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ABC’s Worst Television Sitcom Ever.


“Work it” doesn’t work for anyone.  In fact it offends everyone.

Hopefully you missed it, but ABC unleashed something truly awful last night. I feel like watching it would be like watching when Belloq released the spirits from the Arc of the Covenant in The Raiders of the Lost Ark and faces melted off. While melted faces were spared, ABC’s dignity and my faith in their programming were not.

Last night was the premiere of the sitcom “Work It.” “Work It” is about two ex-auto sales reps who have been out-of-work for a year. According to the ABC website: “They’ve learned the hard way that the current recession is more of a “man-cession” and their skills aren’t in high demand.. He takes a chance and goes into the interview dressed in heels, a skirt and make-up. The transformed Lee gets hired — as a woman.” Yep, it’s a show where two men dress in drag (unbeknownst to their friends, wives or co-workers) for laughs?

First let’s recognize the offensive nature of this show to the transgender community despite tremendous strides it has made in the media recently. The show is so bad that leaders of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and GLAAD placed a full page ad in Variety condemning the show and expressing how it will lead to further discrimination and condemnation of transgender people.  Second, let’s realize that ABC thinks two men in drag is hilarious – oh wait, that’s called “Bosom Buddies” and it was on tv 30 years ago. Now put aside that the blogosphere has lit up about how horrendous, offensive, and just plain bad this show is, and Gawker labeled it the worst show in history. So far ABC, you’ve offended people on levels of taste, dignity, public responsibility and put it all under the banner of humor.  Which everyone is saying is false advertising, because it completely lacks anything remotely resembling humor. Putting all of those real and weighty reasons why this show is an abomination that deserves no viewers and should be cancelled before it makes its 2nd episode, can I just say how horribly offensive, annoying and mind-numbingly stupid this is to women?

Women are controlling the work force? Being a woman makes it easier to get a job? The word ‘man-cession’ is in the show’s bio? The reason this fake pharmaceutical company is hiring only women is because “We’ve had some guys, but the doctors seem to want to nail them less.” Are they fucking serious? Even if I calm down for a minute and set aside blatant sexism, bad jokes about pulling on pantyhose, putting on makeup, walking in heels, and some ridiculous notion that women are threatening men by taking more jobs, can I just get pissed that any tv executive thinks a man could dress in drag at an office and a woman wouldn’t realize what’s going on? Women notice if you change your bangs. Women notice if you’ve lost 3 pounds. Women notice when someone darkens their highlights, but they won’t notice a man with stuffed, cone-shaped boobs in a bad 80’s outfit wearing pantyhose, and an ugly scarf to cover his adam’s apple? Not to mention stubble? Seriously, who even wears pantyhose under the age of 50? In fact, there is NO WOMAN that wouldn’t be asking everyone “who is the hulking weird guy badly dressed as a woman from 1983?”  If there were actually a sitcom about a transgender character going through the process while working at an office, that could be interesting, funny and truthful.  I’d be down for that. Explore that scenario ABC because at least it treats the other characters and the audience with some semblance of intelligence.  Apparently not only are network executives at ABC complete morons, they think everyone watching television is as well.

I’m not the only one annoyed by this show.  As my friend Giulia Rozzi pointed out, “So many people are hating on Whitney and yet I’ve heard little criticism about “Work It” which revives the hack “men in drag” shtick in response to the oh-so-realistic problem of women controlling the work force. Why is no one Tweeting about how offensive that is?” When Giulia first told me about the show, I was shocked that the few, new, female dominated sitcoms got  such scathing reviews, aggression and antagonism, but something so blatantly offensive and horrible gets nothing? Maybe that’s my saving grace because no one knows about it and no one will watch it.

And while I understand that the men-in-drag shtick works for some (Tootsie and Some Like It Hot are classics), “Work It” bears no resemblance to anything like those classics. I’m hoping public outrage and hopefully public taste (although the onslaught of bad tv programming doesn’t always give me hope in the category of public taste) allows this show to crash and burn as quickly as “The Playboy Club” and “Charlie’s Angels” did in the fall.  Fingers crossed people. Fingers crossed.




5 Responses to “ABC’s Worst Television Sitcom Ever.”

  1. January 4, 2012 at 11:12 am

    To be fair: ‘Bosom Buddies’ is tied to at least two Oscars, possibly countless more. Food for thought.

  2. January 4, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Count to 10 and find your happy place. This thing will be cancelled quickly. I’m thinking less than 3 episodes will air.

  3. Claudia Maittlen-Harris January 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I think the lead actors were hoping the Tom Hanks/Bosom Buddies legacy would rub off. Poor things. But yes, when it’s cancelled I’ll do a little victory dance. Let’s hope it’s by next week.

  4. January 5, 2012 at 5:17 am

    This made me laugh, thanks for that!

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