When “Whitney” first debuted back in 2011, it was a show that largely was critics’ favorite punching bag. It was a book stuffed full of sitcom cliches, and it did not manage in the early stages to really capitalize much on the comedic talents of its lead Whitney Cummings.
However, we started to witness some sort of a sea change at the end of season 1, as Whitney and Chris D’Elia managed to develop enough chemistry to overcome some of the cheesy writing. At this moment, what we are seeing from season 2 is more of the same. The central relationship of the show is not necessarily bad, though it is still lacking the sort of edge that you would really hope for starring a woman who was once a staple on Comedy Central Roasts. (This show would probably actually be rather funny if it was airing on FX rather than NBC.)
For an example of the strengths and shortcomings within this show, just look at the basic plotline this week: Whitney was upset that Alex invited his ex Chloe to come stay at their place while she was in town, and it turned into this whole discussion all about relationship boundaries, and when is the right moment to say “no” to someone. (With Whitney, trying to figure out what these boundaries are is not always easy.) This premise alone was neither original or funny, but it was what transpired next, as Chloe was dumped by her current boyfriend over staying at Alex’s place and Whitney was actually forced to play nice.
While this was a moderately entertaining episode at the end of the day, still the problem with “Whitney” is that the show does not quite go anywhere. If there was a moment that literally made us roll around on the floor, it would help us to look past some of the show’s shortcomings. As it is, though, it’s still hard to see it permanently taking a place in our Wednesday lineup once “American Idol” and “Survivor” return.
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