I thought I’d give ABC’s latest “plight of the modern man” sitcom at least 2 episodes before I passed judgement. All signs pointed immediately to the pits of despair, but since the pilot involved so much setup and the much-maligned burly-dude-dresses-as-a-woman-to-get-a-job premise has actually had some unlikely but substantial success in films like Tootsie and Mrs. Doubtfire, I gave the show a one week purgatory before sentencing it to burn in hell with ABC’s other atrocious, out-of-date, sexist (in both directions) and condescending sitcoms from earlier this season (Man Up! and Last Man Standing).
Work It balances precariously on the premise that it’s easier to get a job as a woman in this economy than as a man. Ahh, my tear ducks are already welling up at the thought of those poor, fragile egos wandering aimlessly as unqualified and useless women take over the world instead of maintaining their rightful place barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. So let’s pretend for a minute that it’s even remotely true that it’s easier for women to get jobs than men, and let’s pretend for a minute that men who would sit around in a bar complaining about that fact are even remotely worthy of our attention, it’s still asking a lot to make me believe that 1) those men would think/volunteer to dress up as women to get jobs in pharmaceutical sales, 2) that pharmaceutical sales companies would ever hire women that ugly and 3) NO ONE WOULD FIGURE IT OUT! Come on, I know it’s a sitcom and this is all in “good fun” but is there that little talent working in Hollywood right now that no one could think of a better story?! At least Mrs. Doubtfire was about Robin Williams getting to spend time with his kids, and Tootsie was about Dustin Hoffman getting to live his dream as a successful actor- this crap is not timely or cute, it’s just plain dumb.
Sucre from Prison Break (oh how the mighty have fallen) makes a pretty hot woman, actually, as Angel, the mechanic who joins would-be-endearing mastermind Lee (Benjamin Koldyke) in his harebrained plan to take back the jobs from those silly, unqualified women. Koldyke could not be slumming it more after outstanding arcs on Big Love and How I Met Your Mother and it just makes me sad to see him waste his time saving Angel from predatory doctors and researching ways to minimize his broad back.
I don’t know what’s gotten into the water over at ABC but what was once far and away the best network on the air has made the same misstep no fewer than 3 times so far this season*. I can forgive them for the mediocrity of Once Upon a Time and with a little patience I may even one day get over the betrayal of their lack of support for the really-pretty-great Pan Am, but one terrible comedy that makes a mockery of men with an odd backlash towards women is enough of a crime to wipe out any good cred they earned with the success of Revenge (their only awesome/successful new show of the fall). And 3? That’s just more than will ever be okay. There hasn’t been a comedy travesty like that since the simultaneous arrival of Mike & Molly, Outsourced and Running Wilde – and those were at least spread across 3 competing networks.
I don’t care how many Emmys Modern Family wins, you can’t ride high on one hit and think we won’t notice that THIS is what you replaced Cougar Town with. Really? BRING BACK PENNY CAN! Bring it back now. And fire your network execs, they couldn’t be more out of touch with the modern point of view if they lived on another planet.
*they also made Charlie’s Angels- which was, you know, horrendous.