A pattern has emerged on Whitney that can no longer be ignored: Each of the six episodes follows the same exact formula. Now, this can be mind-blowing, so hold onto your seats. First we see two characters in some cutesy conversation that we can relate to, and then things take a turn for the worse. Immediately those two characters are in an all-out war against each other, forcing the rest of the characters to either a) reluctantly get stuck in the middle or b) jump too far in between the two characters that it becomes annoying.
In “Two Broke-Up Guys” Alex and policeman Mark argue over the Blackhawks (that’s hockey for those who don’t know) losing. Mark believes the team lost because they watched the game in Alex and Whitney’s apartment and not Mark’s. That’s right—the fight between the two friends is over something so juvenile it’s actually embarrassing that it’s two grown men involved.
It turns into a full on break-up, which was clever. I always love when television shows play on character friendships and make them into bromances (a la Chandler and Joey from Friends). Mark leaves the apartment as Whitney enters; she’s of course instantly interested in what’s going on. Mark then returns with a box of Alex’s belongings, and the break-up is on.
What is most annoying about this already-aggravating show is that none of the other characters stop Whitney from intervening in the bromance. I think every viewer understands how irritating the title character is, but none of the characters think their friend is like vinegar to their water. I just can’t imagine four people genuinely wanting to spend time with a character who makes my teeth grind whenever she talks.
Drunk Alex was probably the biggest positive of the episode. Chris D’Elia is such a bright spot of the show. The scene where Whitney is undressing him in the bedroom because he wouldn’t be able to do it himself was reminiscent of about a dozen episodes that aired in the past few years, but somehow D’Elia makes it fresh and bearable. And “bearable” is a step in the right direction for this show.
Let me take this moment to point out that D’Elia cocks his eyebrow in nearly every scene. So next time you’re watching, make it a drinking game. Who knows, maybe the show will become hilarious the more drinks you take (and I’m assuming it will be a lot).
Whitney is something else. It feels out of place on NBC’s Thursday night lineup. The three preceding comedies are full of loveable characters that are offbeat and whimsical. This show is not. It’s anything but. I’ve said this before, but I feel it can hit its stride eventually. Laughter can happen during the show; it’s rarely actually Cummings who makes it happen, but it’s possible.