So much of Workaholics relies on Adam, Blake and Anders being assholes, but ignorant about how much they are actually assholes. In contrast, on a show like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, they know they’re assholes, but they just don’t care. With Workaholics, they’re always surprised when they realize they’ve been acting like assholes and the show is often at its best when it tries to teach them a lesson for acting as such.
“Gayborhood” is an episode of Workaholics that works surprisingly well, considering all the various risky elements this episode has going for it. “Gayborhood” is the episode where Adam, Blake and Anders finally have sex. When they go to a gay pride party in the neighborhood, they make fools of themselves pretending to be gay to use the free bar. The next morning, they wake up at the party naked, Blake with skinned knees, a condom in Anders’ ass and semen all over Adam. The hosts of the party explain what they feared: the three of them went to town on each other. Making things even more awkward, the office is having a team building competition, hosted by Jerry O’Connell, where the three compete against their office mates for usage of a timeshare in Palm Springs.
I love when Workaholics basically points out that these three are being childish and attempts to right their idiocy. Not only should this trio not be running around like drunk fools and pretending to be gay, they also really shouldn’t be so afraid to be open with each other. As Montez points out, they may know what Blake’s favorite movie is (Hocus Pocus) or what website Adam visits the most at home (Pornhub), but that’s all surface stuff. They don’t know what each other’s biggest fears or disappointments are. They often act childish and even their friendship is pretty childish and basic at its core.
As Menergy once sang, “friends ‘til the end, ride or die. Best friends, I’ll trust you with my life,” and “Gayborhood” takes these beautiful lyrics to heart. While they realize that they definitely shouldn’t have had sex, it does quickly bring them closer together. Blake admits to missing his uncle, Ders that his father might not be who he thought he was and most surprisingly, that Adam wasn’t the coolest kid in school. Only a day before, they couldn’t even come together on a color for their team building competition team, yet the next day as the Rainbow Warriors, they are able to work together and win the event.
As a group that rarely lets things go, it’s a nice change to watch these three together realize they made a mistake, learn from that mistake and grow from the lesson they’ve learned. As another childish group once mentioned, “well, I guess this is growing up.”
Of course by the end, it turns out the three weren’t “drugged and fugged,” as they originally thought, but were only the butt of a prank played by the gay pride party’s hosts. Even if the events that led to their realization weren’t real, the three took a very important step in their friendship, admitting that they need each other in their lives and realizing that being open with each other isn’t actually stupid. Will this realization make any difference going further in the show? Ehh, probably not, but it’s the thought that counts.
Ross Bonaime is a D.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.