The latest “Whitney” lived up to its title, as we started out with the former, moved swiftly into the second and eventually onto the latter as the “Sex, Lies & Alibis” flew fast and furious. It started innocuously enough, as Alex tried to score a little morning nookie, as guys are wont to do. Whitney wasn’t too invested in the idea, not exactly being a morning person.
“Why don’t we turn that frown…the other way?” pleaded Alex, turning Whitney around to face the countertop in the kitchen.
“Nobody’s getting undressed,” said Whitney, pointing to Alex’s outfit for a business meeting.
“We could just sort of make our stuff available to each other,” Alex reasoned. “Men’s pants are designed for this exact thing.”
“We just had sex last night,” Whitney argued. “What, did Howard Stern have a porn star on this morning?”
Eventually Whitney puzzled out that, much to her horror, that Alex hadn’t gotten his the night before. Had, in fact, faked it, no less.
“What were you thinking of?” she asked, assuming it was one of the typical girls men think of in these circumstances.
“Fantasy football,” Alex confessed.
“Do they even have cheerleaders?”
“No, but that’s a really good idea.”
Whitney is understandably upset: “My feelings are hurt. Both of them.”
This leads to a mutual confession of past lies. At first, everything’s hunky dory, but with these two, you just knew it wasn’t going to end well. Sooner or later, someone was going to do a little too much confessing- and it was probably going to be Whitney.
“It’s so cool that we can do this.” Whitney confided. “It’s fun in a scary, we-might-break-up kind of way.”
Be careful what you ask for. As it turned out, though, it wasn’t one of the two that let the elephant in the room out of the bag- it was one of their friends: namely Lily, who crossed the line when she offhandedly revealed that Whitney had lied to Alex about having been in a coma, of all things, early on in their relationship.
Said a younger Whitney, in a flashback: “Time really does fly when you’re in a coma.”
Alex: “How did you go into a coma?”
Whitney: Ugh. You know, it was not easy…it was actually a very small coma, it’s called a commette. Careful, you’re going to reactivate it!”
Alex was about to let her off the hook, as it was such a bizarre lie, and she admitted it was because it was early on in their relationship and she was afraid things were getting too much, too soon, too fast and needed to get out of there, it having been going on for two days straight.
Then, Lily stepped into it yet again, letting spill that another man was involved. Turns out that Whitney had been in a long-term relationship with another man at the time she & Alex had first hooked up. She had ended it soon after, but never told him about it- a big betrayal on many levels.
Things got pretty serious in this middle half of “Whitney,” less funny than uncomfortable and intense. In real life, this sort of thing would have almost certainly drug on a bit longer, if not led to an outright break-up, but this is TV, so the wound was healed pretty quickly. Although, to be somewhat fair, the “coma” lie was so ridiculous, it’s hard to imagine anyone would have bought into it in the first place, as it was clearly indicated Alex had for years now. And, as unfortunate as the circumstances might have been, Whitney still had ultimately chosen him, so there was that. All’s well that ends well, I suppose.
It was a fairly serious episode for the most part, which is not necessarily what you want for a sitcom, some of the later-period “Friends” episodes and what have you notwithstanding. Even then, it’s still debatable, even amongst a cast that had earned it a bit more than this one. If I wanted to cry or be sad, I’d watch a soap or something.
That said, there were some good lines here and there, especially with Mark and new cast member Tone Bell (what a name!) as RJ, his new bartender. At one point, the two had to break up a bar fight.
RJ: “You’re pretty good with your hands.”
Mark: “What about you, busting out the full nelson!”
RJ: “I had to…those girls were strong.”
The bit with Mark being unsure about how to shake hands at the end of the night was cute, too.
Mark: “What do I do? What do we do? Blowing it up? Tickles? Pound it out?”
After finally reaching some sort of half-assed handshake compromise, Mark admitted: “I’m so glad that’s over with. I’ve been worried about it all day.” LOL.
I also like Lily’s wry joke earlier in the show, when Mark talked about the difficulty he’d been having finding a bartender.
Mark: “One guy was late, one guy never showed up at all, and one guy never called me back.”
Lily: “Add a paralyzing fear of aging and you know what it’s like to be a woman.”
The bit with Alex asking everyone to leave him and Whitney alone in a bar full of people was cute, as well.
Alex: “Would you guys excuse me a second? I’d like to talk to Whitney alone.”
Mark: “Sure. RJ, you want to help me move the bar outside so these two can have a moment?”
All in all, though, it was an oddly dramatic episode of “Whitney.” It wasn’t bad, so much as oddly traumatic- not necessarily what you want in a sitcom. I’m not gonna lie, I watch the show more for snarky comments, a la Cumming’s other show “2 Broke Girls,” not so much the heavy emotional content. Maybe that’s just me.
What did you think? Let me know in the comments!