Fresh off a homophobic comment in last week’s episode, Are You There, Chelsea? went after feminism and basic human decency this week. The premise: Chelsea’s BFF Olivia (you remember Olivia – annoying, can’t act, usually doing exactly what Chelsea is doing, but with a scowl on her face) can’t find a job because she majored in journalism in college. While this initial setup could lead to some poignancy and hilarity a la Bridesmaids, it simply doesn’t. Instead of taking the opportunity to comment on a very real and pervasive social issue, Chelsea takes the opportunity to have its lead character all by prostitute herself – but it’s in the name of helping a friend, so it’s okay.

The setup is pretty simple. Olivia can’t find a job and Chelsea hears about a copywriter position while flirting with a customer at the bar, Tim (played by Nat Faxon, who co-wrote The Descendants, but strangely thought this was a good pre-Oscar addition to the ol’ résumé). Olivia snags an interview at Tim’s marketing firm, but of course, all of that flirting Chels did to get her there must go on, and she continues dating him to help Olivia’s chances at the job.

Since the interview process at Tim the Marketer’s firm is rather labyrinthine, consisting of many callbacks and rounds, Chelsea finds herself on awkward date after awkward date, including one dinner that ends in a bizarre, lip-synched serenade of “Butterfly Kisses” that’s just absurd enough to boarder on intentionally-humorous. Of course, this is Chelsea World and dinners and eyelash kisses can only last so long before sexytime happens. When Tim presses Chelsea to take their relationship to the next level, she does what any reasonable girl would do: Agrees, but then plots ways to make herself repulsive in bed. Her tactics are the stuff of bad middle school skits. She draws spider veins on her legs, wears granny panties and glues fake hair to her armpits, trusting Tim to be as shallow as her.

He’s not and accepts everything about her (of course) so she once again responds with reason and clarity, lying and telling Tim that she has herpes. When Tim grins with relief and confesses that he has herpes too, we get the first sense that Chelsea might actually not be willing to go through with this unwanted sexual contact if her plan fails (her inner monologue reveals the pride she feels in having dodged herpes for as long as she has). Luckily, Assface the cat wanders out from under the bed and ends the night (Tim is deathly allergic and Chelsea pretends to believe that her dead grandmother’s soul has been transferred to the cat, a line that might have been funny if Laura Prepon spoke with any more emotion than an Isaac Asimov creation). Crisis averted (let’s all breathe a collective sigh of relief for Chelsea’s multitude of future partners who will remain herpes-free thanks to Assface).

The B-plot of the episode sees Chelsea as the ironic beacon of feminism, fighting the decision of the bar’s unseen owner Jerry’s decision to compete with the new Hooters down the street by having the female waitresses and bartenders wear bras shaped like various balls (soccer balls, footballs, etc.) as their new uniform. After some mundane trickery involving the men’s uniforms, Chelsea has her way and the blue t-shirt uniform is restored (huzzah!), but Rick (the bartender who we’re supposed to believe is feeling oodles of sexual tension with Chelsea and will presumably be the Tony to her Angela if the series is picked up long-term) gets his revenge, playing “Butterfly Kisses” on the bar’s stereo and locking the cabinet so she can’t turn it off. Oh, the horror.

All in all, Chelsea is at least moving toward funnier moments. There were almost two this week that might have been funny on the page. The show is still struggling to find its footing and failing to capture the dry wit of Handler’s essays. The likelihood of it ever doing the latter diminishes every week as the writers seem to desperately throw in a hodgepodge of jokes in an attempt to make even a single viewer laugh.