Mr. Robinson Premiere Recap

Mr. Robinson: Does NBC's Musician-Turned-Teacher Comedy Sing?

“I hope your ears are 18, because they’re about to get sound-banged!”

So ends the first episode of Mr. Robinson, NBC’s new comedy starring Office alum Craig Robinson. If you find the joke funny, you likely enjoyed the half-hour that preceded it, which introduces Robinson as a struggling Chicago musician who occasionally works as a substitute public school teacher.

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If you don’t, well… we’ll want to hear about that in a moment. First, a brief recap:

The series kicks off at a lounge gig for The Nasty Delicious, the band Craig (played by Robinson) and his brother Ben (Brandon T. Jackson, Californication) hope will someday take them to the big time. When Craig’s high school girlfriend Victoria (Meagan Good, Deception) happens to show up, he sees an opportunity to reconnect with her after standing her up for the prom years ago. (What she doesn’t know: He skipped the dance in order to take his band’s first paying gig.)

So Craig jumps at a substitute-teaching assignment at his old high school, where Victoria happens to be part of the faculty. The rest of the staff is a bunch of harmless oddballs — including a math teacher/stripper played by Greek‘s Spencer Grammer — overseen by the hard-nosed Principal Taylor (Frasier‘s Peri Gilpin) who just happens to have been a huge music groupie back in the day.

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When Craig says he can’t tell if Taylor likes or hates him, she replies, “I like Biggie. I hate Diddy. You don’t even register.” (In his defense, her mix of come-ons and take-downs is kind of hard to interpret.)

Craig spends the episode trying to figure out the best way to ask Victoria on a date, and he eventually backs out of a big music gig in order to stage a faux prom — on Parents’ Night — with the help of his willing students (who include Amandla Stenberg, The Hunger Games/Sleepy Hollow). Though the stunt wins him her forgiveness — and a permanent teaching gig, thanks to an enamored school supervisor (Tim Bagley, Web Therapy) — he’ll have to work harder for more: Victoria has a boyfriend.

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Mr Robinson Series Premiere

In the second part of the double-episode premiere, Craig courts a drunken rock star (Veep‘s Gary Cole) with a record label in an effort to get The Nasty Delicious an album deal. But it turns out the aging rocker has a past with Principal Taylor, who loses her mind a bit before everything returns to normal.

The semi-autobiographical comedy (the concept is loosely based on Robinson’s life) has a talented cast, but the laughs don’t come easy. Mr. Robinson could use a little after-school tutoring to help it find its groove.

That’s what we thought; now it’s your turn. Grade the double-episode premiere via the poll below, then elaborate in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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26 Comments
  1. Hazelle says:

    This show has much possibilities PLEASE keep working on it. Too many violent shows and NO COMEDIES ANYMORE!!You have some proven stars in the cast…let them prove themselves!! No wonder so many gun related incidents..nobody has laughs anymore and no positive comedy. The seeds are there!!

  2. is it just me or does this sound like a retooled steve harvey show?

  3. Mr. Tran K says:

    I give it a C. Craig Robinson was so hilarious on The Office but with his own show, can NBC desperately need a strong sitcom to break out or is it still a “curse”?

    • Dave says:

      They have Undateable which they are doing every episode live for season 3. And the new show People Are Talking this fall looks good too.

  4. Allen says:

    Compared to other network comedies it wasnt that bad.

  5. Bryce says:

    Whoa, it premiered tonight? That’s rough. I’ve seen a lot of networks get creative with how they try to kill shows, but damn. That’s rough.

  6. Hamish says:

    We barely made it through the first episode and finally pulled the plug about 10 minutes into the second. Sorry, we won’t be back…

  7. Erika says:

    This show will get cancelled because of,well…
    NBC + comedy shows -low
    ratings = cancelled!!!

    • Hazelle says:

      Mr Robinson may not be totally clever and sounds like other shows..but when does ANYONE SAY “this series is TOO VIOLENT” cheesy, obvious? Who cares? Maybe this genre will.stop.violent thoughts.
      Bad jokes never hurt anyone..still like the diversion! !

  8. Mike M says:

    20 seconds and you knew (if you’ve been around a while) this was the brothers do “Flight of the Conchords”. Only they failed. So, so terribly badly six whole years just cascaded into 6 milli-seconds to remember just one scene… any scene of the show that made this comedy genre genius. Two episodes at a time isn’t close to fast enough to burn off this insult.

  9. Chris says:

    It was pretty bad. I like the cast but I just didn’t find it funny at all (they need to stop making multi camera/laugh track format sitcoms, Big Bang is probably the last show that can pull that off). If you want to watch a funny show with an office alum, check out Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

  10. Lauren says:

    I really want to like it. Love Craig Robinson, love Peri Gilpin. I wasn’t expecting it to be so cheesy! It feels more like a TGIF show from the 90s than a contemporary sitcom. Megan Good is miscast. I was so distracted by their obvious age gap during the first episode which centered around Craig ditching her at the Prom when they supposedly went to high school together. C’mon, these two did NOT go to school together! If you choose to cast an actress a decade younger than the lead, you might want to consider changing the background story.

    • Lyn says:

      My problem with it is that the CR character who is clearly NOT chick bait in any way has far too much chutzpah. Really sick of people who think they’re all that for little or no reason. What a bore.

  11. rarefied says:

    Oh, man, the rankings make me sad. I’ve been looking forward to this show.

  12. C.Stulz says:

    This show was announced as a mid season replacement and kept getting pushed back further and further until it finally premiered in the middle of August. That should tell you the quilaility of the show right there. I hope NBC airs the remaining episodes of Welcome to Sweden though. That was a charming, yet not laugh out funny, show.

  13. Munro says:

    It is musically savvy. I didn’t like the “ears” joke much, but I did notice they didn’t rely on the big punchlines from the commercials. Craig’s humor (the good stuff) is subtle.

    And it’s only the pilot. The actors haven’t necessarily settled into the roles yet. This could get really good. A little musical highbrow. I like that.

    “It’s okay” has potential. I hope they keep working on it.

  14. Don says:

    no not impressed with use of the word bitch and bitches. really not called for

  15. Kay says:

    I like Craig Robinson, but this show was awful and unfunny.

  16. Kairmarius Champion says:

    The show seems like a poorly retooled version of the Steve Harvry show

  17. cur says:

    It’s TERRIBLE. More like a poor man’s Steve Harvey show

  18. Dino says:

    Just not that funny, I guess I just hate comedians that play the same character on a different show.

  19. hopeful says:

    Yeah for me not a fan of the big age gap between Robinson and Good. Not a fan of the cursing kids, not a fan some…most characters on the show. Slutty teacher around a bunch of students, really?!!! and the dullard gym teacher. WOW!!! And the jokes just aren’t there. I really wanted an interesting comedy but this one ain’t gonna be the one…all that said, I hope this show finds its legs and can become funny and hang around for a while.

  20. Susan Singer says:

    I watched both episodes last night, and LOVED THEM!
    The show gets funnier and more fabulous each week!

    Can’t wait till the next one!
    We really appreciate the writing and the fun.
    The music is an extra treat!

    Waiting………..