Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Workaholics: "Orgazmo Birth"

Illustration for article titled Workaholics: "Orgazmo Birth"

I have occasionally joked that Workaholics is the dumbest show that I love—not that it’s the dumbest show I watch (it wouldn’t even crack the top 10) but it is the dumbest show that I love. It’s an unfair assessment, because I don’t exactly mean that the show itself is dumb (I think it can be slyly clever throughout and especially great when going for the bigger and more experimental laughs like in “Real Time,” my favorite episode of the series so far), but on paper, every episode tends to read like three slacker fools constantly doing foolish things. But that’s why I love the show, because it appeals to the that juvenile dream of living with best friends, being perpetually fucked up, and somehow making a living while doing the bare minimum at work—at a job they all definitely should have been fired from long ago. Mostly, though, the show also appeals to the pure giddy and pleasure-seeking part of my brain that is more than happy to spend a half-hour laughing about three guys who don’t know any better and will never learn. It’s an absurd show, but it’s such a welcome escape.

Absurdity has always been one of the building blocks of Workaholics, and thankfully, that hasn’t changed at all in the season four premiere. In fact, nothing about the show has really changed; Workaholics is a show that currently benefits from its characters running in circles (even if that may not work in the long run). In “Orgazmo Birth,” the three guys start out by trying to get expensive tickets to an electronic music festival, but in order to get there, the episode takes a very weird—and funny—detour that leads to them helping a woman give birth in the pool of a public gym. The setup is plain and simplistic, the end result is good and a little horrifying, and, as it is with most episodes, it’s about the great twists and turns and escalations that occur along the way. There are some good jokes running throughout “Orgazmo Birth,” such as Anders’ ongoing bit as DJ Ango and how he has to explain the reference (“Get it? Django Unchained? Anyway…”) and Montez’s increasing desperation to get out of the house and away from his pregnant wife (Erik Griffin might just be my favorite actor on the show), but the really great stuff doesn’t happen until they go to pick up Montez and end up stuck at Colleen’s baby shower.

As the old saying goes, if a character trades a half-eaten popsicle for a bag of molly, then that molly must later end up being taken by a group of baby shower attendees. Blake’s “molly water” ends up in the punch bowl just as DJ Ango takes the stage and eventually the baby shower is morphed into a rave. It is a typical slacker-comedy plot formula (drugs and/or booze + normal life event = success), but it definitely works here. The scene is impressively shot—the party is seen through a molly filter: very colorful, glitchy, and distorted images with a near-palpable sense of euphoria that all syncs up great with the music—but the show doesn’t go overboard. It’s reminiscent of the season three premiere when they all took acid (is this a pattern? Maybe next season will open with them on peyote), but it’s just as reined in instead of being hard to watch. Then there is that hilariously abrupt cut from a quizzical baby to Adam humping a pregnant woman. Oh, Workaholics. Of course, Colleen ends up going into labor at the party—both this and the spiked punch were seen coming from miles away, but I didn’t mind—and the guys have to drive her to the birthing center.

Workaholics, no matter what the plot is, always gets the most mileage from the way Adam, Anders, and Blake bounce off each other. The actors have the chemistry that comes along with being great friends for a long time, and it really shows in the episodes. Tonight, it’s best when they cover Colleen’s head to have a “dude meeting” while she’s still in the car or when they go off on tangents and seem oblivious to those around them. They do manage to help Colleen, albeit in a really roundabout way—instead of the birthing center or the music festival’s medical tent, they end up in a public gym and get her into a pool. The whole birth scene was a little too strange; the guys awkwardly trying to give Colleen an orgasm while she’s in labor is theoretically funny but mostly grossed me out more than it made me laugh. (Then again, I tend to fast-forward past every single birth scene in any film or movie.) Still, “Orgazmo Birth” was a strong premiere and a reassurance that this show isn’t going downhill anytime soon.

Stray observations:

  • “I’d never give you my real number because I hate you as a person.”
  • I really loved when they got a casual tour of the gym all while Colleen was clearly in painful labor—and major kudos to Alex Borstein this episode—and then how the gym employee still tried to sell them memberships.
  • Also, despite that weird orgasm-birth scene, I liked how Colleen kept berating them for being so bad at it: “You guys suck!” “Have you never touched a woman before?”
  • Adam asking, “Can we abort the baby?” at a baby shower was my biggest shame-laugh of the episode.
  • It was a little weird seeing Anders as a DJ who wants to go to a music festival after Anders Holm recently played a DJ at a music festival in The Mindy Project. I did love the “DJ Ango” joke though, because shitty DJ names are always great.