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13 September 2011, 12:00 pm 3 Comments

TV: NBC’s “Whitney” Disguises Lazy Misogyny as Feminist Comedy

This post was submitted by Topher Burns

Everyone who heard about Bridesmaids, but didn’t actually go see it, is now sitting across from you at a cocktail party and saying “you know, women’s comedies are huge these days.  It’s the next big thing.”  Shut up, fool!  Unfortunately, that boorish co-worker of yours is right – women’s comedies are The It Thing these days.

I hear ya, buddy. She is the worst. (courtesy sharetv.com)

In a way that’s good (always great to get fresh voices and a new perspective), but in a way that’s bad, because before chick laughs were hot, only good chick laughs made it on the air.  Liz Lemon’s been slaying for five seasons, may she ever grace our airwaves and Netflix queues!  SNL has consistently featured a strong female cast in our time.  The Golden Girls are still widely revered.  Chelsea Handler’s crass self-deprecation is a delicate work of art.  Now everyone wants a piece of the estrogen joke pie, and they’re not too choosy about where they get it.  Enter Whitney Cummings.

Exhibit A, if you will please: a teaser for NBC’s Whitney. This is the laziest, most hackneyed set of dusty lame-ass “you know what’s crazy about women?” pseudo-observations that I have ever experienced.  My grandpa has fresher material, and he still calls Asian people “Orientals.”

Ugh.  Clearly Whitney has skated by in life by being trashy-hot and loudly saying bad things about herself that she tries to pass off as the truth about women.  Sorry, Whitney, not all women are emotionally manipulative and proud of it – that sounds like a you thing.  Frankly, this crap goes way beyond misogyny into sociopathy, because the much bigger crime here is being committed against humankind in general.  This “I’ll tell you the truth about women” thing has been done to death by far greater comics than Whitney Cummings.  Being offensive in comedy is often forgivable, but being boring and behind the times is an unpardonable transgression.

I’m pretty sure we’ll get some satisfyingly savage reviews of Whitney – the laugh-track alone has critics smelling blood in the water – but Whitney might actually net out ok on the heels of her OTHER upcoming chick-com 2 Broke Girls.  It features Kat Dennings (Norah, from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Sucksville) whose talents I hold in very low regard.  But Kat’s not afraid to talk about her period so the show might do ok.  You know what women are like, always shopping and blah blahing about their periods.  They’ll love that shit.

If listless stereotypes about women are your idea of a good time, Whitney premieres on NBC at 9:30/8:30c on Thursday, September 22nd.

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  • James said:

    So glad you pointed this out! Tiger Beatdown did a good piece on this awhile back as well:


    Though I don’t know about the endorsement of Handler, Griffin or Rivers would have been better noted as the self-loathing satirist type, Handler’s recent transphobic comments on Chaz Bono were as lazy of jokes as they come and it’s hardly the first time.

  • Mirz said:

    Great article. This articulates exactly what I have been thinking about Whitney. Reminds me of Ariel Levy’s book, “Female Chauvinist Pigs.”

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