Idiotsitter won’t be filling the gap fans of Workaholics probably hoped it would’ve. The series’ first season aired in conjunction with the final season of Workaholics and gelled quite nicely. Jillian Bell starred in both shows, as the lovable Jillian in Workaholics and the lead, crazy Gene in Idiotsitter. The first season had a bunch of quirky laughs, thanks to her chemistry with Idiotsitter‘s other lead, Charlotte Newhouse as Billie. The premise of the uptight Billie taking care of Gene, the archetypal idiot, while she’s on house arrest was interesting and put them in enough situations to induce a good variety of chuckles.
The show decided to throw caution to the wind and completely abandon the majority of what made it funny for its second season. Gene’s off house arrest and both she and Billie have decided to transition to college life because…why not? The only problem is the college setting gets stale very fast (something even the show itself realizes, with its final episode being a ‘Clue’ knockoff devoid of any humor and having very little to do with campus life.) Idiotsitter still has a few laughs here and there during the second season, but it’s largely because of the chemistry between Billie and Gene that made the first season perform so well. That may not have changed, but the two characters sure have.
Billie has become a much more generalized and stereotypical version of herself. She is a typical nerdy professor, being the punchline of every joke when possible. The first season gave Billie more heart and sympathy, but the second season tries to emulate Workaholics‘ frat-boy mentality too much, making Billie more of a one note character. It’s a shame really.
Gene changed for the better as a human, which makes for a much duller show overall. She’s the yin to Billie’s yang, and the two characters have very much changed inversely. The show worked with Gene as the idiot and butt of every joke, but dulling that down and making her less of a stereotypical spoiled and dumb brat removes a lot of set ups that Idiotsitter could’ve ran with in a college environment. Instead, Gene even comes across as the voice of reason in various settings, whether it be the classroom or the dorm room.
Idiotsitter also did away with one of its funniest characters – Gene’s stepmom Tanzy. It’s an unusual decision, made even more puzzling by the fact that they somehow manages to make Gene’s father make multiple appearances as a hallucination Gene experiences when she sees a statue on campus. It’s as unfunny as it sounds.
The situations Gene and Billie find themselves in are as clichéd and lackluster as one could imagine, eager to get big laughs out of sensitive subjects by walking the tightrope between being offensive and being classy. Usually, Idiotsitter errs more on the side of offensive, which wouldn’t entirely be bad if the jokes felt funny. In the first episode, Gene attempts to make a viral video while Billie gets adjusted to life on campus. Another episode tackles a professor’s suicide with a helpful serving of cringe. The sensitive subject is handled rather carelessly, with much of the episode’s runtime focusing on Billie and Gene trying to get ahead at the expense of the professor’s untimely death. Are these really the two characters from season one?
As I trudged through Idiotsitter‘s second season, I kept telling myself it would get better. Even when it didn’t, I remained hopeful due to the premise of the season’s closer — a Clue-style murder mystery. It had all the promise to be the episode that got Idiotsitter back to its zany roots. It manages to accomplish that on a small level of detail: Gene sure is back to her idiotic ways as she swallows the key that’s meant to be found. There’s still little humor to be found, with the rest of the episode being one-note jokes that revolve around Gene passing the key. Workaholics started going downhill when it began to focus on jokes like this, and Idiotsitter is no exception. The only real shame here is that Idiotsitter has let itself down before it really even got a chance to shine.
Should a third season make its way to Comedy Central, Billie and Gene will have to find themselves back at square one. If Billie’s character is given some more sympathy from the show’s writing and Gene is given less, it’s likely that Idiotsitter could regain its footing. Given the fact that this season was released simultaneously online though seems to indicate that the chance of a third season getting made is slim to none, and it’s no wonder why.