Comedy Central’s Wednesday night looking bright

workaholicsBY TROY PHILLIPS

Comedy Central’s yearly lineup is a lot like the revolving doors at a busy restaurant. Sandwiched between syndicated reruns and late night staples like The Colbert Report and The Daily Show are a rotating cast of half hour scripted slots that change guard every few months. When you compare that to mainline network comedies, which have the opportunity to air from September to May, it becomes much easier to understand the brevity of Comedy Central’s approach.

For now, Wednesday night belongs to the fifth season of Workaholics and the inaugural campaign of female buddy comedy Broad City. If the first go-around was any indication, this pair could be tag teaming for many winters to come.

Before you even press play on an episode of Workaholics, you already know what’s going to be on tap, give or take a few degrees. It’s part of what makes the show great. Sit down, absorb the shaky premise, and then chuckle your way through the misguided shenanigans and awkward exchanges that has won over legions of loyal viewers.

In a shocking development, last night’s episode was much the same way. This particular iteration involved Montez, Molly (the drug, not a character on the show you can’t seem to remember), a baby shower, an EDM concert and a hot tub. America’s favorite working-class triumvirate pulls down another solid performance, America cries bravo and then proceeds to twiddle their thumbs to make pass the same time next week.

“The Raver’s Prayer”, as this episode was called, doesn’t measure up to classic installments like “Fourth And Inches” or “The Lord’s Force”, but the overall the content grades out as B work and is worth a small investment of time. After several successful seasons on air, it’s safe to say that the Anderson/DeVine/Holm/Newacheck (Kyle Newacheck, who plays Karl and came up with the concept of the show along with the three main characters) brain trust has navigated the treacherous road from the internet to television.

Broad City should keep the guys from TelAmeriCorp in mind as they brave their own transition from YouTube to boob tube.

Creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer ran an online show of the same name for the last two years before it caught the eye of now Executive Producer Amy Poehler and made its way to primetime. With support from one of the hottest names in comedy at their side, the sky’s the limit for this pair of UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade) alums.

The first episode didn’t grab me hook, line and sinker, but it delivered enough amusement to pique my interest and tune in again next week. Abbi and Ilana (yes, they go by their real names) are a pair of twenty something friends with crummy professional lives and a penchant for implausible capers in pursuit of money, sex, stress relief, or any combination of the three. The girls seem to traverse half of The Big Apple by the end of the half hour, but by the closing credits our heroines are essentially identical to who they were before, save for aging a day or two. Nothing won, nothing lost. Watching Jacobson and Glazer fall flat on their faces looks like it will become a weekly theme, but they’ll be plenty interesting while doing so.

Sound like anyone you know?

It’s impossible to predict how long any show will stay on air, since so much is dictated by scatterbrained audiences who won’t give new content a seal of approval unless their neighbors are doing the same. Even so, Broad City has the makings of a great caboose to Workaholics’ locomotive. As the smoke clears and opinions become more radical, I encourage you to stay tuned.

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