Whitney: “The Wire” (Episode 1.05)

TV Reviews Whitney
Whitney: “The Wire” (Episode 1.05)

A person that chooses to watch Whitney week after week deserves a badge of courage. Not only has the show not improved in any way, shape or form, but it quite possibly has taken a step downwards as time’s passed. Whitney Cummings and her not-so-merry gang simply just agitate anyone watching. Most of the fault lies with Cummings herself. Her delivery is bothersome, and her actions are just downright annoying. There is no better and more spot-on term to describe it. But if I had to try I’d use: bothersome, irritating, infuriating, maddening or aggravating. Yes, she is all of the synonyms and each one will probably be used multiple times over the next few hundred words.

This week Whitney and Alex get in yet another fight. That’s five episodes in a row if you’re keeping track at home. This time she accuses Alex of using a condescending tone during an argument about washing his jeans. While it’s gross that he never ever washes his denims, it’s not worth arguing about. But of course Whitney wouldn’t even exist if the two leads didn’t fight with each other.

Whitney starts to use irrational methods, so Alex, bless his heart, uses a condescending tone. Normally I’d say that’s a big no-no; however, he needs to treat Whitney like a child because she is the biggest nine-year-old in the history of television. She’ll stomp her feet until she gets her way, plus a sugary treat on the side as proof that she won.

So what does our rational lead actress do? Why, she collaborates with Mark, their downstairs neighbor, friend and police officer to set up surveillance equipment in Whitney and Alex’s apartment so she can entice a fight between them to catch his tone on camera. Maybe this could work in another sitcom—maybe. It’d have to be a sitcom where we viewers have grown to love the characters no matter what and put up with outlandish plots. Fellow NBC shows Community or 30 Rock could have produced this episode and it would have worked, but that’s the thing: they wouldn’t have. But since Whitney did use this crazy plot, maybe if the roles were reversed and Alex was trying to catch Whitney’s condescending tone on camera viewers would have been more sympathetic. Well, that didn’t happen, and this episode along with Cummings was (insert batch of prior listed negative adjectives here).

As part of this haphazardly put together plot, Ken Marino guest-starred as Alex’s brother. Marino has proven his comedy prowess, but he totally was misused. He shows up, gets rushed out by Whitney, comes back drunk and finally is used as a plot device.

Honestly, I don’t know how people can sit down and genuinely enjoy this. At first I thought it’d be cancelled, mostly thanks to the return of 30 Rock in January. Now I think NBC’s master plan is bring back the Emmy-winning show in 2012 to Thursday night and push Whitney over to Wednesday’s behind Up All Night to replace the cancelled Free Agents. The Peacock is already running re-runs of Whitney in that timeslot, so all should be a-okay. Maybe it’s just that this show isn’t up to par with the sitcoms that precede it, which makes it seem more horrible? Doubt it.

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