Good Lord, was that the show's attempt at "a very special episode"?
This. Another surprised/sheepish fan of the show here. It's not a great show, and I don't know if I'd claim it's even good, but it's one I find myself looking forward to every week. I just like it. I like spending a half hour with the characters, I like Whitney and Alex's relationship (especially once they got past the "Whitney creates a problem in their relationship where there isn't one" plots of the early episodes), I like the traditional three-camera setup, I like the way the group relates to each other.
But that episode? Was bad. So very bad. And I admit I watched it twice just to get what small pleasures I could out of it. It was just. so. serious. What struck me was how dead silent it was once Neal came over to talk to Whitney, like they abruptly hit Mute on the laugh track and the show suddenly turned into Serious. Drama. Which Whitney the actress (and I'm fairly certain Whitney the show) can't do. As someone else who isn't good with that kind of emotional stuff, I could relate to the character, while simultaneously finding Whitney the actress trying to do straight drama reeeeeeeally uncomfortable. By now I've seen so many sitcoms do coming out stories (as we all probably have), and yeah, they tend to get serious, but the contrast in tone never hit me as jarring and just plain "off" as this one did. I appreciate that all the characters were cool and supportive (I really love Alex), but god, that second act was so freaking heavy, far more than this show is capable of pulling off, IMO. The first half up to that point was pretty decent though.