This week, the guys head to the TelAmeriCorp timeshare. We know this because Ders enters said timeshare (and this episode) loudly announcing, “Say hello to the TelAmeriCorp timeshare!” So much for subtlety, which isn’t a problem, really. Every season of Workaholics needs a big, dumb excuse for the guys to wreak havoc in an unfamiliar setting, and a nice, clean beachfront condo is as good a place as any for Ders, Adam, and Blake to despoil. And if “Monstalibooyah” isn’t the most inventive mayhem spree the guys have ever gone on, it’s got its disposable charms.
Essentially, the episode is one part watching the guys reenact the “shirtless, but with jeans on” volleyball scene from Top Gun, one part watching the guys scamper around naked while cupping their genitals (they lose the jeans after almost drowning trying to retrieve the volleyball), a pinch of Adam intentionally and accidentally injuring himself (he wants to be immortalized on Instagram), a dash of dumber-than-usual shenanigans, and then a Benny Hill chase made up of all the people they’ve pissed off. In keeping with the sea-breezy nature of the proceedings, most of the laughs rely on your level of affection for the guys (and Workaholics) at this point, your familiarity with their inept attempts to be cool pretty much determining the humor level.
So, for all the long, slo-mo, rock-scored shots of the guys playing bare-torso beach volleyball in mirrored sunglasses, and run-ins with beach bullies called them “chicken-doinkers,” the best laughs—as is usually the case—come from the guys just revealing their own, idiosyncratic weirdness. Exploring the modest charms of their purloined digs (turns out Adam just stole Alice’s company keys), it’s sort of sweet how low the guys’ threshold for being wowed is. Blake is delighted there’s a bottle of free ketchup in the bare fridge (we see him happily munching a ketchup sandwich later). Ders enthuses about the helpful list of TV channels taped right on the back of the remote. Adam, for all his happy assertion that the dinky condo is like an episode of Cribs (“a good one, like Rob Schneider’s”), is also thrilled that there are two whole beds for the three of them. But it’s Blake’s ecstatic cry of “Fully inflated volleyball!” that really does it. Sure, Ders has dreams of luring some beach bunnies back to what he christens “the freak pad” and returning to work Monday with a hickey (“I know that’s important to you,” says Adam, solemnly), but we, and on some level, even they, know that beach volleyball and ketchup sandwiches with your buds in a stolen condo is about as much as the guys can realistically hope for. (Plus, Blake’s wishlist for the weekend concludes with watching a sunset with his friends, which goes a long way toward making these ding-dongs endurable.)
So when things go very south, and the guys end up in purloined clothes trying to score molly to entice the trio of sexy women they disastrously hit on at the beach, it’s the guys’ goofy, loose chatter that’s a lot funnier than all the yelling and fleeing. (In addition to the “chicken-doinker” boyfriends of the women, the guys lift a bagful of drugs from a drum circle, incurring the wrath of their very unfunny stereotypical surfer-hippie leader.) Along the way, though, there are enough odd little laughs that spring from the mysterious shallows of the guys’ psyches. Trying to lift the molly, Ders and Blake create a Point Break distraction (based on their “favorite beach movie”), while Adam screws it up by sticking with his pick, Lilo & Stitch. Blake’s other goal for the weekend (to finally taste some sort of seafood) sees the guys stealing their second set of clothes in the episode, and stuffing their waiter smocks’ pockets with shrimp. Blake insists that serving shrimp that way is the norm for “shrimpermen,” and that a “shrimp cocktail” means simply dropping a single pocket-shrimp into patrons’ drinks.
That last one suggests that an episode of Workaholics really needs to calibrate just how stupid Adam, Blake, and Ders are, however. As when they, fleeing the mob justifiably on their tail, lock themselves inside the condo, only to be shocked that their pursuers simply come in one of the other doors they didn’t think to secure, there’s a need for some rigor when mining idiocy for comedy. Too dumb and it’s just loud and chaotic. And while an episode traditionally sees one or two of the guys’ exhibiting a higher (if necessarily temporary) degree of self-awareness, here, all three guys spend most of the episode in a similar state of bumbling, preening dimness. Granted, Ders does try to head off Adam’s attempt to give him that hickey he so desired (“No thank you, but thank you for offering. You’re a sweet man”) before Adam accidentally falls off the condo balcony they’re trapped on, but, in the end, there’s too much noise and too few laughs in this one.
- The clothes Adam, Blake, and Ders steal include a “Paddy’s Irish Pub” t-shirt, which is a nice shout-out to a show that does similarly disreputable humor a whole lot better, as a rule.
- While the other clothes aren’t as identifiable, I could see Adam’s loose-fitting beach togs fitting Frank quite nicely, while Blake’s mumu is all Sweet Dee.
- The bullies are mean, but they’ve got a point. When Ders tries to emulate 80s beach movies by challenging them to a volleyball game where the winner “gets the girls,” the bullies respond in disgust. (“Man, they’re not, like, property.” “You’re part of the problem!”)