I hope you’re happy, Will Cooling… The Big Show Show is a Netflix Original Series that launched the day after WrestleMania this year.
If you’d rather not watch other recently-launched originals like Sunderland ‘til I Die, Tiger King, Money Heist, or the selected reruns, then there’s this. On the surface, The premise of The Big Show Show is that the Big Show – a fictional version of the wrestler – has retired and has a daughter called Lola from a previous relationship moving in with his wife and his two younger daughters. Clearly, the Big Show’s fictional self was a lot like Henry VIII when it came to kids…
The story of the Big Show Show revolves around a lot of tropes: the youngest daughter JJ, who’s manipulative and conniving… the “suddenly-become-a-middle-daughter” Mandy, who’s initially insecure, and the new arrival Lola, whose reason for joining the pack isn’t quite explained as we open with Lola enduring a talkative neighbour on her flight. Lola tells us about the Big Show – he’s an entertainer, just like Celine Dion. If she ate an entire buffet. But he’s retired… and so we crash to the Big Show having a hard time doing the hair of another of his daughters. You see, because macho dads are dumb and can’t do girls stuff! What macho dads can do though, is make random references to their celebrity past, which we get barely a minute in, when Big Show talks about “braiding Mick Foley’s hair”. Cue canned laughter. You knew it was going to be like this.
The first episode revolves around Lola, her first day at school, and the trials of tribulations of her not being able to try-out for the girls’ ice hockey team… because they don’t have one. So she ends up trying out for the boys’ team, but not before a lot of the “subtlety hammer” stuff. Like the Big Show’s “real life” celebrity being played up on, as they namedrop John Cena, while also having him hold a policeman like a baby. Back at home, Mandy’s disgust at having to handle a new arrival is played out as she holds a sit-in protest that expands quickly to levels that David Starr would be proud of, which means that Lola has to share a bunk bed with the youngest, who veers from obnoxious to mildly grating depending on your mindset.
While Lola ends up getting her room – because Mandy’s protest went viral when JJ tweeted about it on her dad’s account (because celebrity…) – the show completes its circular storyline of Lola arriving, getting mad, then resolving things herself as she realises her dad means well. The one thing that kinda confused me, through the mixture of typical sitcom comedy – both the anodyne and saccharine – is that beyond the “she’s Big Show’s eldest daughter” who “moved from Minnesota” and “loves ice hockey”, we’re not told much about her background. By the end of the show, we see Lola’s unhappiness led to her mum offering to move her to Brussels, raises more questions than answers for the over-thinkers.
I’m curious as to why the show’s casting seems to be aiming for either a younger, female audience, especially when the Big Show hasn’t been on TV regularly since 2017. It may be that this was an idea that was floated years ago but took too long to bear fruit… but either way, that does this no harm. While The Big Show Show is something that you could easily hate, depending on your mindset. It’s typical background watching fodder – its a sitcom with predictable jokes, and it touches the bases you’d expect. Something to watch when you’re spring cleaning, or when you’re not in the mood to watch something more serious.