Whitney Cummings may be Hollywood’s “It” girl of the moment, with two new shows premiering this week that she both co-created and co-produces.
But there’s a good chance that spotlight will flame out after last night’s debut of her self-titled sitcom on NBC.
It’s “Whitney,” the worst new show of 1998!
Cummings plays a character named – wait for it – Whitney, who is in a committed relationship with her long-term boyfriend Alex (Chris D’Elia). The two are deeply in love but deeply opposed to the idea of marriage, which is supposed to allow for wacky hilarity to ensue.
If that last phrase sounds like a bad sitcom from the ‘90s, well, that’s what “Whitney” feels like. The multi-camera set-up, the labored jokes, the obvious “pause for laughter” beats coming from the actors.
In one scene, one of Whitney’s recently-divorced friends gives a diatribe about being single that basically boils down to, “whoa, DATING these days, am I right?”
The producers did the show no favors by airing literally every single punch line in the endless promotions leading up to last night’s premiere. But it also doesn’t help that the jokes nearly all fell flat.
Also not helping: D’Elia, whose line readings fall somewhere between boredom and constant mugging. Cummings herself isn’t terrible as an actress. The most honest moments come when she’s holding back her own laughter or, surprisingly, when she’s expressing genuine emotion rather than spouting off practiced one-liners.
The setup for the premiere episode involved Whitney and Alex attending a wedding with their friends, where someone brings up the idea that relationships need to involve regular intimacy in order to stay fresh.
Despite the fact that the couple is supposedly secure in their love for each other, Whitney suffers an immediate descent into self doubt and attempts to spice up her sex life. Cue the “sexy nurse” outfit you’ve seen in the previews, along with the jokes about her boyfriend actually having to fill out paperwork as part of their role play.
Cummings has made a name for herself through a comedy style that involves quite a bit of raunch. But now that she’s on broadcast television, that sharp edge has to be dulled down to meet network standards, and it leaves the entire situation feeling like a scene that’s played out dozens of times.
Between the bad jokes, wooden acting, predictable setups and feeling that we’ve seen this all before on other, better shows, I don’t think “Whitney” is long for this world.
What did you think about last night’s premiere? Did “Whitney” fall flat for you too, or do you think the show will join NBC’s stable of long-running comedies? Sound off in the comments below!
Alex has to WASH HIS HAIR! (But, even if he does, I won't watch the show.) Moronic program.
Plain and simple....it's just not funny. Not at all !!!
This show is painfully bad. Can't watch more than 5 minutes of it without wanting to stab myself in the neck with a fork to stop the agony.
I think the overall writing for this show is very good. It has the potential to beat the "flash in the pan" sitcom. However, the laugh track is about the most annoying, insulting, "insert negative adjective here", gimmick ever used. Given the show is hyped as being filmed in front of a LIVE audience makes me wonder about the criteria used for selecting participants. Please don't prompt or give me a que on when I'm supposed to laugh. I can figure it out for myself. I actually changed the channel right in the middle of the last time I watched it, because the laughter was absolutely so cheesy/fake. I like the characters and theme, but I won't watch it again unless this part is re-tooled. Just my .02 worth, I hope it's useful.
Absolute dreck. Makes "Outsourced" feel Emmy worthy.
I have said since episode 1 – if this dude doesn't shave and wash his hair by episode 5, I am done with this show. He squicks me out.
Yes, it was filmed in front of a live audience – but they still added a laugh track. Which, as many commented, was distracting. Perhaps it was meant to distract from the unfunny stupidity of the show. So long Whitney! Say hello to Heather Graham for us.
TV critics are often wrong in their predictions, they tend to be negative jerks who have discovered how to make money by writing their crap into articles like this.
The laugh track works well for Disney channel "comedies" because they signal to the audience when a joke was just made (because it's not usually apparent).
Someone should tell Whitney producers, the "kinda-funny" 2.5-jokes-an-episode-with-a-laugh-track formula doesn't cut it as a comedy anymore.
Sure, Whitney is maybe 8% funnier than 2 Broke Girls, but what does that say? The writing on that is trully horrendous.
The only people I've known that have claimed this show is funny aren't that bright. I'm not kidding. Its an interesting observation, but I don't care to word it in a way that doesn't make it sound slightly rude.
I watched and if I were a Woman, I would be very offended that Women are still being depicted as hen pecking hags. As a Man I am offended as being depicted as a lump on a log willing to take it. The PLayboy Club was funnier (and it was not supposed to be)
Bring "Outsourced" back.
If there was a woman like her, I wish I was the one with her.
Uber Cray Cray... haha. I liked it. Laugh tracks need to go away. I like Whitney. I hope it gets a chance.
