Monday, September 26, 2011

Whitney: A Review.

     Mediocre.  NBC promoted the hell out of it, so maybe we all went in with too-high expectations, but nonetheless, it was just disappointing.
     Taped in front of a live studio audience, huh?  I didn't think NBC sitcoms still did that.  And this was proof as to why.  It was so damn distracting to hear every line get a laugh and then waiting for the laugh to slow down the pacing so much.  When the audience laughs at a line that I'm not laughing at it, I'm left thinking about how not funny the line was.  I think why would they laugh at that? and then the dialogue just becomes a series of punchlines, when actually, it was supposed to be dialogue.
     There were a few bits like this in Whitney where I could have believed it as a real, funny conversation, but the laugh track made me think it was trite.  So then I stopped caring.  And it happened so soon, that I had stopped caring before the title sequence ran.   
     The pilot revolved around Whitney's fear, nay, hatred of marriage.  A giant pile of exposition was dumped in when her boyfriend just tells us "I know you hate marriage because both of your parents were married three times..."  Oh, ok.  Well, that's her deal.  We can move on now.  Nope.  We actually have to have it out where she gets all mixed up and thinks maybe marriage is the right answer.  And Jane Kaczmarek is seriously misused here as Whitney's mother.  The character was very one note; Ms. Kaczmarek is anything but.
     Overall, the episode was pretty cliched, about single ladies versus marrieds, but there were a few jokes that hit.  The show seemed to really rely on Whitney herself just being able to win people over by being on the screen.  That did not happen.  I did like the blond friend, whose name I don't remember.  She was the newly sarcastic sardonic drink friend, and I think we should all have one of those.  She seemed to be the point where the most organic comedy came from.
     Even though I've said a lot of terrible things about it, it's not actually a terrible show.  It's just not great, and I wanted it to be great.  Because I want everything to be great.  I had heard a few reviews before I actually saw it that were just awful.  Some people couldn't find any redeeming quality to it.  That's not really the case- it's shiny, it has (some) pretty people on it, and there are a few laughs.  It's not unwatchable.  I'll watch it because it's on Thursday night.  But when it gets canceled, I won't think about it anymore.  

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