Can laughter truly be the best medicine? For Whitney Cummings, it definitely can be. She has two new shows that have premiered this fall. One on NBC that she stars in called Whitney and the other on CBS is one she help co-create called 2 Broke Girls. Two wildly different shows with two different degrees of success
In terms of plot, both sitcoms followed different formats. Whitney followed the seemingly conventional romantic comedy behavior and the other a more Odd Couple feel. Whitney followed Whitney (Cummings) and her relationship ups and downs with her longtime boyfriend Alex (Chris D’Elia) as they rebelled against conventional relationships by remaining unmarried. Of course, they sometimes listen to their friends (Dan O’Brien and Rhea Seehorn) and resort to doing some crazy antics like going on a pretend first date as sort of a test. The other was a night of role playing that ended up with one of them in the emergency room. On 2 Broke Girls, two very different waitresses formed an unlikely bond that could change their hard luck lives for the better. The very cynical Max Black (Kat Dennings) is a talented cupcake baker who doesn’t believe in herself very much. She meets former society princess Caroline Channing (Beth Behrs) turned broke waitress who inspired Max to start a cupcake business from scratch. All they need is to avoid the advances of a lecherous cook (Jonathan Kite) and make good with their boss (Matthew Moy). Is it possible for Cummings to have two successful shows on two different networks?
Unfortunately, the answer to that question is a resounding no. Cumming’s self titled sitcom Whitney lacked the edginess that Cummings usually had in her performances. It tried to be like an I Love Lucy episode with all of the humor sucked out of it. The show had potential to be funny, but it just seemed to miss the mark. Cummings had a strong rapport with D’Elia, which was more brother and sister than a loving couple. Whitney‘s true breakthrough was the sweetly skeptical D’Elia who loving poked fun at Cumming’s most outlandish ideas. He was the straight man to his funny leading lady. If Whitney doesn’t last past the first season, he should join her other show 2 Broke Girls. What makes 2 Broke Girls work is the show’s sharp tongued humor and the two talented stars in Behrs and Dennings. Dennings’ Max was designed to help ground the humor at a more realistic level. She’s basically a quieter but much sharper counterpart to Cummings’ onscreen persona. She’s the Oscar to Behr’s female Felix. Behr is no slouch in the humor department, but it’s mainly Dennings’ show. In terms of both shows, Cummings should focus her attention on Girls because that one has more potential to last multiple seasons if the material and humor remains on the same wavelength.
2 Broke Girls premiered on September 19th and airs Mondays at 8:30 pm on CBS. Whitney premiered on September 22nd and airs Thursdays at 9:30 pm on NBC.
Verdict: Two shows designed by Whitney Cummings with only one making a true impression.
TV Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars (2 Broke Girls)
1 out of 5 stars (Whitney)
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)