I'd call ABC's Work It a bad show, but then I'd be scared that other bad shows would come to my house to beat me up for insulting them. I'm guessing you're still deciding whether or not to tune into this gem, and by now you've read countless "reviews" that use words like "vomit," "apocalyptic," and "asinine." Well, duh. It's not that good. But rather than pile onto this soccer match that's using a dead horse for a ball, we thought we'd show you what you missed out on so your curiosity doesn't lead you down the path of having to watch this atrocity.
Normally, "We'll Watch it For You" is reserved for Syfy, Lifetime, and anything starring Debbie Gibson, but it turns out the format also works with particularly choice network turds. So put on some rouge and let's catch you up on ABC's new cross-dressing comedy, Work It!
The show is set in St. Louis, the home of Budweiser and the only city polite enough to allow such an awful program to portray it in such a horrible light. Work It has just crushed any leftover World Series excitement the town had. First baseball god Albert Pujols moved out, then sexist and unfunny Work It moved in. I hear you can buy a house in St. Louis for a bag of Funyuns now.
Look, it's main character Lee! Played by comedy legend Benjamin Koldyke. Do you think he told his friends he got the part?
Lee is so unemployed he has to steal ketchup from job interviews. That's like Detroit poor! But his ungrateful wife isn't impressed with individually packaged sweetened tomato paste. Here, we see her doing some expert-level nagging-smiling. Hey lady, it's 2012! Why don't YOU support the family?! [Spoiler Alert: In Season 2, she dresses like a man to get a job at a vacuum repair shop.]
Lee has a standard TV-cutout precocious teen daughter who I hope has a heart attack when she eventually finds dad rummaging through her underwear drawer looking for something to wear to work. But seriously, the daughter is the best actor on this show. She should win the Emmy for Actor We're Most Sorry For; she'd just edge out Rhys Darby from How To Be a Gentleman and any extra from I Hate My Teenage Daughter.
Here, Lee is drinking with his jobless buddies because it makes financial sense and one can get a lot of job-searching done in a dingy dive bar. He has a friend who even Larry the Cable Guy doesn't think is funny, and the jokester pretty much says women are causing the recession. But he says it's a "mancession" (more like a "joke recession" apparently), and blames vagina-havers for squeezing dudes out of the workforce. It's misogyny in setup-setup-punchline form. If you're a woman, this is the point where you'd have thrown your high heels, nail polish remover, and apron at the television in anger. Ha ha, kidding ladies. Who has time to cook these days now that Oprah has her own network?
Lee had to get his butthole poked by a man we assume is a doctor, which means by now you should really be having your suspicions about him. Considering that this is a show about a man dressing up as a woman, is it stupid to point out obvious homosexual undertones? Yes. But I'm doing it anyway.
Having overheard that an unnamed pharmaceutical company is hiring women, an amazing premise for a sitcom is born: Lee could dress up as a woman and sell some drugs, just like your great grandfather did during the Great Depression. He aced the interview by keeping his dong out of sight and talking about the company's clinical trials. Yes, the writers threw in a Lindsey Lohan joke.
He nailed it and got the job! Let that be a lesson to all you unemployed people out there. Getting a job requires initiative. Time to tell the ungrateful wife! But it's probably a good sitcom idea to leave out the part where you wear her clothes. She'll obviously be overjoyed because she was concerned about her husband stealing condiments from corporations with huge legal teams.
First day on the job! There was some girl talk about book clubs, handbags, and waxing (seriously), and Charlotte from Lost was there. Did I ever tell you about the time I literally swooned while interviewing Rebecca Mader? True story. Anyhow, I'm assuming it was all downhill for her after I interviewed her, because now she's on this show. I feel partly responsible. Not cool, ABC. She gave you Charlotte Lewis and you've repayed her with this crap role? ABC = Another Bad Castingchoice.
The man-as-woman humor really hit its stride when Lee and his new work peeps settled down to eat lunch. The women all had dainty salads, and Lee whipped out a giant hoagie like it was his shlong and thumped it on the table. The laughtrack went on for about four minutes, and finally Lee nibbled on a piece of lettuce from his sandwich and threw the rest away. Now this show is wasting food? Good lord, Work It! You're really pushing boundaries. Will Lee molest a golden retriever puppy in the next scene?
Famished from chucking his eight-pound lunch into the bin, Lee In Drag went taco-hunting at Astro Taco and ran into his best friend Angel, who works there. Angel didn't recognize him! This was a perfectly believable show until this point. Now things are getting unrealistic, Work It.
Lee eventually fessed up and told Angel the truth: that he got a job by posing as a woman. But he left out the truth part, about how he's always secretly fantasizing about wearing women's underwear and how he took extra long showers after football practice even though he was already clean. There was a montage set to the Black Eyed Peas' timeless woman's rights classic, "My Humps" as he recalled dressing up in his wife's clothes that somehow manage to fit him. It's a miracle, really. It's also a miracle that Fergie is famous and that no one has said anything about her actually being a man. Possible future guest star, ABC? Can't you just see Lee getting jealous of Fergie because he thinks she's doing the same thing, except it turns out she's actually a woman?
Angel quickly agreed to give the woman thing a shot because the pacing really needed to pick up and the episode was wasting too much time keeping Amaury Nolasco in men's clothes. Then we were given the indelible image of the series:
Angel is Puerto Rican, so obviously the show will be milking stereotypes and making jokes about him being a drug dealer and a horny dude. He interviewed with Lee's boss, and had trouble keeping his boner in check because she's so hot. To be fair, she is kinda hot.
Angel bombed his interview, but wouldn't you know it? The boss's car broke down and her gynecologist appointment was in jeopardy! Angel to the rescue! He fixed the car and got hired, so it was time to celebrate at St. Louis's ramshacklest club! If you guessed this pilot would end with a dance party, congratulations.
Eventually, Lee realized he was neglecting his nagging wife, and made up for all the lost romance by re-gifting her a purse.
Romance re-blossomed, and Lee's secrets remained secret. The end!
What did you think of Work It? In case you couldn't tell, I thought it was... not good.
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom