Work It

Misogyny, thy name is cross-dressing buddy comedy.

Misogyny, thy name is cross-dressing buddy comedy
Misogyny, thy name is cross-dressing buddy comedy

I expected ABC’s Work It to be a resurrection of the lazy theme already mastered 30 years ago by Bosom Buddies and Tootsie.

I knew I’d be disappointed. I didn’t count on being disgusted. Work It isn’t just glaringly offensive because of the way it demeans the LGBT community. The insipid, angry program flips an egregious middle finger at everyone with breasts.

The sitcom centers on the desperation of two friends, Lee Standish (Ben Koldyke, How I Met Your Mother) and Angel Ortiz (Amaury Nolasco, Transformers), former autoworkers whose yearlong unemployment benefits have expired.

A bar buddy opines about being victims of the “mancession.” “Women are taking over the workforce,” he spits. “Soon they’ll start getting rid of men; they’ll just keep a few of us around as sex slaves.”

OK. If an alleged “mancession” is the impetus for Work It, then co-creators Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen (Friends) are nearly two years too late. Between 2008 and 2010, men did lose nearly twice as many jobs as women nationwide (4.6 million vs. 2.4 million). But those numbers account for a massive loss of labor jobs, which were never replaced (much less by women).

Work It’s rigid, unimaginative female stereotypes include slut, bitch, ditz, weirdo and Pollyanna.

Picking the worst scene is impossible, given the rich tapestry of choices. Is it the cheeky joke about gang rape (“I want you to stop comparing a prostate exam with the pinball scene from The Accused”), Kelly’s explanation of why “girls” dominate the pharmaceutical industry (“We’ve had some boys, but the doctors seem to want to nail them less”), or Angel’s justification for becoming a cross-dressing rep (“I’m Puerto Rican; I’d be great at selling drugs”).

The angst that drives the hacky dialogue of Work It is baseless. In real life, women make up 50 percent of pharmaceutical reps and 30 percent of doctors (who may want to “nail” a “boy” salesperson).

And guess what? As female impersonators, Angel and Lee now stand to make just 70 percent of what they would have made as men. That’s a statistic that hasn’t changed, incidentally, since Bosom Buddies.

If you’re a sucker for boobs-and-balls humor, fine. But don’t bother with this program. Wait for Logo’s January 30 premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Those are real queens, and they can work it.

Work It (ABC, Tuesdays, 8:30p)


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About The Author

Lisa Fairbanks-Rossi

A former TV news producer and teacher, Lisa Fairbanks-Rossi has been a freelance writer for The Inlander since 1994.