I liked it. Yes, it's a little bit old-school but it's still enjoyable; her character is very relatable for a lot of women today. And hey, people LOVE Two and a Half Men and it's about as standard a sitcom as you can get.
Being an annoying overbearing fast talking "chick" makes her relevant or is it women are too busy borrowing their personalities from bad tv shows....I mean, how many carrie bradshaws have we all gad to suffer through when out and about and overhearing obnoxious Women emulating something they are not: relevant.
Right, except Two and a Half Men features competent acting and moments of actual humor. I'm not even a fan of said show, but it's the Citizen Kane of sitcoms compared to this trash. Grow a brain cell.
I had never heard of this Whitney person before. She seemed nice. I like the boyfriend character. Laughtrack was terrible. Jokes were predictable. they've already done the wedding episode, what is next week: babysitting?
The guy is so ugly! Why would they pick him? He looks like he hasn't taken a bath for 2 years lol...
Why would the numb nuts at NBC take out an intelligent, funny show like "Outsourced" and replace it with something that panders to the numb nuts... oh, nevermind, I get it now.
Watching show right now. Laughter at each sentence. Live audience? Right.
Disney has shows with their child actors that six year olds don't laugh at with the same tracks.
Must be a place where they can buy that awful laughter.
The waiter says "what can I get you?" laugh.
Everybody looks at waiter, laugh.
Bye bye show.
Didn't see "Whitney" yet but after watching the dismal "2 Broke Girls" I can only imagine that "Whitney" will be wit-less and taken off my dvr immediately. The idea that the "2 Broke Girls" are going to make it big on cupcakes?? YAWN. Because in this economy people are dying for MORE over-priced cupcakes, like their aren't enough cupcake places in Manhattan. Puh-leeze. And the horse in the backyard in Brooklyn....that's believeable too...yikes.
The show was funny, but the laugh track was bad. They need to take it to the edge more and the boyfriend is DOA. They need a bigger name actor the has timing
I didn't think it was very funny, but like a lot of people have indicated, sometimes you have to give things a chance. I'll try a couple of times anyway
PS... recent CNN article covered the use of live audience tapes that are "enhanced" to "help" the TV audience along. Lame at best practice.
I can't look at her without thinking "my god it's Casey Anthony age 40."
It would have been so much funnier without the fake-sounding laughter of the "live studio audience." Bleh! I laughed at the same punchlines in the previews because without the laugh track they were pretty funny.
I thought this reviewer nailed it! AWFUL acting, writing that was predictable – in the first 10 minutes you could predict every single joke if you watched TV in the 90s. Wooden acting, ridiculously fake laughter – this show was painful. And as for some sit-coms needing a little time to take off – this one cannot unless they can cram 5 years of acting lessons into a week for the cast, overhaul the writing and the format, and in short – change everything about it.
This article is too harsh...
Sitcoms need at least 3 episodes to be judged. They are trying to setup characters and need a little bit of time...
I am so tired of reality tv and crime shows, Im willing to give Whitney a shot...
This show was awful. Disappointed.
The show is funny, Whitney looked great, The audience laughing is unbearable hopefully they will fix it by episode two, and all pilots are usually bad give the show a few more weeks
just as there are many types of people who have diametrically opposing perspectives of whats funny, there needs to be enough sitcoms on television that are specifically tailored to the audience who will appreciate it; I also might add that those of you people who remember 90 sitcoms, this show is ahead of you anyway(in terms of new comedy). This is generation y2k here. WE find it hilarious
"Whitney" had to be THE WORST show I have ever seen on television. EVER!
It felt like the episodes of funny comedies when they do cheesey mini-sitcoms within their own program (like Scrubs did that one time).
It was unfunny, tired, the actors had no chemistry, and what was with the overbearing audience or laugh track?
Simply awful. It felt very amateurish; like it was done by middle schoolers.
Hard to believe that NBC got rid of "Outsourced" for this piece of garbage.
Painful to watch. Not fun. Not funny.
It was pretty bad, I hated the live audience laughter it was too much. The guy was not funny either were her friends.
Just watch my show. If it helps, I am ALWAYS naked under my robe. All these other shows are crap.
there are certain shows when you see the ads the first time and then the networks flood you with the same ads over and over – you can almost be sure the show will be bad.....and this was horrible...the writer of article is 100% spot on- is like a 90's sitcom
You can't have a show in that time slow unless it's hilarious....and 'Whitney' was not. The acting wasn't terrible, but the plot wasn't hilarious. The only part I thought was actually funny was when she had her boyfriend actually fill out the forms. I laughed at that, but that was it.
