office window, it’s still awkward to see a much more Californian landscape than Detroit. The only concession to Pain Motors in Detroit seems to be hitting a Michigan plate on the car. It’s also not straightforward to see workers literally pull parts out of a random car in the parking lot to create the final second replacement prototype.

On the other hand, there are several things that happen to industry observers.A print newspaper focusing on cars looks like this: Automotive News, And the real thing Autoblog Scream. There are new car launches with terrible dance-think bolt dance-and the show humorously points out why self-driving isn’t ready for prime time.

Jack’s speech that the car is cool is a bit annoying, but it will resonate with our people who really like it, you know, drive Damn.

I would also like to mention that the first episode was wrapped in the actual version of “Homer” from. The Simpsons..

The second episode is a little generalized to the dance between PR and the press (both car and the general public), and even if the comedy is before the nuances (and perhaps reality), it’s a familiar way to me. I touch it subtly.

Also, in the first episode, there was a subtle digging into the overlap between watch culture and car culture, and I laughed a bit.

Cars aside, that’s the show’s problem – I rarely did more than make a fuss. It’s not that the show isn’t fun-some jokes landed pretty well-but it’s not as fun as a similar show. At least not for me so far.


I have office also Super store Atmosphere here (creator Justin Spitzer is behind the latter working on the former, and Barinholtz too Super store).Never seen Super store, But I think office Made more subtly than American Auto.. At least weird.

That doesn’t mean the show is completely lacking in laughter. It’s interesting that self-driving cars are “racist”. I couldn’t see the dark colors and the company didn’t have a black dummy. I also laughed a little at the mockup car with the “kidnapping prevention” device. This was a great visual gag. Assuming you have sex every time you enter the room where Jack and Sadie are talking, the classic gag involving Hastings grins a little. And Hastings has a habit of stepping into rhetorical problems due to lack of foresight / preparation in a way that is a bit reminiscent of Michael Scott.

However, it’s just a little – Hastings is self-aware and less uncomfortable. Still, the second episode revolves around what she stumbled upon in an interview that wasn’t clearly ready for follow-up. Of course, her interviewer also acts maliciously, twisting her words and criticizing the worst type of journalist who sometimes plays “Gotcha” during live hits.

Had she been media savvy like the CEO of the real car world, she would have handled the interview gracefully. And Payne Motors would have scrutinized hell from customers who are enthusiastic about providing the platform. Again, that wouldn’t be fun.


At least the acting is totally competent: Gaster is solid in the delivery of her dead pan line, Washington does a great job with the eerie weirdness of his character, and Barinholtz is ignorant and unpleasant Wesley. It stands out as. Wesley is ignorant and unaware that Hastings wasn’t hired just for diversity. I don’t know why enthusiasts “fetishize” cars. Wesley is basically all the lewd and intolerable co-workers we’ve ever seen in a single work comedy, and Barinholtz sells it.

X Mayo is okay for Dori, who is street smart yet naive. But the show doesn’t know what to do with Sadie, Jack and Elliot. Elliott says something interesting just for his English accent, sometimes providing a voice of reason and legal perspective, but otherwise we know nothing about him. I don’t know if he is a competent lawyer. I don’t know if he is ethical or sneaky. There may be comics here, but throughout the first two episodes he seems to be present primarily for commentary.

Then get Sadie and Jack. Both are considered “straight” to the surrounding fastball, but most of the time they come off as bland and both seem to have less punch lines than the other punch lines. Sadie (Charming Blonde Headline PR. Shocking) is stressed because she wants to do the right thing and impress her boss. She should be a car man too, but she hides it to impress Hastings, and Jack blurs it at a very inappropriate time, so we say her “Ferrari Bed Sheets” I only know about “fuel pump shower heads”. None of this is due to Dier – it’s writing.

Same as Jack in Thai White. White handles the character well, but like Sadie, he’s a nice looking, smart, and a bit bland person, but he can’t flap a little more than she does. Their potential love story is underdeveloped, except for one admiration look and some nasty positioning when she helps him wrench the car. There are so many possibilities-they can get together and become rivals-but so far it’s undeveloped. Again, writing is substandard or things are being held for future episodes.

The problem with workplace comedy is that they aren’t usually about the industry.from cheers To Night coat To Wings To officeSitcom at work usually refers to the highlighted industry only if it is a handy plot device or makes a simple gag. American Auto, Like everything else, is aimed at a large audience who don’t know / care about car references. And while the comedy wells of the automotive industry are deep, it’s not unlimited.

In order for the show to hit, it needs to be more consistent and entertaining, and that character needs to be developed. In car terms, it’s like a first-year model that rides on a good platform but requires tweaks to the powertrain and design. And in time for the next model year.

[Images: NBC]

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American Auto has a promise, but it already needs adjustment

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