Whitney Season 2 Review “Nesting”

Another pretty decent episode of “Whitney” this week, with “Nesting,” in which Whitney & Alex opt to take themselves a honeymoon-style retreat to Alex’s family’s lake house and things go unexpectedly awry when his dad shows up. As on previous episodes I’ve mentioned as of late, the sitcom tried its best to meld drama and comedy, not entirely successfully. But they are getting a bit closer to the mark, at least, in part because the show is finally figuring out how to approach each in a logical way that’s not too left-field or jarring.

I think the key is to let it happen organically, so that it feels real and the laughs feel a bit more earned- or the tears, for that matter. It’s an uneasy mix at times, to be sure, but they’re getting there. I liked the in-joke about “Breaking Bad” that worked on two levels: you had the joke about “Malcolm in the Middle” being the “prequel” series to “Bad,” which was amusing, but then you also had an actual cast member in Dean Norris, aka Hank from the show, who played Alex’s dad. That was pretty clever, and for once, they didn’t overplay their hand and played it a bit more subtle than they could have.

As a die-hard horror movie fan, I also got a kick out of the horror-related jokes, such as Whitney’s assessment of the cabin in the woods: “This place is kind of reminding me of the house in ‘Lake Blood.’ I watched it three or four times and to this day, I hate being murdered.”

The fun continued when Alex discovered an open window: “Somebody left the window open- that’s a great way to let bats in.” Whitney was even further horrified: “Bats? You mean baby vampires? Okay, between the bats and the murderers, I’m gonna leave here with no blood.” Alex assured her: “Whit, no one wants your blood- it’s full of Splenda and anti-depressants…but you should be extra careful, though, because in horror movies, sluts always die first.” Love it, and so true.

It turned out Alex’s dad was hiding out in the cabin, after some issues with the wife. He told Whitney, but begged her not to tell Alex anything, but he eventually puzzled it out because of everyone’s bizarre behavior, such as Whitney’s off-putting attempt to take attention away from the subject by offering herself up sexually while Alex’s dad listened on intently, not realizing where she was going with this: “Take me. Tear off a piece. Tap that.” Said Alex’s dad: “I’m gonna walk away from the door now.” LOL.

Meanwhile, the gang looked after Alex and Whitney’s apartment- perhaps a bit too closely. Going through their stuff, they found all sorts of quirky things going on, including Whitney’s bottomless pill collection…of someone else’s pills. It didn’t take long for Whitney to figure it out: “How was your weekend?” she asked Lily. “It was great. I realized that I’m clearly not qualified to be in a healthy relationship…too normal.” Whitney: “So, you went through our stuff?”

After the dust settled, Alex and Whitney had a heart-to-heart that was actually pretty sweet, and felt real. As Alex put two-and-two together, he realized his parents might be in trouble. Recognizing Whitney’s experience with these sorts of matters, given her family history, he asked her for advice: “I think the best thing to do is just stay out of it. And the worst thing to do is to kidnap yourself and to find out how much your parents think you’re worth.”

Alex eventually took her advice and let sleeping dogs lie, opting not to press the matter further. He assessed the matters, not entirely wrong-headedly: “I don’t want their relationship; I want ours…for some reason. This is the first time, really, that your terrible childhood has benefitted me at all. Oh, that and your low self-esteem in bed- that’s really fun!”

So, a pretty decent episode on the whole. Only one more episode before the fate of “Whitney” lies in the hands of the higher-ups. It would be a shame to pull the show just as it’s finally figuring out what it is, but that’s TV for you. You never know what shows will get a stay of execution and which will be on the chopping block sooner than later. “Whitney” probably got lucky to get renewed the first time- will it even get a third shot? We’ll see.

What did you think of “Whitney” this week? Think it deserves one last shot? Do you feel like the show is finally hitting its stride? Let me know in the comments!