Shane Gillis' Self-Funded Netflix Sitcom 'Tires' Spins Its Wheels: Review

Shane Gillis embarks on a unique comedic venture.

by Nouman Rasool
Shane Gillis' Self-Funded Netflix Sitcom 'Tires' Spins Its Wheels: Review
© Charley Gallay/Getty Images

At this year's Cannes Film Festival, legendary helmers Francis Ford Coppola and Kevin Costner unveiled self-financed passion projects, putting some kind of exclamation point on a faltering business model as an increasing number of artists pour their own money into a movie when conventional backers flinch.

And you can add in recently canceled "Saturday Night Live" funnyman Shane Gillis to this list, but, instead of an epic, Gillis dropped an extremely disgusting, super-bro-dude workplace comedy called "Tires," which is set in a Pennsylvania tire shop.

Since his controversial exit from SNL before his tenure even began, Gillis has crafted a niche for himself in the entertainment world, bypassing traditional media gatekeepers. His 2021 YouTube special "Live in Austin" gained massive popularity, and his podcast with Matt McCusker—the very show that led to his SNL dismissal—continues successfully.

Gillis has also ventured into sketch comedy with his series "Gilly and Keeves," culminating in a feature-length special available for streaming.

Rising Above Controversy

Gillis' approach to his career, notably steering clear of capitalizing on so-called cancel culture for profit, has allowed him to carve out a significant presence without dwelling on past controversies.

His steady rise sees him reintegrating into the mainstream, evidenced by Netflix releasing his second special "Beautiful Dogs" and a return invitation to SNL, which he addressed with subtlety rather than triumph. "Tires" reflects the trajectory of Gillis' career.

Originating as a YouTube pilot in 2019, Gillis invested in a full six-episode season after several successful years, which Netflix acquired. The sitcom awkwardly balances Gillis' DIY ethos with his broader ambitions, resulting in a production that feels both grassroots and slightly out of place on a global streaming platform.

The show's premise revolves around two cousins managing a family-owned tire shop. The characters, portrayed by co-creator Steven Gerben and Gillis, engage in absurd schemes to boost business, often with comically poor outcomes.

The humor is unabashedly fraternal and occasionally self-deprecating, offering a mix of crude jokes and situational comedy. The cast, including Philadelphia comedy scene veterans and notable stand-up comedian Stavros Halkias, maintains the original lineup from the pilot, preserving the show's original flavor.

The production's modest scale is evident in its limited settings and brief runtime, yet it achieves a distinctive charm with its hand-held camerawork and close-up shots reminiscent of early "The Office."