Wednesday Comedy Roundup: Whitney 2.13 & Workaholics 3.18

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Whitney Season 2, Episode 13: “Nesting”
Written by Theresa Mulligan Rosenthal
Directed by Andy Ackerman
Airs Wednesdays at 8pm (ET) on NBC

This week’s episode of Whitney makes up for the last few weeks of disappointment as we are introduced to Alex’s dad, Wayne (Dean Norris). “Nesting” is driven by Alex and Whitney’s decision to finally take their honeymoon at Alex’s parent’s lake house. Whitney is one of many sitcoms that continue to try to combine a mix of drama with its comedy and is often unsuccessful. However, this episode gets the show a little closer to the mark when both Alex and his dad confide in a messed-up Whitney. The show is a lot funnier this week and there are some great in-jokes, including one about AMC’s Breaking Bad, Dean Norris’ usual TV stomping grounds. It’s a pretty clever, multi-layered joke that for once works quite subtly.

It turns out Alex’s dad is hiding in the cabin following some issues with the wife. After confiding in Whitney, Alex jumps to conclusions and accuses Whitney of projecting her bad childhood onto his family. This is quite serious for Whitney but entertainment is provided through the little things, such as Alex noticing something is up with Whitney because she is offering sex and Whitney saying “we don’t talk much” when Wayne asks her not to tell Alex.

Alex and Whitney’s brilliantly odd quirks are on full display this episode as Lily, Roxanne, and Mark look after their apartment and discover a number of interesting things. The trio learn that they label their yoghurts, they share an underwear drawer, keep pillows on the floor (psychos!), and own a large collection of somebody else’s pills. Once again it’s Lily’s reactions that make the show. Zoe Lister-Jones is fantastic and genuinely deserves an award for her portrayal. There is also a little focus on Roxanne and Mark; upon rummaging, they discover how similar they are, again another example of how this week Whitney is working subtly.

Upon realising things with his parents aren’t actually okay, Alex and Whitney share a heart-to-heart. As the series has gone on, Whitney has seemed to be mellowing somewhat. This is a sweet moment between the two and feels real. Whitney often provides hilarious insight and comments due to her familiarity with unfortunate situations such as this.

This is a pretty good episode on the whole and with a few more left this season, it would be a shame to pull the show just as it’s finally figuring out what it does well. Whitney was pretty lucky to get renewed the first time- hopefully it will get a third shot.

Workaholics Season 3, Episode 18: “In Line”
Written by Tony Goodman & Steven White
Directed by Ben Berman
Airs on Wednesdays at 10pm (ET) on Comedy CentralThis week fans of Workaholics are treated to an extra fun and creative episode that is reminiscent of the comedy in the earlier episodes and are reminded exactly why we watch this show. My favourite character Karl gets a lot more airtime this week and  he shares it with Anders, which is a nice change. The episode is full of hilarious little throwaway bits like Kyle’s Kickstarter campaign to “buy hella Funyuns” and wanting to check out a model train show. The little airtime Kyle has always provides laughs that build on his fascinating character. However the main plot focuses on Blake’s desire to wait in line for samurai zombie game. It connects every plot but Karl and Anders’ plot carries the episode.

After Jillian begs Blake to cover her at work, he enlists Adam to go stand in line for him which is of course a recipe for disaster. He gets lost on his way and Blake tells him to look for zombie larpers and in true Adam fashion, he mistakes a bunch of drug addicts in line for clean needles for fans of the game and tactlessly quizzes them about their open sores. No Workaholics episode is completely with gross, cringe-inducing humour and here is where we find it. The moment he expresses his willingness to get high along with a wad of cash, it’s clear the addicts will rob him. What’s unexpected is that he smokes PCP and hallucinates the addicts are zombies and chase him. This side story is somewhat predictable, not incredibly funny and definitely the weakest of the episode. Loveable Blake gets some great airtime this week as he stands up for himself “In Line”. After relentlessly searching for Adam, his old friend Marshall Davis does what any good friend does: pretends he is Adam and lets him get in line with him. Again the outcome of this is predictable but it does provide some laughs particularly in Blake’s dialogue. A stereotypical, beefed up guy voices his outrage and chaos ensues. Cue Adam running by followed by the addicts.

Whilst this is all happening Ander is trying to secure a lay with a goth girl from the bank who they hilariously refer to as #TheDarkness. After giving some weed to Anders, Karl aims to become better friends with him and checks in on him to see if he has scored but ends up participating. This is probably one of the most unexpected and best scenes the show has ever produced. Anders is the most uptight of the trio and is the only one physically repulsed by Karl making this scene they share together so great. Workaholics is renown for it’s gross humour but this week they take it to a whole new level when Anders nibbles on Karl’s nipple rings and eats his skid-marked underwear whilst blindfolded. It’s disgustingly hilarious for three reasons: 1)Anders gets completely out of his comfort zone, 2) Karl is pretty much game for anything, his responses are hilarious and 3) Anders is so desperate to get laid and so afraid he’ll get left out. Whilst this is happening Jenny catches onto the twisted idea of planting a camera in the room but soon has the upper hand by threatening to post it online. This episode is repulsive throughout yet consistently funny and Karl once again provides a final gross joke by offering his fingers for Anders to smell.

 

Tara Costello

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