When "Workaholics" first started airing, I avoided it. At a glance, it looked like a show that basically existed to glorify its three main characters, like Office Space mashed with a raunchy teen comedy where a trio of guys run wild on property, possessions, and people, while the film (and audience) applaud every step of the way. Still, the praise kept rolling in, and now that I've seen the show, there's no question that this is pure satire. "Workaholics" operates in the same vein as "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," where the humor is dependent on the viewer understanding that these guys are awful idiots. DeVine, Anderson, and Holm (also the co-creators, along with director / actor Kyle Newacheck and a long list of others) constantly and insistently pin the joke on themselves, sacrificing vanity and dignity to make themselves look as terrible as possible.
Other than knowing who the characters are and what their personality traits consist of, there is no obvious serialization to "Workaholics" (not surprising, given the show is basically a live-action cartoon that often ends with some development that would normally have serious consequences, only for the next episode to return to status quo), so newcomers can pretty easily jump right into Season 3. The show's increasing popularity has attracted what I assume are bigger guest stars (including Rumer Willis, Daniel Stern, and William Atherton), and there are a couple of episodes that drastically transform the TelAmeriCorp offices ("A TelAmerican Horror Story", "The Future is Gnar") or take the gang to an entirely new location ("Business Trip"), but the core of the show is still the antics of the three main characters.
The show's best episodes occur when the opportunity to skewer the characters and their limited worldview is strongest. "The Lord's Force" has the boys desperately trying to get tickets to see a group of muscle men breaking boards and concrete in the name of the Lord, hosted by a fiery preacher (Tim Heidecker). When they can't get in, they hang out and wait for their two favorite Force members, only to discover they're closeted gay lovers. The preacher kicks them out of the group and the trio allow the two guys to sleep on their couch, while both the gang and their houseguests wrestle with the revelation about their sexuality. The writing staff of "Workaholics" has no qualms about pushing the buttons of anyone in the audience who might be uncomfortable with male homoeroticism, and it only makes the episode funnier. "Webcam Girl" dives right into the guys' seduction skills, pointedly jabbing their lack of class as all three become infatuated with the same woman.
That said, the fearlessness of the cast is also a big part of the show, and many episodes soar on the basis of physical comedy alone. "Good Mourning" is a masterful exercise in escalating absurdity. The day begins when Adam, Blake, and Ders prank on a co-worker who turns out to be dead, then takes a turn for the worse when Ders picks Blake as his wingman when meeting his Russian pen pals. This leads to a series of fights between Adam and his two friends as they pretend to have loved their dead co-worker more, in order to impress the girls. "In Line" is set on the night of a big video game launch, with Adam and Blake trying to grab a copy of the game, while Ders puts the move on a sexy goth girl (Angela Trimbur). Through a series of complications, this leads to Ders and the guys' drug dealer, Kyle (Newacheck) in bed together, feeling each other up, a landmark moment in the history of awkward touching. Monroe and Bell get plenty of chances to shine, too, in "Business Trip" (everyone drops acid in the hopes of re-signing a power player) and "Hungry Like the Wolf Dog" (the gang road trips to try a delicious breakfast burrito), respectively.
DeVine, Anderson, Holm, and Newacheck, along with the rest of the writing staff, constantly push the envelope in terms of being edgy or disgusting, and there are inevitably a few misfires. Even within the context of idiot characters, the joke during the credits of "Webcam Girl" crosses a line, and the fully intentional gross-out nature of "Booger Nights" is literally hard to watch. Still, "Workaholics" is a surprisingly sharp show that not only consistently subverts expectations, but commits to doing so with an admirable enthusiasm and energy.
The Video and Audio
The disc is rounded out by audio "drunk"mentary on every episode, featuring Devine, Holm, Anderson, and Newacheck laughing and chatting over the show. As advertised, the guys are drunkenly riffing on the show rather than really getting into any behind-the-scenes details, so these commentaries are mostly chaotic gag-fests. It's a style that suits the show, but may not necessarily hold up over the course of 20 episodes.