Monday, April 16, 2012

Whitney - The TV Series not, Houston.

I had refused to give Whitney a second look because it rated so badly on IMDB. However, boredom trumped over ignorance one fine day and here I am writing this review.

Mind you though, I might contradict myself from every angle with this sitcom. I criticized the first episode, but then went on to the second, and then couldn't believe I was watching such rubbish, but still went on to the third episode.

Soon, I began to wonder how this piece of junk of a comedy was actually given any airtime at all. And then, well ... obviously this entire review is going to take a 360 degree turn. I actually had the patience to go on watching Whitney right up to the 8th episode and bam ... I became a fan. I mean thankfully I stuck to it after the train wreck premier episode followed by several more train wreck episodes. What if I had given up on the first episode itself? I wouldn't have realized how much potential and charm this show actually had hidden. It's a pretty big risk taken by creator Whitney Cummings, who also stars in the show as well as produced and directed it. The late character and show development is risky, since viewers may have given up on this show in its early stages.

Right after watching almost the entire season of Whitney however, I did a search on Youtube to catch some of Cummings stand-up performances, since the show is based on her real life events and her comedy materials.

She's really not that funny, sadly. There's very little attraction here, what with her pasty skin that just covers up a mass of bones. And then there's her humongous mouth with teeth arrangement like a horse and her awkward posture - too tall and a little hunched over, and definitely too thin. Ok, but we're not really talking about her appearance but more about her show.

Whitney revolves around 6 main characters. There's Whitney Cummings of course, who plays herself, followed by Chris D'Elia, who plays her boy friend Alex.

I can't say D'Elia is a new comer, because he's appeared in quite a number of other TV shows, of which I've not seen any. But seriously, this is the guy to watch in Whitney. He's charming, adorable, funny and is just so cute. What he ever saw in Whitney Cummings though, is a mystery. There's an episode that shows how these two met and you still wonder what the guy see's in her.

The other four characters in Whitney are Zoe Lister-Jones who plays Whitney's best friend, Lily from her earlier days, Maulik Pancholy, who's introduced as Lily's boy friend Neil, Dan O'Brien a bumbling womanizer cop, whom we will find out has been friends with Alex for 6 years, and my favorite character (aside from Alex), Rhea Seehorn who plays Roxanne. The only other show I've seen Seehorn in as of late is Franklin & Bash. Apparently though, she's quite the seasoned TV series actress.

All 6 characters come together quite naturally and have pretty unique backgrounds to share as the episodes develop. They're not rolling on the floor funny, but likable and really quite sweet. What I really like about this show is that it's just so easy to digest. Don't expect to relate to it, because clearly nothing that happens on Whitney will every happen in real life. I mean, Whitney and Alex are in a 3-year long term relationship and have been living together ever since. How they afford to pay for their apartment let alone live the way they are is a wonder. Alex came up with some idea that did magnificently well on the Internet some years ago, and lives on his royalties apparently. Whiteny on the other hand is a photographer who rarely is seen capturing anything let alone going to work on a daily basis.

Mark, Neil and Roxanne are probably the only ones who actually have a steady job. Neil works in an office and makes a lot of dough and Mark is a cop who also happens to live in the apartment above Whitney and Alex. Roxanne has a desk job at a magazine. Her biggest rival at work seems to be this guy who does the online version of the magazine. (Watch out for that episode with Kathy Griffin as guest star.). Roxanne also used to be married to a guy named Lance, who was good friends with Alex before Mark came into the picture. There are a couple of episodes showing Roxanne trying to get back with Lance. They initially got divorced because he cheated on her.

Overall, Whitney is a little more than just tolerable. The ratings have also significantly gone up since its premier. There's not been any rumor for a second season however ... but maybe it'll just make it through.

It begs a question though...what more development is set for the series to continue standing on? In the 22 episodes that has already been aired a lot of character and story development has already been revealed. And as for the season's finale, it seemed to have somewhat of an ending ... so I'm curious to see where else this will lead. I'll be waiting for season 2, well hoping for season 2 rather. Even though Whitney Cummings herself really is quite annoying, the TV show on the other hand, is nice to watch at the end of a lazy-work-really-sucked-today day.

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