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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Workaholics: “Webcam Girl”

Illustration for article titled Workaholics: “Webcam Girl”
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Cringe comedy is one of Workaholics’ greatest strengths, since Blake, Adam, and Anders are all gifted at drawing out a bit to almost unbearable lengths of time. “Webcam Girl” opens and closes with bookend scenes devoted to prolonged humiliation and shame for the trio, as they hopelessly hit on girls with overly dramatic and embellished introductions. At the outset, the guys spot a bachelorette party at a bar and are so oblivious to the clichés of that type of party that they presume all the phallic symbols signify the girls are susceptible to their come-ons. Adam’s first line is hysterical: “Pardon The Interruption—it’s more than a cool show about sports. It’s also the first words you heard your future lover spout.”

It leads to such a horrific and graphically detailed introduction that Adam gets a tack right in the forehead—but they still try again at the end of episode, which gets Adam a glass pitcher to the head. There’s that aphorism attributed to Albert Einstein with little evidence he ever said it: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Adam exemplifies that sentiment perfectly as he goes over his failure by the pool: “I felt like I played that exactly right. And she stabbed me in the head.”

All that insanity and oblivious behavior stems from a good place though: the guys don’t have Valentine’s Day dates, and they just don’t want to be lonely. So Anders points them to webcam girls—which he stresses are “real” girls—and they pick a girl with “Tina Fey glasses” to talk to with the handle JustAnna.

Then comes what might be the sweetest sequence Workaholics has ever done, as they guys serenade JustAnna with Lisa Loeb’s “Stay”— “We did not rehearse that Lisa Loeb song for five hours not to serenade our Valentine’s Day dates, dudes.”—and stay up chatting with JustAnna, painting nails, dishing, and falling asleep while chatting. It’s not often that Workaholics shows any inkling of a softer side, but that initial conversation with JustAnna, where the guys drop the histrionics because they presume this girl is real, is about as tender as this show can get.

This situation is advantageous for JustAnna, since she’s got Anders on the hook for the entire chat time thanks to his credit card. But of course the trio reads and actual emotional connection into a business transaction. The trio is always a tight-knit group of friends working together, until the very first chance they get to step on each other’s faces to get an advantage. They’re a bit like the Always Sunny gang that way, all about group success until they can try to break away, at which point it becomes about tearing each other down to get ahead.

That infighting starts when they coerce Alice to leave her office—she has the only computer that can access blocked websites, as Adam has discovered when masturbating in her office. Their trick to get Alice out of her office is cruel, but it gets them sent home, which is what they want for more time to interact with JustAnna. They keep undermining each other’s tactics—Adam and Blake barge in when Anders brings his laptop to Lookout Point, they get banned while accessing the site a public library computer while children gather around—and finally decide to “rescue” JustAnna from her situation.


When they trace Anders’ credit card statement, they never imagined they’d find a warehouse of cubicles, essentially the webcam girl version of the TelAmeriCorp office, and they immediately feel the need to set everyone free by knocking stuff over. It’s actually a rather judicious depiction of women with disreputable work. Every single woman rejects the trio’s misguided attempts to free them from a “sex prison,” and several attempt to beat them up. Their confrontation with Keith, the boss played by Dominic Dierkes, leads nowhere, He’s on the Chamber of Commerce, running a legitimate business, and JustAnna shoots them down when they declare their feelings, but offers to be their companion for Valentine’s Day.

The final turn is the most disappointing of the episode, even if it’s expected. JustAnna tells them she’s had three kids, has been in mental institutions, and her boss Keith painted her artwork. Adam, Anders, and Blake reject her for those reasons, and end up back at the bar, believing they’ve learned how to talk to real girls, but still using the same elaborately sexual introductions. It makes sense that the whole ordeal would teach them nothing, but I never would’ve expected as earnest and sweet Valentine’s Day episode from Workaholics, even mixed into that public library scene and Adam’s attempts at “hands-free ejac.”


Stray observations:

  • Tyler Kain plays the webcam girl, but until the guys busted into the webcam girl warehouse I thought it was Nora Kirkpatrick from Dorm Life. So disappointing when it turned out not to be her.
  • The Workaholics guys are a great success story for a comedy troupe that started online, but I loved that Dominic Dierkes from Derrick Comedy made it into this episode. Other than The Lonely Island, they were the next-best comedy troupe in the post-YouTube comedy scene. My favorite Derrick Comedy sketches with Dierkes are “Keyboard Kid” and “Thomas Jefferson,” though the latter features DC Pierson in his best role for the group.
  • Adam prefers the term “pornog” instead of porno for some reason.
  • “Superfudge. Judy Bloom. It’s a literary classic.” — The nostalgic children’s literary references keep on coming.
  • “You’re showing your ignorance of composition.”
  • “I immediately regret doing that. I’m sorry about that.”