Watch or skip Tires: There's no in between with Netflix's Shane Gillis series

You're either going to love or hate Tires.
TIRES. Shane Gillis as Shane in Episode 101 of TIRES. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2024
TIRES. Shane Gillis as Shane in Episode 101 of TIRES. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2024 /

Before Netflix's Shane Gillis comedy series Tires even made its premiere on May 23, the streaming service did something it rarely does: It renewed the show early. By renewing Tires for season 2 before anyone could even watch it was not only a huge leap of faith but an incentive for viewers to actually tune in so they don't have to worry about an abrupt cancellation.

In the series co-created and written by Gillis, the controversial comedian stars as a character named Shane, the cousin and employee of a struggling auto shop's manager. Shane lives to poke fun and mess with his cousin Will (Steve Gerben) and do as little work as possible. He's basically a three-dimensional human embodiment of Family Guy's Peter Griffin.

Tires clearly takes a lot of inspiration from mid-aughts comedies like The Office and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in multiple ways: its cringe sense of humor, envelope-pushing dialogue, and overall tone and visual composition. But by paying homage to comedies that worked in the past without really offering anything new or novel, Tires will be rather derivative for comedy fans.

TIRES. (L to R) Shane Gillis as Shane and Steve Gerben as Will in Episode 101 of TIRES. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2024 /

A workplace comedy that needs some work

Workplace comedies aren't a fresh concept. We have seen them time and time again. But with the right mixture of writing, casting, and an inherent spark, they can be great even if it's something we've seen already seen before. Admittedly, Tires has something. There's a spark there, and since the first season was self-funded by Gillis, a second season with Netflix's resources will expand on that spark.

However, the hint at the mockumentary style that has made shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation, Modern Family, and Abbott Elementary popular award winners doesn't fully lean into its potential. The characters, too, are much less memorable than any of those in the aforementioned shows and are so far written rather one-dimensionally.

For a premise that hinges on the fact that we somewhat care about the fate of the Valley Forge auto repair shop, there's not much put in place to foster that care. Many viewers will likely walk away from the season wanting Will and the shop to succeed because we're pretty much led in that direction. Some will even be charmed by Shane's (the character and the actor) "it's just a joke" smirks.

But for Tires to work in season 2, it needs to grow. The Office and It's Always Sunny, while remaining true to its sensibilities, evolved into shows with stories and characters you could care about. As ridiculous and offensive as he was, you can't help but love Michael Scott at the end of the day. So far, neither Shane nor Will are as endearingly dimwitted as Michael Scott. Being unlikable isn't a crime if that's the point of the comedy. The problem? Tires doesn't seem to know what point its making just yet.

TIRES. (L to R) Chris O’Connor as Cal and Shane Gillis as Shane in Episode 1 of Tires. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2024 /

Overall, Tires isn't worth watching

If you prefer your comedy to have a bite that veers unapologetically into offensive territory, you will thoroughly enjoy Tires and the first season's unabashedly raunchy six episodes. The show isn't concerned with political correctness and pulls directly from the cringiest, most boundary-exceeding stories told in early seasons of The Office and It's Always Sunny.

On the flip side, if those shows aren't quite your cup of tea and you prefer comedy that's a lot less centered in the male gaze, crass jokes, and put-down humor, you should definitely skip Tires. There are plenty of comedy series on Netflix, originals and otherwise, that are stronger and funnier without having to resort to jokes that rely on the lowest hanging fruit to provoke a reaction.

With six episodes that are each between 18 and 22 minutes long, it's not a long binge-watch and won't take up as much of your time as other Netflix shows (and even movies). But right now, Tires is giving 2005 in a way that's not nostalgic for the right reasons. Being inspired by shows from the past isn't a bad thing. Replicating their worst and most offensive qualities is a bad thing. The verdict is in: Skip Tires.