Tag Archives: Work It

Spring 2012 Review: Work It

9 Feb

It’s long past due that I reviewed this show that I called the Lebron James of shows-picked-to-be-cancelled (don’t think too hard about thea analogy) which was as predicted added to the great list of shows cancelled after a mere two episodes.  Still, late is usually better than never, and if I didn’t watch every new broadcast show eventually I wouldn’t be staying true to myself so here it is.  The show, for those who don’t know, is in a sentence, about two unemployed best friends who discover that women can get jobs in the terrible economy but men can’t, and thus dress up as women to get said jobs.

Let’s start out by saying that this show is cringe-worthy bad, hard to watch bad, and not hard to watch in a British comedy sense, where it’s like a traffic accident that you want to look away but you always want to watch, more that you just don’t want to watch. I had to watch the show in approximately 2 to 3 minute segments just to get through it at all.  Maybe a half a dozen comedies a year make you truly feel like you’re losing brain cells watching them (not that anyone actually knows what that would feel like, but let’s let that pass) and this is the worst of them all.  This is dare I say, more insulting than 2 Broke Girls, and I don’t pass that judgment lightly.

With the assumption accepted that the show is mind-bogglingly awful, let’s move on with some specific comments.  First, the show takes place in St. Louis.  What a sad fate for a  proud city.  Not that I have any strong feelings about the city one way or another, but it seems like the Gateway to the West deserves if not one great series, one half-way decent one.  The bestSt. Louiscurrently has is either AfterMASH or The John Larroqette Show. It deserves better than Work It.  (New great idea: Power Rankings of shows by city, or cities by show – look for it soon).

The main character I recognized from his stint playing Robin’s co-anchor and serious boyfriend in an arc of How I Met Your Mother.  In addition, Rebecca Mader, who played Charlotte in Lost, plays the bitchy office top dog, who is poised for sales competition with the main character.

The show is simply jam-packed with insulting shows about seriously out-moded gender stereotypes, and without a hint of winking self-awareness under which the creators could at least cover themselves, claiming everything is done in an ironic fashion.  It reminds me of the insulting stereotypes rife in Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing, but worse.  It takes until just two and a half minutes into the episode for the jokes about women to begin, as the worst character in a show of terrible characters, third friend Brian talks about a world in which women will take over, leaving only some men women will take as sex slaves, but not the good kind of sex – kissing and cuddling, and can you believe it, listening!  Boy, do women love to make men listen to them, an extremely emasculating pursuit.

In the theme sequence, the creators have their names appear in big letters.  I hope, for their sakes, that they’re pseudonyms, because otherwise it’s a big sign saying “don’t hire me ever again!”  Lucky for them few enough people were watching to ever remember their names.

In order to live in Work It’s world, we have to accept that people could unquestionably accept both of these men terribly dressed in far lower than Mrs. Doubtfire quality drag as women.  There’s so many insulting jokes about women that it would be impossible to list them all.

The single best part of the show may have been that in the closing seconds my file includes a promo for “Gary Busey and Ted Haggert: The Premier of Celebrity Wife Swap” which I still don’t believe is real.

Will I watch it again?  Well, obviously I don’t have a choice, since it will not air more than two episodes.  The answer would obviously be no anyway, but I still think it bears wondering how this ever got on the air.  On ABC, too, which while having far from a perfect record on sitcoms, has largely focused on laugh-track free slightly smarter sitcoms of late like Modern Family and Happy Endings.  I hope someone is laughing out there who created this show as a giant joke just to see if could ever get on the air.  At least one person would laugh then.

Spring 2012 Preview and Predictions: ABC

2 Jan

(In order to meld the spirit of futile sports predictions with the high stakes world of the who-will-be-cancelled-first fall (now spring!) television season, I’ve set up a very simple system of predictions for how long new shows will last.  Each day, I’ll (I’m aware I switched between we and I) lay out a network’s new shows scheduled to debut in the fall (reality shows not included – I’m already going to fail miserably on scripted shows, I don’t need to tackle a whole other animal) with my prediction of which of three categories it will fall into.

These categories are:

1.  Renewal – show gets renewed

2.  13+ – the show gets thirteen or more episodes, but not renewed

3.  12- – the show is cancelled before 13

Spring note:  It’s a lot harder to analyze midseason shows as there’s no collective marketing campaigns going on at one time, as many of the shows start dates are spread (or are even unannounced for some)  Still, we’ll take partially educated guesses.  Also, they’re a lot less likely to get partial pick ups, so maybe that trade off will make it easier)

ABC first up.  A network in transition, between the complete successful domination of CBS and the grueling failure of NBC, ABC is tied for the most midseason shows with NBC.  Let’s see how they look.

