I watched six episodes of Hoops, a new Netflix show that’s a co-venture with 20th Century Fox. And now I’m gonna talk about it.
This show was created by Ben Hoffman, who is apparently a comedian. I guess he’s done a lot of work under a persona that’s kind of like a Southern, country character, but in a mocking way but also not.
I don’t know, I had never heard of him and his work doesn’t sound like my kinda thing.
So he made this show about a high school basketball coach in Kentucky, and oh boy, this lead character sure is a loser. The show tells us over and over just what a loser he is. Such an underdog, oh my goodness. We’ve never seen this before, have we?
Like I mentioned, 20th Century Fox had their hands in this one, which is not so surprising since, in many, many ways, it feels like an attempt to replicate the Family Guy look and tone. In other words, they use no-no language and talk about dicks almost constantly. If this stuff sounds funny to you, you will probably like the show.
Most surprising to me was that Lord and Miller have EP credits on this show. I thought they signed an overall deal with Sony. Are Executive Producer credits exempt from those deals? Anyway, I was pretty surprised to see their names come up, since I tend to respect and really enjoy just about anything they work on.
As for the cast, the lead is that guy from New Girl and nothing else, and the supporting cast features a few people I really like.
Ron Funches is in the show. He’s great. Sure, his character is named Ron and he looks a lot like modern-day Ron Funches after he lost all that weight, and he sounds a lot like Ron Funches, but that’s probably why the character works.
Natasha Leggero is involved, which, ya know, I hope they paid her a lot, this just doesn’t seem like her typical flavor of comedy.
Rob Riggle is in the show.
Alright, so, is the show funny?
Well, I laughed twice, but they were good laughs. I think the writing staff must be pretty talented, even if most of the time they go back to the same one or two comedy wells, that have long since been tainted by Peter Griffin’s DNA, which was probably thrown down the well during a hilarious cutaway sequence.
Is Hoops my kinda show?
Nope, it’s really not. But maybe it’s yours.
I’m a big fan of happy-sad comedy, and shows like Bojack got me used to a more accurate portrayal of broken loser characters, showing how they negatively affect all the people who care about them. The way Hoops portrays a very similar character dynamic feels like a step back, more of the same from a bygone era of comedy.
Once the side characters started having their own b-plots, I was disappointed by just how boring and generic those storylines were. It really is just another animated sitcom from Fox, with all the usual fixin’s.
Oh, they do that thing a lot, that thing where someone uses a common idiom then the other character starts up this hilarious banter where they take the saying literally.
I’ll make one up right now. One character says, “Well butter my biscuits, I have to get to the airport.” And the other character says, “What biscuits? I don’t see any biscuits.” And the first guy says, “No, it’s a saying, I don’t have any biscuits.” And the other guy says, “So you’re a liar. You got me excited for biscuits.” “No, I don’t–” “And why wouldn’t they have butter on them already? You can’t have biscuits without butter.”
See? Hire me to write on your show. I know all the hip gags and spoofs that are at least ten years old by this point.
They also do the thing popularized by Family Guy, where the joke is seeing how long they can extend a really simple joke. Stewie saying Mom over and over. In this show, it’s the main guy missing a shot, so we have to watch him miss the shot for the next minute straight. Cutting-edge comedy right there.
Do I have anything else to say about Hoops? It’s fine. My biggest problem is just how bland it is and how much I hate being in the world of the show. The character models are ugly, and they tried to make the setting somewhat accurately ugly, which just reminded me of how miserable it is to spend time in most parts of the country. I mean, LA is gross too, just in a different way.
So I don’t see myself returning to this show. In terms of flavor, it’s day-old McDonald’s. If you like day-old McDonald’s, then you will probably like it again here.
That said, if you have some day-old McNuggets lying around, please send them to my address. They’re just much better cold, I don’t know why.