Funniest line of the episode: "Enjoy another year of eharmony B!tch!" Other than that and Whitney in a nurse outfit, the show sucked. It won't go very far.
After yawning through The Office, this show was smart ass funny! Loved it and laughed out loud
You can't possibly, possibly be serious.
i did not watch i already knew it was bad from the trailers
The people saying this show was funny are either being paid to do so, part of the show's crew, or posses a level of intelligence that make me wonder how they managed to post on this site in the first place, let alone turn on their computers.
Last night's show couldn't even produce a smile on my face from a single attempt at a "joke". The laugh track was so distracting, it became impossible to even pay attention to anything else. After an hour and a half of smart, witty comedies, why would NBC think we'd need to be subjected to a show that treats us like idiots? "Hey, hear that laughter? We just told a joke. Laugh here." Don't believe that there was a live studio audience there. That line had to be meant as probably the only "joke" of the show. which means either there never was a live studio audience, or they found it so unfunny, the producers were forced to cover it with a laugh track. I refuse to believe there is an audience out there who would be that thrilled to laugh at flat jokes and stale acting after every sentence.
Almost completely ruined the comedy lineup for me. Feel free to disagree with me, viral commenters, just know that you're wrong.
Three clues that Matt is a Moron:
1. "The people saying this show was funny... are being paid... or are part of the show's crew..."
2. "Feel free to disagree with me...just know that you are wrong."
3. Everything he said between the above two comments.
To my new friend Jesse:
I'm sorry you were offended by me insinuating that having an opinion different from mine equates to you being wrong. This is America. It's your choice to be wrong, and who am I to tell you any different?
Show more of her cans and it might make the rest of it tolerable.
I didn't bother to even watch it. I hated even the clips they showed to advertise this stupid show. Who wants to watch two unattractive people - one gangly with a big mouth - and the other sloppy and hairy - get themselves involved in dumb situations and act like trailer park trash? Okay, not all TV, movie and musicians have to be gorgeous. But at least they not be disgusting to even watch.
Truthfully, the only good new shows I have seen come in the last couple of years have been The Voice and Castle. I don't even bother with the rest of them. I would rather watch reruns of Frasier, The Jeffersons, Law and Order, etc.
I recorded it, watched ten minutes, turned it off and deleted! I couldn't get past the laugh track. Terrible show.
I thought it was okay. It had its funny parts but not hooked yet. Lets see what happens next ...
Changed the channel in 4 minutes. The forced laughter from the audience was unbearable. Laugh track? Sit coms do not need to be taped in front of a live audience anymore. I think I'm smart enough to know WHEN to laugh. I don't need the help of canned laughter to tell me what's funny. Single camera sit coms are dinosaurs compared to The Office, Modern Family et all. Wake up NBC.
Ten minutes in, I knew I had landed on the worst garbage I have ever seen. So few quality sitcoms. NBC loves to trot out this liberal excrement.
Horrible horrible show. Literally didn't even cack a smile the entire show, amazing how not funny the show was. Whintey needs to go back to doing standup and roasts, her style of comedy does not fit with network TV. PLus she would have been great at the Charlie Sheen roast, which I'm sure NBC told her she couldnt do
I saw it and I barely laughed. But here's the thing, I think that's because I saw all of the jokes already. I bet they would have been funny the first time. I mean, I also watched New Girl and I wasn't laughing all the time, but then again, I had already seen the previews a couple of times so I think that has a lot to do with it.
I will be giving both shows another shot. There needs to be more Tina Fey's in the world, and both of these shows are women-run.
Ever since Seinfeld and Friends, TV networks have been trying to get that magic back, unfortunately though this show was less "magic" and more pathetic, re-heated, unoriginal garbage. I would not bother with a season pass on this one, instead, I would just pass on the season.
Uh...Ok... Are you a writer for the show? Your comment was just as bad...
This show would be funny, if the Guy could act....and they cut the stupid fake laughing!
I liked it. It was funny how she didn't know how to roll-play...'fill out these formxs'. The mother looks like she could have a good roll, too.
The laugh track made me want to tear out my ear drums. I made it 5 minutes.
What's worse, it was a LIVE audience, not a laugh track!
Who? Seriously, who is this woman?
I didnt get to see it. We had to work late spreading pinestraw. Was it funny? I hope George Lopez will be a guest star.
Back in your cage Pedro!
The reviewer is the world's most clueless MORON. Whitney is the funniest new show of the season. It was non-stop laugh-out-loud funny.
I'm afraid you are the MORON here, and I should add, a tasteless-moron at that. This show didn't have a single original moment and I've seen better acting on The Biggest Loser. I can only assume you must be part of the show's production crew, since the is no other reason anyone would ever subject themselves to a 2nd episode of this garbage.