GCB – 3/4

Abbreviated from original titles Good Christian Bitches and Good Christian Belles, GCB promises to be a positively trashy soap about southern women decades out of high school who still act like they’re in senior year.  A woman, played by Leslie Bibb, who was the Queen Bee back in high school, comes back to her hometown, divorced, and ready to be the mocked rather than the mocking.  It’s created by Darren Star of trashy delights Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, and the less trashy but still incredibly successful Sex and the City fame.

Verdict:  Renewed – These are so much harder than their fall brethren to pick.  I have absolutely no clue.  With Desperate Housewives leaving the air, maybe there’s a place for a trashy ironic soap to fill in.  Then again, maybe not.

The River – 2/7

The River is a post-Lost supernatural serial series with a kind of interesting premise.  A popular but enigmatic nature show host/explorer goes off on a quest for something or other in the Amazon rain forest, and gets lost, disappearing.  Six months later, just as everybody is ready to accept that he’s dead (Steve Fossett-style) his emergency beacon goes off.  His wife and son, with whom he has a complicated relationship, go off to find him, meeting all manners of strangeness and danger along the way.  I’m maybe more intrigued than I should be.  A couple of years ago I read the book The Lost City of Z by David Grann all about explorers searching through this area and it was absolutely fascinating, and while that was factual and not supernatural I think the fact that The River is reminding me of that makes me interested.  On the other hand, it looks a little more horror movie-esque than I’d like, with monsters, and irritating camera angles.  I will just have to wait and find out, I suppose.

Verdict:  12- Something’s got to fail, and these supernatural shows have had a lot of trouble since Lost.

Missing – 3/15

ABC’s second show about a family searching for a missing relation, though in this case it appears to be much more of an action show than a mysterious serial.  Ashley Judd portrays retired CIA agent Rebecca Winstone whose son disappeared during a summer internship in Italy.  I was going to say it sounds like Taken meets 24, but you could really just say it sounds like Taken.  That said, if it’s anything like Taken, I’m in, but I’m not yet convinced that Ashley Judd is cut from the same cloth as Liam Neeson.

Verdict:  12-  It’s a hard world for mid-season series.  They don’t get the same push generally as their fall brethren, and while a couple make it every year, it’s a tougher road they hoe.

Apartment 23 – unscheduled

Another show with a notable name change, from the far more evocative Don’t Trust The Bitch in Apartment 23, the show stars Krysten Ritter (of Breaking Bad and Veronica Mars minor fame among others) as the old title’s bitch who moves in with a mild-mannered roommate.  They fight, at least in the beginning, and James Van Der Beek plays an exaggerated jerkier version of himself as Ritter’s best friend.

Verdict: Renewed – so, it’s kind of unfair to have to choose the fate of a show that can’t even hit the schedule, so these midseason predictions are wonkier than ever.  Having said that, why not just double down on a show that actually sounds like it could be good if it ever does air, an exception with comedies in this past year.  Most of the pick is because of James Van Der Beek playing himself.

Scandal – unscheduled

Scandal’s got the kind of ABC pedigree you want, coming from Shonda Rhimes of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice fame.  It stars Kerry Washington as a former media relations consultant for the president who now is starting her own firm.  Henry Ian Cusack (best known as my beloved Desmond from Lost) co-stars, which is the most interesting part for me.

Verdict:  Renewed – I have absolutely no idea – ABC is putting on so many midseason shows and I can’t imagine more than a couple will likely be renewed, but I’ll vote they’ll at least give one more season to one of their favorite creators in Rhimes.  It seems like it will neither be terrible or great.

Work It – 1/3

I’m cringing as I even write the first sentence.  The fact that this show exists and was able to make it on air shows that there are startling flaws in the filters between the creation and airing of television shows on broadcast networks.  Work It is about two men who, after deciding the economic climate is more favorable to women, decide to attempt to dress up as women, and get jobs.  They then have to learn about being sensitive and all the problems women face.  An LGBT group made Bosom Buddies sound positively edgy and progressive in their smack down of Work It.

Prediction:  12- Are you kidding?  Cancellation picks this obvious come along maybe once a decade.  This is the Lebron James of cancellation picks.  This is the kind of show that you wouldn’t show critics ahead of time because you know the lambasting you would receive.  Who is the audience for this show?  Even stupid people aren’t stupid enough for this.  I can’t wait to watch, in a perverse way.