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Your New Favorite Show: Workaholics

December 7, 2011

Remember how fresh and clever South Park was when you first saw it? Remember how often your jaw hit the floor? Remember the person sitting next to you saying, “I can’t believe they’re showing this on TV!” Sadly, those days are long gone. South Park lost its edge after only a few seasons and became far too smug and self-aware for its own good. But there is a new sheriff in town. Behold the most gloriously and gleefully effed-up show on TV. Comedy Central’s Workaholics chronicles the perfectly vulgar misadventures of three dudes who work together at a telemarketing company. Comparisons to Office Space and The Office abound, but I believe Workaholics is so much more.

Adam Devine; Anders Holm; Blake Anderson (from left)

(l to r) Adam, Anders, and Blake

Blake Henderson, Adam Demamp, and Anders “Ders” Holmvik are in their early 20s. They are roommates, best friends, and unapologetic stoners locked in emotional adolescence. They spend their days slacking off at TelAmeriCorp and their nights obsessing about video games, body image issues, stunt-drinking, and weird masturbation techniques.

Workaholics is well into its second season and Mrs. theGeek has finally managed to stop calling it “that douchebag show.” Admittedly, for the bulk of the first season, our heroes were little more than irredeemable douchebags; just three terrible people in a show-about-nothing. But the writers (incidentally our three principal actors are also the writers and creators of the show) have managed to develop the characters, if only a little. Blake is the sweetheart of the group, the sensitive eccentric, the charmer. He is sympathetic and genuine, the conscientious Kramer in our Seinfeldian troupe. “Ders” is the responsible one, the straight man, the Jerry, the leader insomuch as Moe was the leader of the stooges. He constantly rolls his eyes at his buddies’ crazy ideas, often imparting his allegedly vast and outrageously inaccurate knowledge upon his compatriots. And Adam, well . . . Adam is still just a douchebag. He is hotheaded yet cowardly, narcissistic yet self-loathing, supportive yet viciously critical. He is the George, the impetus for many of their misadventures and often the reason things go from bad to worse.

There are a lot of sight-gags in this show, only a few of which are actually funny. Most of the show’s charm comes from the banter between our three stars. The dialogue is often in the vein of Arrested Development or Eastbound and Down. One-liners shoot out of the screen like a machine gun; don’t laugh too hard or you’ll miss the next one. Secondary characters like Alice, the guys’ harried and bitter boss at TelAmeriCorp,  and Karl “The Human Genius” Hevacheck, their drug dealer, share in the witticisms. Alice’s assistant, Jillian, is clueless and schlubby, often reminding me of Archer‘s Pam and Cheryl rolled into one.

Whether you see the one where they go to a Gathering of the Juggalos, or the one where they befriend a pedophile, or the one where they all become obsessed with the office’s pretty temp, or the one where they find themselves trapped in a sewer and argue over which Ninja Turtle they are, you’re sure to chuckle often. Possibly a titter or two. You might even guffaw.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lloyd permalink
    December 7, 2011 3:40 pm

    Good review of Workaholics. I’ll check it out. However, re: South Park, I don’t watch it with great consistency, but definitely often enough to know that it still offers plenty of smart satire, and its edge is actually sharper than ever. Occasional Tweed writer Porter probably has more to say on that topic than I can.

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