I said it much more succinctly on Facebook last night. Community is shelved (call it “pre-cancelled”) but Whitney isn’t.
The first action–putting Community aside–makes me sad. It’s an innovative, quirky, funny and wonderful show. But it’s soooo not for everyone. Even our own family is split on the show’s value. My husband’s reaction upon hearing the news wasn’t a plaintive cry of despair but a grudging “I’m sorry” directed at me. He’ll most likely not miss it. That’s fine. I get that it’s an acquired taste, and even those like me who have acquired it do a few grimaces when the experimental humour misses the mark. For example, the entire Ken Jeong storyline for the last two seasons has been screechingly bad. Overall, though, it’s a funny show that just couldn’t keep taking the bullets as it went up against Big Bang Theory and the various mystifyingly popular karaoke contests on Fox.
But it’s the second action of NBC’s that leaves me fuming.
Whitney is the biggest piece of dreck to be unleashed on TV since Manimal. It isn’t just that the show is unfunny–anti-funny–or that it boasts the most obvious, intrusive and misplaced laugh track in the history of the sitcom genre. It isn’t just that the program showcases the second most mean-spirited person in comedy. (Meanie #1 can be seen nightly on Chelsea Lately.) It’s all of those things together, amped up by the fact that like Cummings’ other brainchild of the fall season (2 Broke Girls), Whitney uses rape as a punchline. A sexual punchline.
Rape is a decidedly unfunny thing to happen. It’s also unsexy*. It’s an act of violence perpetrated in a sexual manner, not a violent sex act.So when Cummings persists in writing these “jokes” about it, she shows just how ignorant, tone-deaf and desperate for attention she truly is. It takes a special kind of awful to injure others to entertain and to turn the spotlight on yourself. It’s Neronian, throwing rape victims to the lions. It’s the psychopathic child pinching their new baby sister to amuse himself. It’s the cruel Junior High girl coaxing guffaws out of her posse by mocking the passersby for their lack of being-her-ness.
This is what NBC thinks is worthy of money and time.
NBC is the worst.
* I honestly can’t understand how these characters in both shows can perpetually shrug this off as no big deal.