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Comedian and future TV star Whitney Cummings described her self-titled sitcom as "an edgier, updated version" of Mad About You. Now, I may not know much, but I know that Mad About You was terrible. And so it confused me — are they trying to create the worst buzz possible? — until I looked at their national ad campaign. Then I realized yes, that is what they're doing.
For those of you lucky enough to have not walked, driven, or ridden past an ad for Whitney, you've been spared from one of the most well funded, over-exposed, and (I'm imagining) counterproductive campaigns ever wrought by a network. Every single billboard and bus standee is loaded with tired old jokes about how terrible women are and how miserable marriage is. Gems like:
"The Silent Treatment: Punishment or Reward?"
"Whoever invented morning sex ... forgot about morning breath."
and my personal favorite — "Half of all marriages end ... in sweatpants."
I'm not a fan of Whitney Cummings, but I do know that her material and fan base come from a much raunchier and offbeat center than this. The jokes in these ads would be too old-fashioned for The Honeymooners, let alone Whitney. This campaign has got to be setting some sort of record for getting people to hate a show before it even airs, and for setting us all back a decade or two.
By the way, Whitney premiers September 22nd on NBC.