Stars: Whitney Cummings, Chris D’Elia, Zoe Lister-Jones, Dan O’Brien, Maulik Pancholy, Rhea Seehorn
Writer: Whitney Cummings
Director: Andy Ackerman
Network: NBC, airs Thursday nights
Original Telecast: September 22, 2011

Remember back in the 1990s when FRIENDS was such a huge juggernaut that anything they put after it at 8:30 was guaranteed ratings gold?

Remember how every year, NBC would squander that timeslot with subpar piles of crap – just treading water, hoping and waiting the next FRIENDS would manifest (it never did).

Well, watching WHITNEY, NBC’s latest Thursday night comedy, you’re reminded of all those 8:30 failures (even though it airs at 9:30 pm) because that’s exactly what WHITNEY feels like – leftover goods.

On a night that’s filled with three brilliant comedies – COMMUNITY, PARKS AND RECREATION and THE OFFICE, to slot in a traditional sitcom with a live studio audience is awkward (NBC’s UP ALL NIGHT would have been a much better fit).

If WHITNEY were actually funny, then maybe there wouldn’t be much to complain about, but sadly, the series premiere is pretty much laugh free, unless of course you like bad one-liners and thousands of unfunny sex jokes.

The premise of the show is that Whitney (Whitney Cummings) and her live-in boyfriend Alex (Chris D’Elia) are happier living together and not getting married, than actually getting married (most of the first episode hits that concept home as they attend the wedding of a friend).

Throughout the episode we get to see a lot of Whitney’s neurotic posturing, but as the writer and creator of the show she’s almost afraid of giving herself too many quirky things to do. Cummings has some charisma and she’s a pretty good stand-up who has a lot of bite, yet very little of that is on display here. D’Elia is also a really great foil, but neither have figured out the rhythm of their relationship or how to make this kind of old school comedy work well.

While Cummings and D’Elia could potentially save this show if the writing ultimately gels, the show might have to dump its entire supporting cast that is filled with sitcom 101 archetypes (the horndog friend, the happy couple, the bitchy one).

This is Cummings’ second show this season. On CBS she has 2 BROKE GIRLS which she co-created with Michael Patrick King (but doesn’t star in). Both shows have somewhat decent casting and very intriguing leads, but neither come out of the gate with their comedy weapons a blazin’.

WHITNEY is serviceable – a show that’s not totally bad, but not quite good. It’s in a nice comfy time slot after THE OFFICE, but with so many comedies waiting in NBC’s pipeline for a time slot opening, there’s going to be less patience for serviceable so WHITNEY better get good quick if it hopes to survive there. And we know, based on Cummings’ stand-up she has it in her, so she should unleash her inner demons and stop playing nice and start being funny again.


Click on Link: TV Review – THE OFFICE – Season 8 premiere – “The List”

Click on Link: TV Review – PARKS AND RECREATION – Season 4 premiere – “I’m Leslie Knope”

Click on Link: TV Review – COMMUNITY – Season 3 premiere – “Biology 101”

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Article: TV Review – WHITNEY – Season 1 premiere

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  1. 100% agree….I wasn’t extremely disappointed but following The Office made it a bit rough. I feel like the potential is there, and I hope to see Whitney succeed but it just didn’t do it for me. I’m willing to give in another shot but that’s about it

  2. Whitney was suprisingly funny…though it could use a little developing. It was better than the office (and I usually love the office). I thought Whitney’s bf’s acting was pretty good.

  3. Pingback: ‘Whitney’ premiere a half hour without laughs – Christian Science Monitor |

  4. Pingback: ‘Whitney’ premiere a half hour without laughs – Christian Science Monitor |

  5. I thought the show was horrible. I will not give it a second chance. I like her stand up and appearances on Howard Stern, but she cannot act. The live audience makes humans seem stupid. There wasn’t one thing that even made me smile but the audience all laughing at exactly the same time for every stupid one-liner…I mean gee whiz what were they paid?

  6. Pingback: ‘Whitney’ premiere a half hour without laughs – Christian Science Monitor | Stand Up Comedy Shop

  7. This would have been funny to me if I was watching it 15 years ago when all of the jokes in it were original. I turned it off after the opening scene.

  8. I was looking forward to seeing it. It was terrible. The laughter was distracting. I felt like I had already seen most of the show from all of the commercials. The acting was bad and laughter was so unrealistic that I couldn’t stand it.

  9. Get rid of the horribly annoying laughtrack!

  10. Are we actually supposed to believe that there was an audience that burst into uproarious laughter after all of the stale jokes and one liners on this show? The laughter sounded as fake as the old “uh oh” recording of a woman the used to dub into episodes of I Love Lucy. It actually sounded as though they recorded some of the laughter from Friends episodes and dubbed it in.

    This show stinks and should be put out of its misery as soon as possible.

  11. Whitney is so hot I would tune just to watch her clean a bathroom! Loved her on HOWARD!! Set the tevo!

  12. Show is not ‘new’ and was simply King of Queens w/sex references. I came away very unimpressed.

    Whitney Fan
  13. Absolutley horrible-unwatchable, stick to what you know best:standup and your not very good at that either,anyone can throw around some written one liners(insults) and get laughs at a roast.It is clear you cant act,good luck but i have a feeling this show is going to be the last we here from Whitney.Whitney wont make it through the season.

  14. the Hindenberg disaster, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the JFK, RFK and Martin Luther King assassinations, te Jonestown massacre, the John Lennon murder and 9/11. These are just a few things that are much funnier than the pathetic shitcom “Whitney”. I’d be hard pressed to find a more stinky smelly steaming turd of a show than this one. When it started I thought they were doing a parody of a really bad sitcom and the real comedy would start any minute, but alas, I was dead wrong. Just another crappy shitcom with one dimensional unmemorable characters and some of the worst writing ever put on paper. Let’s hope the geniuses at NBC (Nothing But Crap) pull the plug on this one quickly.
    As for “Two Broke Girls”, it’s not as bad as “Whitney”, but it’s just another rehashing of “The Odd Couple” with most of the humor surgically removed. Another forgettable cow pie of a show, but the guys will like it because the gals in it aren’t bad looking. turn the sound off that one when you watch it and it will serve it’s purpose.

    Johnny Stompanato
  15. P.S. – At the beginning of “Whitney” she says that it was recorded in front of a live studio audience. I gaurantee they were either heavily drugged, paid off handsomely or the laugh track was dubbed right over them while they slept.

    Johnny Stompanato
  16. After the first fart joke, I turned it off. What an awful piece of drivel.

  17. I think the show is funny, but they HAVE TO DITCH THE LIVE AUDIENCE!

  18. That’s a laugh track. I don’t care how nany times the show claims to be in front of a “live” audience.
    The whole thing is a mess.


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