First Impressions

Work It

Aired on: ABC

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            When I saw promos for Work It, a new comedy premiering on ABC, Tuesday, January 3, 2012, I immediately was turned off.  Havenít we seen this before.  I think they called it Bosom Buddies (starring a rather young Tom Hanks) or Tootsie (starring Dustin Hoffman).  The format may be more along the lines of Tootsie - man seeks job as man, but lands job as woman - more than Bosom Buddies - man needs place to stay and finds one in an all-female room and board - but the laughs are going to come from the same place: man dressed as woman getting into all sorts of embarrassing situations.  Despite my dislike for the concept, I decided to check it out for and let our readers know my first impressions.

            Ever since Pontiac was shut down, car salesman Lee Standish (Benjamin Koldyke) and mechanic Angel Ortiz (Amaury Nolasco) have been unemployed.  Theyíve been combing the job market, but have been unable to find anything.  Lee is desperate - his last unemployment check has arrived and his Pontiac medical insurance is in default.  While at the doctorís office, Lee hears about jobs available in pharmaceutical sales.  Sales are Leeís line of work and so he jumps at the opportunity.  Unfortunately, the company is only interested in hiring women.

            Proving that desperate men do desperate things, when Lee arrives home with a $900 doctorís bill and thinks about pawning his wifeís jewelry, he takes a look in the mirror (a mirror that just happens to have a dress hanging from it, conveniently showing him what he would look like in said dress) and decides to apply for the pharmaceutical job as a newly redesigned version of Lee Standish.  The female Lee is hired right away, what with the impressive knowledge she has stockpiled on the company and its sales.

            Meanwhile, Angel has taken what he believes is his last resort job - as a cashier at a local taco joint.  That is, until Lee clues him in on a new job opening.  Now, both Lee and Angel are working in the pharmaceutical company as women sales representatives, struggling to keep their male libidos in check.  This may be a lot easier for Angel, a single man, than Lee, who feels the need to hide how he got his new job in sales from his wife and daughter.

            I was prepared to hate this show.  I never was a fan of Bosom Buddies or Tootsie.  First off, there is a scene when Lee, Angel and another former Pontiac co-worker, Brian (John Caparulo) are discussing why they canít seem to find jobs.  According to Brian, the reason is simple - itís a womenís world and only women are getting hired right now.  Well, having just heard the jobs report the other day, a study has proven that right now most jobs are going to men.  The reason being - these are the hustlers who are willing to take any job to keep them afloat.  And I salute those folks for being the hustlers they are and staying employed any way they can.  Already this show is starting off on the wrong foot with me, although John Caparuloís delivery, which I first enjoyed in Blue Collar Comedy: The Next Generation, is hilarious.

            Most of the laughs come from the usual issues guys have learning how to wear womenís clothing, apply make-up and the like.  And yet, I do have to admit that I did get a chuckle at of certain scenes, like when the office girls take Angel and Lee out to a local club and decide to get their dance on.  But most of the jokes are old standards and many are easy to predict - getting in compromising positions with male doctors or possibly ending up selling pharmaceuticals at Leeís wifeís job?  While I can see the humor value and the attempt at trying to place an old joke in a new setting, I canít see Work It lasting long in the ABC line-up.  One episode was enough for me to sum up the whole series in a nutshell, which was enough to decide me as to whether I would be adding this to my list of television shows I have to watch - not!


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