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The raunchy, blue-collar Netflix comedy that viewers love and critics can’t stand

Published May 30th, 2024 3:32PM EDT
Shane Gillis
Image: Netflix

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Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos made news in recent days for an interview he gave to The New York Times, in which he explained his current thinking on how the streaming giant does what it does. One of the many takeaways he shared: Netflix doesn’t necessarily prioritize prestige elite programming. “We’re currently programming for about 650 million people around the world. We have to have a very broad variety of things that people watch and love.” Exhibit A? The new hit show Tires.

Starring Shane Gillis as the cousin and employee of a nervous and unqualified heir to an auto repair chain, Tires is a raunchy example of something that Netflix doesn’t exactly have the best track record with: A workplace comedy, the format that doomed everything from Space Force to Blockbuster and a number of other series in between that came and went.

Is this new show a little dumb and juvenile at times? Sure. Does Tires cross the line? Oh yes, many times (in each episode). Having said that, there’s also a redeeming quality that I can’t quite put my finger on — a kind of refreshing, devil-may-care vibe to the humor and story that will make Tires a breath of fresh air for some viewers, and the kind of show to put on in the background while you’re folding laundry for other, more discerning types.

If you judged it from the trailer alone, you’d be forgiven for being reminded of one of those indie comedies from the 2010s, when the lead character has just gotten a bad diagnosis and basically tries to carpe the diem until the credits roll — the bad diagnosis in this case being that the tire shop isn’t doing well, financially. “Tires follows Will, the anxious and seemingly unqualified heir of an auto repair chain, as he attempts to turn his dad’s business around despite constant torture from his cousin and now employee, Shane,” Netflix explains.

Based on Netflix’s latest global Top 10 ranking, Tires is currently the streamer’s seventh-biggest show in the world right now; it’s also Netflix’s #3 show in the US today, and it’s already been renewed for Season 2.

Meanwhile, if the trailer below doesn’t convince you to give Gillis’ comedy a try, maybe this will: The pearl-clutchers at outlets like The Daily Beast and The Los Angeles Times, no surprise, don’t like the show (although, honestly, I’d have been more surprised if they did warm to a blue-collar comedy set in a tire shop). Tires has a 50% critics’ score and a 92% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

It’s the kind of response that reminds me of a line I always liked from a Nellie McKay song: Some people just have a tumor on their funny bone.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.