I struggle to find anything to like about Comedy Central's stoner comedy, 'Workaholics.' It's like someone took the general outline of 'Reno 911,' made it less clever, populated it with annoying, unlikable actors, and wrote a bundle of poop and piss jokes.
'Workaholics' airs late at night on Comedy Central, so I'm guessing much of its target audience is either stoned, drunk, or both. Maybe that's the only way to find the shenanigans of these three guys funny.
The trio is made up of a batch of clichéd characters. First, you have the practical, neat one of the group, Anders (Anders Holm), who would be a model citizen if he didn't give into peer pressure so often. Second up is the most annoying member of the group, Adam (Adam DeVine), who spends most of his time worrying about how his body looks and the rest of his time getting high. Finally, there's the doltish fun guy of the group, Blake (Blake Anderson), who does zany, wacky things like buying a coat that looks like a bear. He's basically the Kramer character.
The three of them work at an office together. In the same cubicle. Although, don't get this confused with the satirical skewering of the modern American workplace 'Office Space,' because this show doesn't want to do anything but get high and giggle. Good luck.
After the first three episodes I felt like I was watching the same thing over and over, only it seemed like the guys were simply upping the gross-out quotient. I guess I should've known what I was getting into when I noticed the elegantly titled first episode, "Piss & Shit." At least a show like 'Reno 911,' with all its attempts at pushing the boundaries of gross-out humor, still had a lot of talent on display. Talented improv actors who could make any scene feel spontaneously clever. Since this show is also largely written by the lead actors, much of the it simply feels like a drunken conversation between a bunch of frat guys on what they think is funny.
The game of one-ups-manship gets real old real fast as the three guys try frantically to up the gross-out quotient for the next episode. "Piss & Shit" is about a surprise drug test at work which ends being an excuse for errant urine to be spilled on people. Then you're onto the second episode, "We Be Ballin'" which not to be outdone by the first episode, sports Blake dropping his drawers in front of a minor in a misguided attempt to "set the universe back in order," his words, not mine. On and on it goes throughout each episode. It just becomes so stale because grossing out the audience is apparently the only draw. There are no characters to like or care about. There isn't a single story thread to get invested in. It's like tuning in once a week to watch what three idiots do when they have drugs in their system and they're trying their hardest to be oh-so edgy.
If you're looking for low-budget, edgy TV comedies try out FX's 'The League,' which perfectly blends the gross with the funny (again because talented actors pull off the material much better than the three dolts from 'Workaholics') or revisit 'Reno 911.' 'Workaholics' really likes to think it's a bit of edgy, counter-culture, but after the first few episodes it becomes a numb experience. Jokes fall flat because they're trying too hard. Episodes fall flat because they're all essentially about the same thing. Characters fall flat because, well, they have no other characteristics other than the one or two afforded them to make them the clichéd buffoons that they are. How this show is starting up a third season defies logic.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Workaholics' is a show on Comedy Central and the Blu-ray is distributed by Paramount. It comes as a 2-disc set, with each season taking up one disc. Both seasons have 10 episodes. The discs are packaged in a standard size keepcase with two individual disc hubs for both discs. This is a Region A release.
It's pretty much what you'd expect from a low-budget comedy filmed on the cheap with multiple handheld cameras. Much of the 1080p image seems rather flat. Some of that is due to the sterile cubicle environment they're always in, and the other part is due to the fact that much of the footage appears soft anyway.
The darkest scenes, like during the "Office Campout" episode, suffer from rampant crushing. Blacks are overbearing and flat. Shadows lack dimension or depth. Detail is okay for the most part, but like I said, much of the show has a soft look anyway. Colors are decent, but are never jaw-dropping. Skin tones seem too orange sometimes, but natural the next.
As for technical faux pas, blacks usually are covered with a thin layer of noise. There is evident banding throughout both seasons, especially in light blue skies in the background. Aliasing appears on car grills, suit jackets, and the aforementioned bear coat. While the show does have a distinctive filmed-in-HD look, the end product falls pretty flat on Blu-ray.
'Workaholics' comes to Blu-ray with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track that simply puts you through the paces of a talky comedy rather than immersing you in any sort of experience. To be fair the show doesn't really have a lot going in the way of sound design. It's 90 percent inane dialogue, five percent sound effects, and five percent music. The dialogue is clear, for the most part, but directionality has a slight problem losing voices as the camera shots change or the camera pans to something else. The rears are largely silent throughout the show. Even in a somewhat populated office environment, it still seems like the rear channels are lacking. Even the hip-hop soundtrack seems a little light on the low-end. In conclusion, the 'Workaholics' audio presentation is about as standard and as forgettable as they come.
This isn't my kind of comedy. 'Workaholics' is neither clever nor witty. It's lowest-common-denominator stuff. These guys thinks they're hilarious. That's their first mistake. If you think you're funny, then you think everything you do is funny, it doesn't work like that. They might as well stop after every joke and say, "See how funny that was?" Their blatant attempts at upping their gross-out quotient every episode come across as desperate rather than inspired. Apparently the show has some fans, but I'm not one of them. I'd never recommend anyone pick this up, but if you're morbidly interested I guess a rental would be fine.