It is no easy task to write an unbiased critique of “Whitney.” The few joys Whitney Cummings‘ new NBC comedy offers have been beaten out of it by months of one of the worst TV marketing campaigns in recent memory.
With one-liners like “Whoever invented morning sex… forgot about morning breath,” it seems more like a fake “Saturday Night Live” commercial for a show called “Am I Right, Ladies?” than an actual television series premiering in one of primetime’s most coveted slots.
And, unfortunately, these yuks are a fairly accurate representation of the humor presented on the show.
Following a woman (Cummings) and her live-in boyfriend (Chris D’Elia), the two try to reinvigorate their “unconventional” relationship, with help from their cliche troupe of friends — an idealist and her whipped boyfriend, a spicy divorcee and a player.
Cummings, who also co-created CBS’ strong freshman comedy “2 Broke Girls,” is a legitimately funny woman, but what she brings to the table in the first outing does not show this. Instead, we get Jeff Foxworthy-style jokes with “redneck” exchanged for “sarcastic, urban woman in her late 20s/early 30s.”
Hokey, but almost excusable — especially given our faith that Cummings is capable of bringing more to the table.
What the series can’t get past is its bizarre attempt to pass off an unmarried, middle class, white, heterosexual couple as living some sort of alternative lifestyle. It’s 2011 and this premise would have been banal 15 years ago.
With the powerful trio of “Community,” “Parks & Recreation” and “The Office” as a lead-in, NBC’s storied Thursday night comedy block deserves a whole lot better than “Whitney.” But instead of an entertaining half-hour to ease our wait for the return of “30 Rock,” the network has given us another “Outsourced.”