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Whitney: Is the New NBC Sitcom Worth Watching?

Whitney TV seriesTonight, NBC unveils their newest Thursday night comedy, Whitney. It stars Whitney Cummings, the comedienne and actress who has two new shows this fall.

She’s the co-creator and co-producer of 2 Broke Girls on CBS and the creator, co-producer and star of Whitney. The former had a great debut on Monday night while many are having their doubts about the latter.

Here’s what the critics are saying:

USA Today: “Shot in front of an audience — a rarity for NBC — Whitney is Cummings’ attempt to turn her stand-up act into a sitcom, and it falls into every trap that the best such transfers avoid. The main character is too loud, too dominant and far too central; the lines all sound as if they were written to be delivered by a performer rather than spoken in conversation; and the supporting characters are ciphers who exist merely to reflect or foil the star.”

Boston Herald: “Every fall, a network promotes one newcomer as a rising superstar. If you buy NBC’s hype, comedian Whitney Cummings, star and writer of Whitney, is the most adorable mash-up of Tina Fey and Sarah Jessica Parker.”

“Cummings is talented — just look at the show she created for CBS, 2 Broke Girls. Her own vehicle seems to be a romantic comedy for manic depressives.”

NY Daily News: “Transferring a good standup or sketch comedy act to a TV sitcom is a little like transferring a souffle to a dinner plate. It requires a very precise set of moves. Somewhere between the nightclub stage and Whitney Cummings’ new self-titled NBC sitcom, Whitney, the humor has lost some of its buoyancy.

“Not all of it. Cummings’ boy-girl humor still has some of its sharp edges. But too often Whitney, which debuts Thursday at 9:30, plays like spliced-together one-liners and sketches.”

LA Times: “The pilot works hard at first — you can almost hear it breathing — swinging for a laugh a line and introducing the supporting cast. Whitney and Alex make two of a customary sitcom gang of six, filled out by a too-cute couple (Zoe Lister-Jones and Maulik Pancholy), a caustic divorcee (Rhea Seehorn) and a policeman on the prowl (Dan O’Brien).”

Hollywood Reporter: “A lot of the success of NBC’s new sitcom may hinge on whether people find its star likable or not. Whitney Cummings’ biggest mistake here may have been letting NBC make her show a multi-camera affair, complete with (yet another) overly generous live audience.”

What do you think? Will you be checking out Whitney on NBC? What’s your gut? Do you think it’ll survive to get renewed or will be quickly cancelled instead?

 

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Davy October 8, 2011 at 9:38 am

Hey vern, I didn’t understand half of what you wrote. I think maybe your attention span needs so adjusting. Anyway, Whitney is a horrible show and is a huge insult to NBC’s lineup. Put it on CBS, where comedy hasn’t been funny since “Everybody Loves Raymond” went off the air.

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Davy October 8, 2011 at 10:08 am

yes, i meant “some” instead of “so.”

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Robin September 24, 2011 at 7:41 am

The show was awful. The main characters laughed at their own jokes almost as much as the “live studio audience” laughed. It sounded like a laugh trac and it was sooooo annoying. Do the Middle or Modern Family have laugh traks……no! And they do just fine without it. I didn’t laugh once through the entire show. End it now!

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amouse September 24, 2011 at 12:41 am

I wanted to like it, I really did, because the commercials were sort of cute. But by the first commercial, I had to turn it off because I found myself gritting my teeth at all the overly loud, distracting canned laughter, and the forced “laugh now” pauses after every tired old one-liner. Despite the claims of “taped before a live studio audience, ” this is the exact same canned laughter used on other shows, just dubbed in different order. Clearly the real studio audience didn’t laugh enough during taping. And who can blame them? Nobody in my household will be suffering through any part of “Whitney” again.

They need to cancel this turkey asap, and replace it with a show that has good writers and multidimensional characters played by actors who know a thing or two about comedic timing. Oh, and lose the damn laugh tracks.

