Wednesday Comedy Roundup: Whitney 2.14 & Workaholics 3.19

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Whitney, Season 2, Episode 14: “Crazy, Stupid Words”
Written by Zachary Rosenblatt & Eric Zicklin
Directed by Andy Ackerman
Airs Wednesdays at 8pm (ET) on NBC

Just as Whitney surprises us with a great episode and an awesome guest star last week, it declines in entertainment and hilarity this week. It seems more and more each week that NBC’s Whitney insists on producing more bad episodes than good. There is nothing particularly good about “Crazy, Stupid Words” as the show’s aim to balance drama and comedy once again is careless.

The episode opens with Alex and Whitney in a coffee shop eavesdropping on a couple’s argument and almost having an argument themselves whilst defending the strangers. In this scene we discover Whitney doesn’t like the word ‘crazy’ and thus the main plot of this episode explores the way that certain words can aggravate people. It seems the female characters of Whitney don’t like words that describe them and they’re all fairly negative, which is a disappointing representation. Roxanne dislikes being called a ‘bitch’ and Lily doesn’t enjoy being referred to as a ‘flake’.

At Mark’s bar, Whitney and Alex decide to participate and see who can take the wackiest photograph. Much to Alex’s dismay Whitney takes a photograph of her ‘peach’ and the couple have a pretty big blow-out. Alex’s annoyance is fair, to some degree, but he blows it completely out of proportion and the argument isn’t entertaining enough to last a whole episode. There are parts of the episode that could be funny, for example Roxanne and Lily catching Alex taking a dirty photo and RJ’s spider B story, but they needed to be executed better to really work.

Whitney isn’t completely terrible but there is definitely room for improvement. Mark Trammell explains how they could improve the structure in his latest review.

Workaholics Season 3, Episode 19: “The Future Is Gnar”
Written by Blake Anderson
Directed by Kyle Newachek
Airs Wednesdays at 10pm (ET) on Comedy Central

The midseason finale of Workaholics took us back in time and showed us how the infamous trio met back in college and for the actual final episode, Workaholics takes us to the future, kind of. With such a great midseason finale, viewers had high hopes for this finale but sadly, “The Future Is Gnar” is somewhat pointless, messy, and a huge waste of a prominent guest star. The hilarious Tom Green is merely just a footnote in this episode as he provides recorded phrases for the automatic telemarketing system Alice brings in as a threat to replace all of the TelAmeriCorp employees.

This is an extremely ambitious and risky episode in need of better execution. Tom Green’s presence is nothing more than an excuse to reference and use lines from Freddy Got Fingered, which is extremely disappointing as the cast of the show have been hyping up this episode via Twitter since they recorded it. By the end of the episode we learn it’s just Blake’s futuristic fantasy where machines take over, which makes the episode seem like an even bigger waste of thirty minutes. It does make sense that Blake would be the one to imagine this extravagant, apocalyptic story, however, and there are a few laughs.

In Blake’s vision, the trio are the last remaining employees that haven’t been turned into cyborgs. Alice (who looks incredible) comes to change them and Anders sacrifices himself, leaving Blake and Adam to attempt an escape. The rest of the characters can be seen in the episode dressed as cyborgs, but they don’t really provide any amusement. The only comedic bits are Adam’s overt sexual advances toward Alice and Anders referring to being shaved as a “spa day”. “The Future Is Gnar” is packed with overly sexual jokes and quite possibly one of the most cringe-inducing scenes the show has ever produced- they have to remove a tracking device out of Ander’s butthole, in a sequence that isn’t funny or inventive. However, they leave Alice with a note that reads “loose butthole” and in the final moments of the episode, Adam takes the fingering reference to a further level as he sticks his hand into the machine in order to deactivate the system. Both are pretty nice touches.

It’s a really cool idea to have a midseason finale go back in time and then have a the real finale go forward in time, but though the effort and concept are appreciated, it’s just not executed well enough. The premise of “The Future Is Gnar” should let the Workaholics gang run wild with imagination but there is a strange limitation to the sense of adventure, probably due to budget restrictions. The best episode of this oversized season is “Webcam Girl” and with Comedy Central opting for another two 13-episode seasons, hopefully Workaholics will improve and no longer be hit and miss.

Tara Costello

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