It ain’t easy being a fan of a show that everyone else in the world seems to despise.
It’s especially tough when that show is a newbie that got off to a weak start before morphing into something most folks didn’t stick around long enough to see it become: a keeper.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… WHITNEY.
Based solely on the pilot — featuring an overly-loud laugh track, all-too-familiar wedding jokes and a cast who’d yet to find their collective footing — it’s easy to see why people may have been turned off and… well, tuned out.
But those of us who stuck around have witnessed a major transformation as stars Whitney Cummings and Chris D’Elia became one of the most entertaining comedy duos currently on the airwaves. Their alter egos, Whitney and Alex, bicker like real people. Often, their arguments start out serious before slowly become more humorous as one or the other realizes how irrational their behavior has been.
Better still, the ensemble surrounding the pair — with help from the writers putting words in their mouths — have gone from being generic sitcom stereotypes to fleshed out personas. They’re no longer caricatures designed to elicit cheap laughs, but rather characters whom we laugh with rather than at.
The best example of this change? Dan O’Brien’s Mark. Originally conceived as the sex-obsessed obnoxious guy that every sitcom feels the need to have, he has since mellowed considerably, thanks in large part to the burgeoning relationship between Mark and Roxanne (played by the bullishly charming Rhea Seehorn). While early episodes left us asking why anyone would spend time with, let alone be friends with, Mark, the subtle changes made since have gone a long way toward making him someone worth getting to know.
At the moment, WHITNEY is living “on the bubble”, which is industry speak for “fighting for a second season.” Working in its favor is the fact that NBC has at least a few bigger problems on its plate (like the show’s painfully unfunny timeslot companion, ARE YOU THERE CHELSEA?). But it wouldn’t hurt if those of you who wrote WHITNEY off earlier this season gave it a second look.
Maybe, just maybe, it’ll get a little less lonely over here on the side of the couch reserved for WHITNEY lovers.