‘The Big Show Show’ bellyflops onto Netflix with a gentle thud
There are a million corny family sitcoms on Netflix – *cough* Fuller House *cough* – but many of us are missing WWE during the coronavirus pandemic. Big-time fans obviously have the WWE Network to get their fix, which is fabulous if you can afford 17 different streaming networks. Of course, for the rest of us, since Wrestlemania 36 got cancelled, which you can read our coverage about it here, we’re struggling for some smackdowns.
If you have Netflix and are jonesing for some slapstick wrestling action that’s acceptable for the whole family, you’ll enjoy The Big Show Show.
Down to the Nitty-Gritty
The basis of the show is pretty straight forward; a retired pro wrestler (Big Show) struggles with life after retirement and raising three daughters with his wife in Florida. This isn’t a reality show. If you’re expecting Total Divas or even Hogan Knows Best you are setting yourself up for a grave disappointment.
The Big Show Show is an endearing family sitcom that hangs quite a bit of it’s punchlines on the sheer size of it’s protagonist. It’s a scripted series with the benefit of some outlandishly bad acting by Big Show and some better acting by the supporting cast.
Kids Vs Parents Tag Team Line Up
Big Show’s (Paul Wight) lack of emoting aside the show moves well, and has its moments of laughter that make it worth watching. He has years of experience in front of a camera, and accordingly has the ability to play up his ginormous stature while coming off lovable rather than ridiculous.
Allison Munn, who plays his wife Cassy, is a veteran actor and has the chops to carry some of the more awkward scenes. Show’s three daughters J.J. (Juliet Donenfeld) Mandy (Lily Brooks O’Briant) and Lola (Reylynn Caster) are exactly what you’ve come to expect of children in a family sitcom. J.J. is a precocious little con artist, Mandy has a distinct “Jan from the Brady Bunch” vibe, and Lola is the cool big sister every kid wants.
Let’s Get Ready to Rumble
The first episode starts with Show’s daughter, Lola, moving in with him after her mother moves to Brussels. The typical growing pains of blending families ensues. The struggles of teenage Lola trying to fit into a new school and a new family is the focus of the first episode.
Most of the plot lines are believable; sisters fighting over rooms and clothes, parental struggles with punishing their kids. Some are completely outrageous. For instance, Show hanging Lola’s hockey coach from the wall of his office or carrying a police officer around like a baby to impress his youngest daughter J.J.
Show spends much of his time grappling with his role as a full time dad to Lola even though by all appearances he is a great father to the other two girls. That isn’t the only battle he is facing in the pilot episode. Show is struggling with feeling useless after his retirement. The writers do a decent job of developing these characters further as the series progresses.
You’ll get a fun surprise when Jaleel White, from Family Matters fame, makes an appearance as a gym owner named Terry. He is a recurring character and adds some experienced sitcom acting to this mildly motley cast.
Should You Stream It
If you love WWE and have followed stars like John Cena and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s post wrestling careers why not give it a shot. If you are hoping for the full Big Show experience you’ll be mildly disappointed. The producers do use his entrance music “Crank It Up” sporadically throughout the season. You’ll also be in for a treat with guest appearances by other famous wrestlers; Mick Foley, Mark Henry, and Rikishi.
Basically, if you’re in the market for a fun family comedy that you can binge reasonably quickly (it’s only 8 episodes) with the kids this is a good choice. The creators Josh Bycel and Jason Berger are adept at developing quality comedies. So, as a whole it’s a much more watchable series than most 30 min family comedies that are suitable for kids under 10 years old.