There's been a lot of good news lately for the woman-driven television comedy— Lena Dunham's Girls will soon premiere on HBO, popular Twitter author Kelly Oxford sold a script to NBC and the hilarious Broad City will be developed into a series by FX, to name a few—but that's easy to forget when you've got complete dreck like ABC's Work It hitting the airwaves.
In case you are lucky enough to have avoided Work It until now, here's the rundown. Two male friends, Lee and Angel, have been unemployed for a year. This is because of the recession, sure, but it's also because women are getting all of the jobs (I know what you're thinking— "That sounds right. Are you sure this isn't a documentary?" and no, it's definitely a fictional sitcom). In a fit of desperation, Lee and Angel dress in drag and immediately find jobs in pharmaceutical sales AS WOMEN. WACKA WACKA.
You don't have to look far into Work It to get offended. Here, they've created a world where a woman's only skill in the job market is her sexuality. In fact, Lee is punished for intelligently trying to sell pharmaceutical products, while Angels (and all of the show's biological women) find professional success by acting dumb and sticking out their tits.
What's perhaps most offensive about Work It is that it's profoundly unfunny. There are great examples of drag comedy (the Python boys did it consistently, Chris Lilley's Ja'mie is a tour de force and who could forget Amanda Bynes' remarkable turn in She's the Man) that, while perhaps mocking a gender, manage to do it with intelligence or, at the very least, humor. Work It, however, goes for the easiest joke every time (Lee's wife doesn't know the word "math," LOL).
Work It is down in ratings from its premiere, going from 6.1-5.1 million viewers. It's encouraging that a million viewers bailed, but becomes less so when you realize that the most recent episode of Parks & Recreation— a show featuring an intelligent, well-rounded female lead and several women on the writing staff— brought in a mere 3.7 million.
"Work It" and the "Man-cession" [Ms. Magazine Blog]
"Can RuPaul Stage a Protest?" The Most Scathing Critiques of Work It [Time NewsFeed]