By Curt Wagner
3:10 PM CST, January 2, 2012
Two manly men can't find work, so they line their eyes with mascara, wrap up the equipment with Ace bandages and squeeze into dresses to get jobs as women.
ABC, you can do better than this drivel you call "Work It" (7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3; 0 stars—that's right, zero stars). "Work It" is so bad, it makes the equally dismal "Last Man Standing," which airs at 7 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC, look brilliant.
Married salesman Lee Standish (former Chicagoan Ben Koldyke) and his best bud, a Romeo of a mechanic named Angel Ortiz (Amaury Nolasco), have been hit hard by the recession and haven't been able to find jobs for a year. I take that back, they haven't been able to find jobs that they deem worthy of them (but that’s another story).
So they hang out at a bar, Lee ignoring that his wife and daughter are feeling the recession blues too. Money is so tight at home that his daughter has to give up her cell phone, but not so tight that Lee can’t buy a few cold ones every night with his pals.
Lee learns that a pharmaceutical company is hiring salesmen, or rather saleswomen. The boss only likes women for the job. So he decides to do drag a la “Bosom Buddies,” “Tootsie,” “Mrs. Doubtfire.” But "Work It" isn't as funny, witty or fabulous as those projects.
I've done drag, and even I was a helluva lot funnier than this—and without a super-charged laugh track.
Created by Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen, “Work It” is so tone-deaf that it will doubtless offend drag queens, anyone who has ever been out of work and working women—hell, any women. As the boys hang out whining about their situation, they blame women in the workforce for the fact that they can’t find jobs. (What is this, the 1960s?)
Once the guys decide to do drag—because that’s less debasing than taking a job you may not like—they giggle and flit about as if they are guest starring on a 1950s sitcom.
No one would believe these two were actually women. We’re also supposed to believe that Lee fits into his wife’s clothes and shoes, and that somehow these supposedly hyper masculine guys learned how to tuck, to cover facial hair and to wear wigs properly. Their makeup expertise is explained, but not believably.
And Lee’s wife is so dense that she can’t figure out what he’s up to? With her wardrobe? Please.
Do me a favor ABC, fire “Work It” fast and bring back “Cougar Town” now, and for a full season.
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