Saturday, May 12, 2012

This Blog Was Typed In Front of a Live Studio Audience

Whitney Cummings and Chris D'Elia who play Whitney and Alex
in the NBC sitcom "Whitney."
So only about half a dozen people watched NBC's new show Whitney. Me, my wife and about four other people. Six people are more than who watched NBC's other sitcom featuring a potty-mouthed comedienne, Are You There, Chelsea?

I'd been meaning to get this written since Whitney's first season ended back in March but I just never got around to it. I had no problem with Whitney, it grew on me as the show progressed, mainly due to Chris D'Elia's character of Alex, Whitney's perennial boyfriend. The other side characters also seemed to evolve but into what I was never quite sure. Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn) was a divorcee who seemed to have her life together but then all of a sudden, wouldn't. In some scenes, she was happy with being divorced and not having a man but in other scenes that was all she pined for, even getting back with her ex-husband in one episode. However, now that I have typed that out, it dawns on me that I know of several women who do this. They pride themselves on not having a man around and that they can deal with their life on their own but then two hours later they are begging for God to give them a man. But if that's what Roxanne's character is supposed to represent then it should've been explained better. I was also baffled by Neal's (Maulik Pancholy) coming out just weeks before his marriage to Lily (Zoe Lister-Jones). It was like the writers, or Whitney, or somebody said that they needed a gay character and instead of just introducing one (Whitney plays a photographer, are there no gay photographers in Chicago?) they just turned one of their characters gay. The main reason I give for this being tacked on is that there is no hint of it anywhere in the show until the episode where he comes out. I'm sorry but of the gay people I have known in real life, you can usually tell--they are either flamboyant, never have a girlfriend or are homophobic.

NBC hasn't mentioned what's going to happen to Whitney yet. While it's ratings were decent, renewal depends on if NBC wants to invest in a second night of comedy similar to their Thursday nights. In January, the show was moved to Wednesdays from Thursdays and it fit in better on Wednesday because Whitney has a laugh track, although Whitney does exclaim that "Whitney is filmed before a live studio audience" at the beginning of each show so it may not be a laugh track per se, and the other Thursday night shows do not.

I wasn't holding out hope that Whitney would be renewed. All the actors in the series will do perfectly fine when the show ends as will the writers, producers and the rest of the crew. Yesterday, NBC renewed Whitney for a second season, it came during a wave of NBC renewals including The Office, Parks and Recreation and Up All Night.
Seehorn, Cummings, Lister-Jones, Pancholy, D'Elia and Dan O'Brien
at the NBC upfronts in 2011.