I don't think anyone is a moron for simply having an opinion, so let's take ourselves out of the elementary school level of name calling.
No, Meecha, Jack really is a moron. Not for his opinion of the show, but for his comment regarding the reviewer.
But as far as the show goes, as soon as I heard that stupid laugh track, I knew this show was already outdated and old. The feel of the show was forced and I am in complete agreement with this review... I won't be watching it again, which is a shame, because I like Whitney as a comedian and was hoping that this would be a great addition. But, turns out it was a strike-out by everyone involved.
While NBC clearly tried to help this show out by airing it ight after The Office, it was not enough. Me and my boyfriend watch 5 min of the show, realized the old sitcom style and laugh track and turned the channel. The jokes were forced and the acting was ok. Although as I said before we only watched 5 min, that was enough to sum up our opinion of the show. Whitney needs to stick to her comedy stand up.
I was really disappointed with the show. I was looking forward to it all week. Besides a few humorous moments it was really sad I had expected so much more from it. Maybe...the next episodes will be better. I'm giving it 2 more chances...
Terrible, unfunny show. Looks even worse in comparison with the brilliance of Community, P & R, and The Office.
AWFUL! Maybe if the laugh track (or as the show claimed, live audience) wasn't forced after EVERY SENTENCE in the first 5 minutes of the show, I wouldn't have been so annoyed. Maybe. I thought it was part of the joke, you know making fun of the shows that actually use a laugh track at every moment possible. After realizing that they were serious, I was done. And, this is coming from someone who thinks Whitney is hilarious and was really looking forward to the show. I wanted to like it, but it was THAT bad..
I thought it was hilarious!
The show may have been ok but, I didn't stick around to find out. The audience laughed 15 times in the first 30 seconds and none of the jokes were that funny. It was way too forced and annoying. My wife and I turned it off after the first few minutes.
It was beyond awful.
I was really hoping for something smart and savvy, but found myself irritated by the canned laughtrack and incessant predictable one-liners. I deleted it from my DVR...not worth my time.
I felt the exact same way. I stopped watching it after the first commercial break. I don't think a show with a pilot that terrible could ever recover.
I laughed out loud a few times.
I did too! Some hilarious parts. I'm hooked!
That show was shockingly unfunny. Turned it off after the first commercial break, and I won't be coming back.
why does EVERYTHING have to have a political component?!?! grow up and Im talking to YOU OBSERVER. its a SHOW, dont watch it then you infantile ninny.
The laugh track was distracting, the jokes weren't fresh, the chemistry between Whitney and her boyfriend wasn't believable, her friends were barely tolerable, and overall, the storyline was dull. I love Whitney's stand-up, find her to be all of the things that her show was not, entertaining, smart, interesting and clever. It disappoints me, but I have to agree. This one won't last past episode six.
I agree, that laugh track was distracting. I wasn't digging it.
The show was taped in front of a live audience.
They still include laugh track regardless.
i actually liked 2 Broke Girls better than this. I was really looking forward to Whitney since I've seen her on Comedy Central Roasts, but the show is actually really disappointing. I'll watch another episode and call it quits if it continues like the pilot.
I thought the show was hilarious. I really enjoyed it. The friends were an added bonus. I love the freinds wacky personality.
Okay. Do you like romantic comedies by any chance? Did you think that new movie starring Anna Ferris(something to do with the number 20) actually looked good? If so, according to your logic your comment makes sense, but its probably not that accurate.
More liberal slop. Cannot cancel this dog soon enough for me.
More like SECOND...loser!
Liberal? Please switch to decaf.
Are there funny shows that are not "liberal"?
God, Observer. Back away from the political page, you are losing your perspective. Everything is not about politics.
I'm a conservative but I wouldn't blame Obama or Bush for this dog of a show.
Maybe Saddam Hussain but not Obama or Bush.
I liked it. It was funny...in a wise-ass sort of way. Their timing and such may improve with time. Seinfeld was a little forced when it first started too....but got better. But these days, who knows if the network will give it enough time to see what happens?
Agree! I don't understand why all the critics are hating on this. Lots of funny people, I laughed many times.
Compare this to Seinfeld again... please. This show is awful and won't survive 8 episodes.
Dude, he was not compaing it to Seinfeld. Your reading comprehension is terible, obviously. You should pobably not be critiquing anything.
Especially not Pedro's spelling!
My husband and I both LOVE it. The relationship hits on both genders are great! We've seen 2 episodes so far and laughed our butts off for both. I think we missed the first episode.
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