Workaholics: “Good Mourning”
B-

Workaholics: “Good Mourning”

Let’s start at the end, at the final scene of “Good Mourning,” which just barely justifies the Workalholics trio’s grossly insensitive reaction to death. In a video will provided by her adult children, TelAmeriCorp employee and Prankster-in-Chief Kritsy Howard-Clark—known only as Homegirl to the guys, since they never knew her actual name—doles out some final thanks to the members of the office. She thanks Jillian for being there to listen, Montez for letting her borrow Wayne’s World, reveals that she had an affair with Bill, and that the child from that relationship lives in Phoenix.

Then, for Anders, Blake, and Adam (though she gets his name wrong, too), she fakes everyone out and flashes the camera for one final prank from beyond the grave. She’s just as much of a goofball as those three. Homegirl hadn’t seen her children in years, and she turned out to be the kind of person who probably would’ve enjoyed all the crazy antics at an impromptu office memorial. It’s a moment where the show’s cringe comedy finally exhales. It almost makes enduring the suffocating emptiness of watching horny idiots fight over girls who are in no way interested in them worth it.

Even when taking on a topic like death, Workaholics is clear that it doesn’t want to be taken seriously. These are the guys who made friends with the only humorous pedophile in sitcom history—their M.O. is to contrast serious topics with inappropriate comedy. To start, the guys don’t even realize that Homegirl is dead when they see her in her office chair. They think she’s asleep, so they start leaving candy on her and drawing on her face. Adam even teabags her, but then the paramedics show up and it’s very clear Homegirl is dead.

But death doesn’t mean anything to these characters. To Anders and Blake, it’s an obstacle to hitting on Anders’ visiting Swedish pen pal and her friend. Anders gets them to Rancho Cucamonga instead of Hollywood because they don’t know the difference, but his plan is to get further with his pen pal than he did 10 years ago, for which he’s still getting dap from his friends. Since Adam owned up to a couple pranks that Anders and Blake thought were Homegirl originals—like a spermicide-frosted donut eaten by Anders—he receives the dual punishment of 80-plus binder clips to the skin and seeing Anders pick Blake for the pseudo double-date.

The guys frame the office memorial as a party with a VIP lounge in the break room—and Jillian as the bouncer. When the girls show up, Anders is quick to dismiss the idea of going to the actual Hollywood in favor of an office-park party with Blake posing as a professional skateboarder. (To be fair, his hair makes “X-Games participant” the only disguise Blake could wear.) The whole setup is designed to reach a spectacular height from which the trio will fall into spectacular failure.

To Adam, this is a platform for immediate revenge after the binder-clip betrayal. Adam, meanwhile, jacks all the VIP supplies and turns the event into a celebration of Homegirl’s life. He pretends to be deeply affected by the death in order to steal away the Swedish girls, and chants “her name was Roberta Paulson” in a Fight Club allusion nobody else in the office gets, to show how much he facetiously cares. Watching the guys foolishly compete for the attention of these girls is embarrassing at best and at times almost unbearable. Blake failing at skateboard tricks is funny, but the fake version of the video will that he and Anders concoct in order to coerce the Swedish girls into sleeping with them is significantly less so. Same goes for the competing charities, Adam’s séance, and his rendition of Marcy Playground’s “Sex And Candy.”

The final scene saves some face with regards to how low the guys stoop in order to hit on the Swedish girls, and their complete rejection is a given from the moment the girls step out of their cab. But wallowing in misery isn’t something that’s particularly enjoyable to watch. The situations that Anders, Blake, and Adam get themselves into are often very funny to watch, but when the show goes for long stretches just letting the guys make total fools of themselves with a complete lack of self-awareness, it flies of the rails.

Stray observations:

  • Alice goes right to the heart of the “butt-hurt” problem and asks what the hell is going on with that phrase. It’s the most notable catchphrase from this show, but when the concept gets overused like tonight, it makes the guys seem like they’re trying to make a horrible version of “fetch” happen—and it’s just not going to.
  • The best line in the episode is probably Blake’s exasperated plea to Adam that he just wants to screw the two Swedes “like IKEA furniture.”
  • Another great line, from Adam comforting Bill about his lovechild with Homegirl: “That’s just stuff you keep to yourself and never tell a soul.”
  • More power to Jillian, who just needs to watch a good episode of Doug or Hey Arnold! to get herself out of this funk.    
Filed Under: TV, Workaholics

More TV Club