American Auto aired last night on NBC. I was finally able to watch it this afternoon.
Set at the headquarters of a major American automotive company in Detroit, American Auto follows the work lives of the company’s executives and the new CEO.
The show started with two back-to-back episodes. The pilot introduces us to Ana Gasteyer(who I always confuse with Kathryn Hahn) as the new CEO who knows nothing about cars and the group of executives who are about to introduce their new self-driving car. The group includes Wesley, the grandson of the company founder, who was the first Payne not offered the CEO job. Jon Barinholtz plays him as pretty much his character from Superstore in a different setting.
The main joke of the episode is that the new car does not recognize people with dark skin, which they discover when the car hits a Payne employee. This same joke was done years ago on Better Off Ted when the company’s automatic lights didn’t recognize Black people. The group tries to build a new car on the fly for the presentation to the press.
The second episode revolves around the news that a serial killer is driving one of their cars and their attempts to quell any bad press from that. This episode also deals with the character who was hit being moved from the garage to the executive offices and struggling with the fact that he has no job there. This was a better episode and shows some potential with the show.
The people who gave us Superstore created the show, so I have high hopes for future episodes. I like the cast. Gasteyer is good as the clueless CEO. I liked Barinholtz in Superstore, so I’m good with him doing the same thing here. Harriet Dyer is good as the communications manager who struggles to keep Gasteyer from making things worse with the press.
While the first episode was a retread of a joke I’ve seen before, their attempt at building a new car was funny. The second episode shows more potential for the future. I think this has the potential to be a very good workplace comedy.
Quotes I Noted
“How do you know so much about serial killers? “
“We can’t stop selling cars to clowns. Not all clowns are serial killers.”
“Most of them are.”
“Yes, but not all of them.”