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Debbie September 23, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I don’t understand why the show Whitney is getting so much bad press! I LOVED it and watched it again tonight in its’ encore viewing. Love-LOVE her live-in boyfriend; I think they have great chemistry! Not crazy about the drunk-and-bitter gal pal or the guy on the prowl characters but I will def be tuning in next week ! Hope everybody at least gives it a chance, I can’t be the only one sick of reality shows and murders, everyone needs a good laugh!

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verne September 23, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Last site I was on was bashing 2 &1/2 men this also the first episode and People are so quick to judge. I wonder why so much “series bashing” on net. I wonder if all these site fans of Reality” want end series because have the attention span. People seem to be confuse on real plot with real actor. I watch it 3 time laugh every time. Would everyone be happy if the replaced series for reality show? People are buying into these low budget scripted stage, plays and calling it entertainment. I can’t believe so many people so easy to fall for all these cheap shows. I find it disturbing that people are choosing reality shows over series. Disturb by these networks having programs like Bachelor hoping they will find a bunch of naive girls that can’t wait to watch because she believe in love. Not realizing its just a game! If Bachelor was really looking for a dysfunctional bride, he would do it the old fashion way,- In-A-Bar! The networks were really clever, to re-invent Jack Ass and “Wrestling show” and Dress it up with pretty girls and name it “Reality Show”. I wish Kim Kardashian would go home and a get a real job. Americans luvs the these dysfunctional shows so much so, they are bashing series shows with REAL-ACTOR. These people so into these reality show-that-they even watching Reality shows “LIVE”. These reality show getting the numbers wk after wk Holly Balls, really- WHAZZZUP WITH THAT?

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Karyn September 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I didn’t like it. I agree with the previous commment about adding a laugh track. I get insulted when a show tries to tell me something is funny by adding laughter. If it’s not funny, it’s not funny. No amount of laugh track is going to make me laugh. I didn’t laugh once during the show. I also hate when you have practially seen the whole show in the previews. My husband said “Didn’t we watch this already?” No, we had just been shown most of the show in commercials. I wll not watch it again.

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Dave September 23, 2011 at 9:57 am

I did not like it at all. Like 2 Broke Girls, the lines all felt like forced set up for the next joke. Standard: comment, response, punchline writing. No flow. May have had a live audience but I bet they added a laugh track. NO WAY they laughed at every line like it was the funniest thing ever.

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Ross September 23, 2011 at 9:19 am

CANCEL BOTH THIS AND 2 BROKE GIRLS!

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D_Lama September 23, 2011 at 7:17 am

Whitney worked it for me. I’ll watch more of it cuz I think the show i funny enough to get enough laughs from. Hey…I don’t need intellectual stimulation, I just wanna laugh at funny observations and funny people so for me this fits the bill. Keep it coming and get the ball rolling with the strange ass friends of whitney.
I also like her boyfriend, he seems real and not a fake. A good balance. Her other friends seem like they will add spice. Bring it on and let’s see what comes next.

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Deni September 23, 2011 at 6:07 am

2 broke girls was good. I like that it has a positive message and yet funny. Whitney is over the top, its kinda like trying to sell cars with a sexy girl. You should have Victoria’s Secret commercials too, for a complete package,then wives can either be frustrated or be the bad guys for changing the channel. But then if divorce is at 50% and only 1/2 the wives don’t care…hey you may have 75% of America making you rich!

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Rizzlefashizzle September 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Awful. Predictable. Overly dramatic laughs of the studio audience actually ruin any continuity and thus, chance at develoPment of a true laugh. Did I mention predictable? Just checking. Show won’t last 2 weeks.

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Vinnie September 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Not as bad as I expected it to be. I expected it to be as bad (or worse) than “Free Agents”, which I absolutely couldn’t stand. This one may or may not last, but I feel that it should last at least a few more weeks than “Free Agents” will.

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