Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

"The Winner" Is A Whiny, Boring, Drippy Loser

Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

5b2be47e4488b3000926c2af-original.jpg

Thanks to a boot-licking lead-in from The Family Guy and non-stop promos on Fox, I got suckered into watching last night's debut of The Winner on Fox.

I can't believe Rob Corddry is starring in a show this unfunny. I can't believe Seth MacFarlane executive produced a show this unfunny. I can't believe network execs greenlit a show this unfunny.

I don't get it. Corddry has a proven track record of hilarity on The Daily Show. All that savage wit and mock deadpan humor… Who decided it needed to be crushed into a lifeless ball and flushed down the toilet of mainstream network television?

Support for LAist comes from

The Winner, which is co-written by MacFarlane and fellow Family Guy writer Ricky Blitt, stars Corddry as Glen Abbott, a coddled man-child (excuse me, late bloomer) who at age 32 still lives with his parents, has never held down a job and has never had sex. If all that isn't cute enough, he's also obsessive-compulsive, a choice that smacks of network decision-making at its worst.

"Character" isn't something you create by glopping kooky mannerisms onto a blank canvas. Character comes from point-of-view, which determines how a person thinks, feels and responds. And (one of) the problem(s) with The Winner is that the main character -- the guy who's supposed to carry the show, the guy we're supposed to care about or at least be interested in -- is a whiny, boring, drip.

"Character" isn't something you create by glopping kooky mannerisms onto a blank canvas. Character comes from point-of-view, which determines how a person thinks, feels and responds. And (one of) the problem(s) with The Winner is that the main character -- the guy who's supposed to carry the show, the guy we're supposed to care about or at least be interested in -- is a whiny, boring, drip.

The ostensible hook is that the show begins with a shot from a mansion and Corddry's voiceover explaining that although he's now the richest guy in Buffalo, it wasn't always thus. Flashback to his parents' house a decade or so prior and we're knee-deep in forced quirkiness and mid-90s references (as though this is a decade that merits cultural references, but I guess that's what happens when you're done post-ironically strip-mining the 1980s). We're supposed to be intrigued enough to find out how Corddry morphs from sad-sack loser to The Winner, but I can't imagine TV viewers will care enough to stick around and find out.

PS-I was glad to see Amir Talai, who plays Abdul on Campus Ladies, in a small role as a video store clerk. But I was dismayed that he was playing a stereotypically limp-wristed gay character. Somebody brainier than me might want to comment on the demeaning caricatures non-white supporting characters in largely white sitcoms and movies are habitually cast in as a way to "neutralize" their threatening ethnic identities.