Aired on: NBC
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I have stayed away from sitcoms for the most part as I haven’t really found one that tickled my fancy since the days of King of Queens. But when I saw a few of the promos for Whitney, a new half hour sitcom premiering on NBC on September 22, 2011, I couldn’t help but laugh. I decided that I should check this one out. Unfortunately, I missed the first episode. Fortunately for our readers though, I was able to play catch up and not only watch the premiere, but a second episode, giving me an even better idea as to what this show is like.
Comedienne and actress Whitney Cummings portrays a fictional version of herself : a photographer with marriage issues thanks to her many-times-divorced mother (Jane Kaczmarek), an often pessimistic outlook on life and queen of the snarky comeback. Chris D’Elia is Alex Green, internet entrepreneur and Whitney’s extremely understanding live-in boyfriend. Their friends include the sickeningly sweet couple Neal and Lily (Maulik Pancholy and Zoe Lister-Jones), the slightly alcoholic divorcee with a bitter outlook on world in general Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn) and fairly sleezy and woman crazy Mark (Dan O’Brien).
In the first episode, Whitney has to face her issues about marriage as the couple have been invited to attend a wedding. Thanks to a conversation at the wedding, Whitney realizes that she and Alex have been together for three years and may not be having sex enough. She decides to add some excitement to their relationship, but gets way more than she bargained for.
In the second episode, Whitney realizes that she and Alex have never actually gone on a first date. She decides that they should make up for lost time and recreate what might have happened if they actually had a first date. Unfortunately, just like after any first date, the two are left with the awkward task of figuring out just what should come next.
While Whitney does have some definitely funny one-liners that I couldn’t help but laugh at, as a whole, is not that funny. I started seeing a trend between the first two episodes and decided to test a theory. Reading up on the upcoming episodes, I realized I was right. Whitney is basically a sitcom about a women who thinks she’s secure about her relationship, but in reality is on constant relationship analysis mode. After a while, this show will run out of jokes about unmarried couples living together and things will grow stale.
Actually, they are already somewhat stale. Whitney’s one-liners are funny and Chris D’Elia is a good compliment to her character, but the rest of the cast really don’t seem to have that sitcom synergy. I don’t find Mark’s sleazy attitude towards women funny. Roxanne’s alcoholic tendencies and anger towards marriage can be funny for a minute or two, but then it gets old. While Neal and Lily do a decent job representing that seemingly perfect couple who can’t get enough of each other, they also succeed in doing exactly what those couples inspire - turning people off.
I really wanted to like Whitney, but I wasn’t given much to work with. The best parts of the show can be viewed in the previews for the upcoming episodes. The rest of the show is a dud.