Maulik Pancholy's Character Comes Out on NBC's 'Whitney'
By Jerry Portwood
We didn't even know anyone was watching Whitney, NBC's flailing sitcom, but someone in the office (who happens to be straight) actually does watch it and told us about one of the central characters, played by out actor Maulik Pancholy, coming out to his pals last week (then a screener with the ep arrived by mail). I watched it and, turns out, the show's improved significantly from when I first checked it out back in the fall.
Last week the writers—who seem to be going for an updated Friends plotline (and are in competition with ABC's Happy Endings on how will earn that coveted slot)—took things in a new direction with its episode "G-Word". Although the three main husky-voiced women—Whitney Cummings, Zoe Lister Jones, and Rhea Seehornon—are more butch than the three guys on the show, it was always difficult to ever believe Pancholy was a straight dude.
Now he's broken up with Lister Jones and, on the episode, Whitney discovers he's on a date with a guy named Steven. Later, Pancholy tells Lister Jones: "I've been kind of gay, I think?" Turns out he's not REALLY gay, he's maybe bisexual, we think?
This is becoming old-hat for Pancholy. If you recall, he came out on Weeds. And he always played sorta gay as Alec Baldwin's assistant on 30 Rock.
Who's to say where they go with it this week (Whitney is on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST), but at least we can add one more gay actor playing a gay role in primetime. Now people just need to watch.