We are truly living in a golden age of television. The comedies (the good ones, anyway) are better than ever, and better than movies. The dramas (on cable, anyway) are outstanding, as good as anything you’ll pay $14 for to see in a theatre. Production values and acting are top notch. Yes, this is truly a glorious time for television.
Then there’s Work It.
I’ve been some bad television in my day. I remember Mr. Ed, a show about a talking horse. And My Mother the Car, a show about a talking car. I remember Life with Lucy, the attempted return to TV of Lucille Ball at age 75 which was so terrible you felt sorry for Lucy. And I remember a Canadian show called The Trouble with Tracy, which was the cheapest, shoddiest, lamest show I’ve ever seen. But it was Canadian, produced on a budget of $15.47 per episode, so it gets a bit of a pass.
Now, joining the pantheon of puke, welcome Work It. And unlike the above mentioned shows, which were all products of different times in television, Work It has no excuse.
Awful barely begins to describe it. I’ve watched a lot of sitcoms that I allow about a 15 minute window before I shut it off. I couldn’t turn off Work It. It was so stunningly terrible, so jaw-droppingly wretched, I couldn’t take my eyes off it.
Here’s a preview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9Joid6wx3Q
Now, this is clearly a terrible idea. But, done correctly, in the style of broad farces that the British do so well, it could almost work. Some of you may remember Bosom Buddies, a sitcom that starred Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari. They played a couple of guys who couldn’t find accommodation, so they dressed up as chicks and got a room at an all-woman’s hotel. It was a broad farce in the style of TV comedies at the time, and it kinda worked. They were immediately seen as very ugly women, and their ruse was quickly uncovered. But the women in the hotel liked them, so they got to hang around. Stupid, yes. But thanks to reasonably funny writing and a general ‘we know this is stupid, but let’s have some fun’ attitude, it worked well enough.
Nothing about Work It works.
First, the two male characters are, even with Lon Chaney himself doing the makeup, impossible to disguise as men. The main guy is at least 6’2″ and fairly jacked ( and yet, he goes into his wife’s closet — she’s maybe 5’6″— and somehow finds clothes that fit). He does not have one single feature that could be remotely described as feminine.
Remember when the guys from Monty Python or the Kids in the Hall would dress in drag? Even at their most comedic, they looked more like women than these guys. And yet, in a office filled with women NOT ONE SINGLE WOMAN CAN SEE THAT THEY ARE CLEARLY MEN! (Apparently, the pharmaceutical company doesn’t do particularly good background checks either.)
Work It will be cancelled quickly — honestly, I was anticipating it being yanked half-way through it’s first episode — but you’ve really got to see this before it goes away. The production is extraordinarily cheap, like everyone involved never expected it to get to air so they didn’t put any effort into it. The acting is sub, sub par, the jokes so bad even Dane Cook wouldn’t tell them. Why would I encourage you to watch it? Well, it’s not very often that you get to see something this terrible on TV anymore. It’s like a relic from a bygone age. Watch it and marvel at the thought processes of the guys who wrote it, the actors who agreed to be in it, and network executives who gave it the green light. And this is from the network of Modern Family!
Seriously, folks. You have to watch this at least once to appreciate just how awful it it. Me? I’ve had enough. I’d rather watch a full season of Whitney then sit through Work It again.