The longer that Workaholics lasts, the further it gets away from its original formula. Instead of finding interesting and weird things to do in their office setting, the office is now a jumping off point for the trio’s strange adventures. This can lead to two problems: a lack of the show’s equally entertaining side characters, and an almost Mad Libs-ian way of handling the narrative—throw the three main characters into different positions in a new environment, and see what happens. Sometimes this approach works (the trio goes to college) and sometimes it fails miserably (I can’t get over how much I dislikeed last season’s burrito episode).
“Front Yard Wrestling” continues the show’s successful streak of this new formula, and also gives us the supporting office cast that appears far too rarely, often stealing the spotlight from the main three.
“Front Yard Wrestling” is a joy of an episode, mostly because the love for wrestling is clear, and it shows. It’s a love that they’ve referenced for seasons and now they get to revel in it, living out their fantasies. This episode is the equivalent of watching a bunch of little kids play dress up, and it’s immensely enjoyable to watch their parody of the world of wrestling.
The plot of the episode is a stretch, but not really for these three. Adam, Anders and Blake need their rent money immediately, so their plan is to wrestle in the front yard for tips. When they discover that Bill at the office has his own public access show, they realize anyone can do that, and create their own wrestling federation in order to pay their rent… and to just have fun.
What this brings about is a spot-on parody of wrestling, from the over-the-top characters, to the maniacal commissioner (played by Adam) offering up his daughter (played by Jillian) to the winners of a match, to the commentators (Montez and Waymond). It’s silly and dumb and a lot of fun.
But maybe the best moment of “Front Yard Wrestling” comes in the form of an opportunity for the three to realize just how stupid they’re being, especially since it’s coming from office punching bag, Bill. On his own public access show, which has been pushed out of his prime 4AM time slot due to the new wrestling program, Bill points out how Blake’s character “Eskimofo” is incredibly offensive, and how Adam’s character… ”Adam,” is just boring. This isn’t the first time these three have been told that they’re doing something dumb, but it might be the first time that they accept that it’s true. So after being brought down a peg, they change their characters to equally weird characters that try to rectify the problems. Adam becomes “Catam,” a street cat who ate the ashes of Adam after he died in a fire, and Blake becomes “The Eracist.” He looks like a combination of Bob Ross and Gallagher, and he, obviously, wants to stomp out racism.
The theatricality of “Front Yard Wrestling” is endlessly fun, which may be because these three aren’t fighting each other, but have a combined enemy—their landlord Gil (played will relish by Ben Stiller). While watching this episode, I realized that there’s often fighting within the group, and that can become tiresome. I kept expecting Adam and Blake to bicker over who was the better wrestler or something along those lines, but watching them have fun with this idea really made the episode far more interesting.
“Front Yard Wrestling” plays up the silly adolescent mindset of these three, and unites them under a great idea and a common enemy. There’s something incredibly charming about just watching these guys enjoy each other’s company with their ludicrous ideas, and then seeing everyone jump right in with the premise, just to see how crazy things can get.
Ross Bonaime is a D.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.