Trios of twentysomething slackers are hardly a new construct — see “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” among recent examples — but there’s always room for more when the group is as brazen, funny and drug-addled as the gang in “Workaholics.” The title is purposefully sarcastic, since while these guys are frequently shown at work, they never seem to do much of anything, other than scheming to avoid drug tests (in the pilot), or seeking Clippers tickets to get laid (which is comical by itself). While not for everyone, the show should work just fine with Comedy Central’s target demo.
Concocted by and starring Mail Order Comedy’s Blake Anderson, Adam Devine and Anders Holm (along with director Kyle Newacheck), the show features three friends who waste their days as telemarketers, then seek medicated relief from the mind-numbing memory of it. In the first three episodes alone, they get high, take ‘shrooms, and vomit and pee all over the place.
If that doesn’t exactly scream “high brow!” focusing on just the pharmaceuticals and fluids doesn’t entirely do the program justice. For starters, there’s the little matter of where to seek untainted urine (any elementary-school playground, naturally), and what to do if you inadvertently see a co-worker’s penis (show him yours, of course).
The best thing about “Workaholics” is that it suffers from no pretensions, playing like a live-action “Beavis and Butt-head (and Butt-head).” The wacky sitcom situations, moreover, simply provide an excuse for these Peter Pans to behave like goofballs, seemingly unfettered by ambition or a lick of sense.
Comedy Central has mined similar territory on multiple occasions, but seldom with particularly memorable results. The inexpensive production (other than the veritable army of executive producers credited) also works to the show’s advantage, drably capturing the listlessness of the central characters — and, for that matter, everyone else with whom they come in contact.
Nobody will confuse “Workaholics” with anything deep or meaningful, and the ability to sustain such silliness (witness “Sunny’s” creative slide) is always a concern. Based on first impressions, though, the show’s title proves doubly ironic: Because you have to work pretty hard, actually, to make being a doofus look this easy.