There was a slight twinge of panic amongst the ladyfolk when the Twitter and viral video sensation “S— Girls Say” all but took over the Internet. Not out of the fear that it could become too popular for its own good and get its own miserable spin-off like a certain similarly titled CBS sitcom (still a legitimate concern, though), but that a guy had actually cracked some of our not-so-secret code. Because despite its obviously over-the-top re-enactment of, well, the s— girls sometimes say, it was nearly impossible to deny that you hadn’t uttered something pretty close to Graydon Sheppard’s fast-talking gal’s quotables yourself. (I’m guilty of saying both “Sorry, can you just turn it down a little bit?” and “Get these chips away from me!” almost verbatim.)
While Sheppard’s harmlessly amusing “SGS” may have made you say “That’s so true!” the new sitcom Work It, which debuted last night on ABC, instead probably made you scream “That’s not even remotely close to resembling any sort of reality as a female or a human person in the history of time!” (What, just me?) The painfully out-of-touch, er, comedy about two unemployed guys conveniently named Lee and Angel (Benjamin Koldyke, Amaury Nolasco) who discover their only option is to dress up like women to get jobs as pharmaceutical sales reps during these tough economic time — despite the fact that that particular industry was hit just as hard by the recession. (Ken Tucker said in his review of the blatant Bosom Buddies rip-off: “there’s no denying this was one lousy sitcom.”)
Hilarity ensued, PopWatchers! And by hilarity, I mean horrendously outdated, insensitive, sexist, and racist jokes. (“I’m Puerto Rican. I’d be great at selling drugs!” Angel cried in one scene. You see, it’s funny because it’s soul-crushingly awful.)
Since both How to Be a Gentleman and Man Up! failed to serve as etiquette guides for the sexes, there’s the hope that the even more absurd Work It won’t survive an entire first season either. (Though it should be noted that in spite of everything going against it, Work It does have a certain car-crash quality a la Jack and Jill about it and could earn some solid ironic ratings.) Of course, unlike the supposedly female-dominated world of pharmaceutical sales (sorry, Jake Gyllenhaal in Love and Other Drugs, your fictitious services are apparently no longer needed), Work It attempts to be an equal-opportunity offender. But even dressed as women, the men have it much, much easier.
According to Work It:
Compare prostate exams to “the pinball scene in The Accused.” (It’s funny, because it’s about rape.)
Complain the recession is actually a man-cession. (Clearly they’ve never been invited to one of Michael Scott’s famous men-only parties. Man meat for all!)
Worry that “When the women take over, they’ll make pride illegal and eating on the toilet.”
Are treated to beers during prostate exams.
Only invite their wives out to bars with their pigheaded friends, and when said wife declines, offer to “wake her up for sex later.”
Can fix cars, no questions asked.
When they don’t have their cell-phone bill footed by their father, joke they need to find an older man to take care of it for them.
“Are taking over the work force. Soon, they’ll start getting rid of men. They’ll just keep a few around as sex slaves.” (Not true, we’re only doing that so we can finally get to experience the forbidden taste of Dr. Pepper Ten!)
Only like sex that involves “kissing and cuddling and listening.”
Only buy themselves jewelry when men aren’t able to because of the recession. Sorry, man-cession.
Curtsy when they go into job interviews.
Say things like “sassing, patting my fanny, oggling my teets” to other women during said interviews.
Couldn’t conceivably play college football, unless, of course, it was lingerie football.
Think “clinical trials” are referring to what Lindsay Lohan has to go to.
Tell you they like your purse, but it really means they hate it and you.
Only eat salads for lunch. Assume that any woman who eats a hoagie for lunch is a man in disguise.
Can’t fix cars, and questions are asked when they can.
Never leave bars until they dance and/or get drunk and go home with a random guy.
Still, even with all this, there may be no more insulting implication, to the female, male, and/or human race, that anyone who came in contact with Koldyke’s Lee or Nolasco’s Angel — who are both so painfully, obviously men that even the cast of White Chicks would cry foul– could not identify that glaring fact immediately.
Did you think Work It was more insulting to men or women, PopWatchers? Do you agree with GLAAD’s assessment that the show is a disservice and will do harm to transgendered people? Or were you mostly upset to find that Rebecca Mader (Lee’s snippy British co-worker Grace) got off the Lost island only to wind up in another time warp, or that Koldyke and Beth Lacke (Lee’s blissfully unaware wife Connie) ditched Robin and Ted, respectively, on How I Met Your Mother, to be in a dysfunctional relationship that Mrs. Doubtfire would find suspect? Share in the comments section below.