The internet (or maybe just Tumblr… and Twitter… but that pretty much is the internet) has been abuzz with talk off the new NBC “comedy,” Whitney. There’s been backlash against the show before the pilot even aired, based on the endless, annoying ad campaigns and the preview clips that NBC made available. Since then, there’s been backlash against the backlash, a phrase I nicked from Matt. People are seemingly upset that other people care about television shows and are spouting the timeless advice of “get over it.” I’m here to tell you that hating things, especially shitty TV shows, is important and encouraged, as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Personally, I think I have relatively decent taste in things, in comparison to other people that I know, anyway. Some have referred to me as an elitist, especially in terms of my music taste. I don’t mind this distinction at all; I’m extremely picky about most things. I don’t understand why the idea of weeding out shitty things in order to find the really good ones is supposed to be bad. Elitism gets a negative connotation in several circles, politics and media criticism being a couple, but I have no problem with it.
It’s probably safe to say that I watch a lot of TV. My day job offers me a lot of free time, which I take advantage of by watching shows on Netflix, Hulu, and through other means. I love good comedies and I love good dramas, some of my favorite shows being Seinfeld, Chappelle’s Show, Louie, The Wire, and Breaking Bad. I should also probably say that I can’t stand Whitney Cummings’ stand-up. At all. I don’t find most female stand-up comics funny, which you may find sexist, but I also don’t find most male stand-up comics funny, either. Elitism, maybe? I think I just have specific taste.
I’m generally open enough to give most new shows, or even some old shows that I’ve never seen, a fighting chance. I saw the ads for Whitney and I thought that they were terrible. I saw the preview clips for Whitney and I thought that they too were terrible. I’ve seen Whitney Cummings tell jokes and, you guessed it, I thought that they were terrible. But I still decided to download the pilot and give it a chance. Maybe the writers are good or maybe the other actors are interesting and prop up the show with a seemingly weak lead. Unfortunately, none of this happened.
The show has a laugh track. Strike one. The show isn’t funny. Strike two. That’s all the strikes, I need, really. The plot wasn’t interesting. The show doesn’t do anything to stand out from other shows. The supporting cast are caricatures, standing in for Whitney and Chris D’Elia (who I don’t really mind, and had a decent turn on Workaholics) to bounce jokes off of. I’m fine with this “girl power” revival thing that network TV seems to be doing, (Kat Dennings, Zooey D, Whitney, etc.) as long as the shows are good, and not just vehicles for people with vaginas.
I’m by no means a professional critic, but I think I’ve watched my fair share of shows. Enough to know, simply from a preview, that a show will be something I’ll hate before I even see the show. This is why, I believe, I have no problem with people shitting all over this show before the pilot aired. People know themselves, they know what they like and especially what they hate. So, in conclusion, Whitney sucks, educated hatred of media is fine, and having good taste is an admirable thing.