People have often wondered what would happen if you gave 100 monkeys a typewriter and an infinite amount of time. Well, now we know what you get if you give it to just the one, and tell it that it has less than ten minutes to come up with something funny.
Everything in America seems to be one extreme or the other. Either they have so little interest in exploring anywhere else in the world that they don’t even own a passport. Or, they’re the most widely travelled and richly cultured individuals on the planet. There doesn’t ever seem to be anything in between. It’s either red state or blue.
On the one hand you get South Park, The Simpsons, Curb You Enthusiasm, Letterman, Conan and the Larry Sanders Show. But then on the other, there’s The Nanny, Rosanne, Married With Children, Mike and Molly, and now, Whitney.
It’s only when you see Rosanne and Ellen DeGeneres guesting on the Larry Sanders Show that you’re reminded of quite how sharp and funny they both are, and what wonderful comic timing they both have. So how do you explain the sitcoms that the networks created for them?
What a strange beast television is. It hungrily gravitates towards the brightest and most charismatic individuals it can find. But before it allows those that it discovers their 15 minutes, it insists that they dilute everything it was that they were first attracted to about them.
So that when the shows they build around them eventually air, they’ve been rendered entirely impotent. And they’re washed away in a tide of mediocrity and dragged to the murky depths in a sea of platitudes.
There’s no situation in Whitney. Unlike say Married With Children, which is a show about a couple, who are married, but, and here’s the catch; they have children!!! Or The Nanny, which is a show about a nanny, but she has a funny voice!!! Whitney’s not about anything.
Nor could it in any way, and however vaguely, be considered to be even remotely comedic. I await the episode in which they talk at length about whether their toilet seat should remain up or down.
So I hope she’s not been reduced to drinking all the money that they’re paying her in a fit of depression. Because the show that bares her name is alas, about as funny as watching your youngest child being carefully eaten by a particularly vindictive polar bear who appears to be watching you out of the corner of its eye.
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