|Pictured: food and sassy women, Not-Pictured: racial stereotypes. Wise decision, CBS
Every now and then a show comes along that I think is completely, irrevocably stupid…and then I find myself falling in love with it. Hello, 2 Broke Girls, I’m Ariel, and I think I want to go steady with you. 2 Broke Girls is a fun, classic-style sitcom (yes, there’s a laugh-track) with two lead characters that are getting stronger and funnier by the week; however, it has yet to find a direction for its one-dimensional, somewhat stereotypical secondary characters.
The show stars Kat Dennings and Beth Behr as the two broke girls, Max and Caroline, an unlikely duo who are reminiscent of The Odd Couple, but you know, broker, more vulgar, and a little bit sassier. Max has always been a broke girl, and is the hardened, seasoned pro at holding down two jobs and doing what you have to in order to get by. Caroline is the daughter of a fictionalized Bernie Madoff; she’s never been without money and has never held a job before either, but she does have a business degree from Wharton, and Max does make amazing cupcakes, so the only logical conclusion is to save up enough money to open up a bakery together. The girls meet cute working at a diner, end up moving in together despite their clear differences, and begin to develop a real friendship (cue the awwwwwws).
It’s going on its sixth episode now, and it just keeps getting better and better. As the relationship between the girls develops and both characters get more dimension and personality, the show gets more enjoyable to watch. Initially, Caroline ran the risk of being a whiny, spoiled brat, but she ends up kicking a lot of butt and owning her less-than-ideal situation. One scene where she falls in love with shopping at the Good Will and ends up haggling with the cashier to get cheaper shoes was a great scene. “You just haggled a charity,” Max tells Caroline, appalled, while Caroline smugly pays for her now six dollar heels. Caroline also learns to hold her own against Max’s quick wit and biting sarcasm and delivers some great punch lines of her own.
Dennings starred in a show a few years back with Bob Saget called Raising Dad, and I liked her in that too. What can I say, the girl’s got great comedic delivery. She was also the Norah in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, where I assume she was the sass to Michael Cera’s awkward. Behr is a newcomer, but she plays her part with the just the right balance of annoying (whether she’s being too perky or too whiny) but also endearing and sweet. I can’t help but love that Caroline’s a really sweet girl and an awesome friend and is slowly breaking down some of Max’s walls. She just wants her to realize she makes amazing cupcakes and open a business with her; it’s so beautiful. Don’t judge me because sometimes I’m a sucker for the power of love and friendship and cupcakes. Cupcakes!
However, I have three main complaints, and they’re the three characters who work in the diner alongside the girls. We’ve got Oleg who is always around to be creepy and perverted, Han the Korean man who owns the diner and is always around for some lazy punch-lines, and wise, cashier Earl. The writers are dancing the line between offensive and funny with these characters, lazily falling back on racial stereotypes to get cheap laughs, but there have been some glimmers of hope in recent episodes where the writers haven’t gone for the easiest punch-line and have used the characters to actually be organically funny.
I’m digging the show’s raunchier side, which is not a surprise considering both of its producer’s backgrounds—Michael Patrick King worked on Sex and the City and Whitney Cummings does standup with the same type of humor. I’m also loving that Caroline brought her pet horse Chestnut to live in Max’s backyard. Forget that having a horse is probably a huge expense these girls can’t afford because they finally found a way to utilize Chestnut for the good of the future cupcake business. Three words: 90’s horse party. Yes, there was 90’s music, and the girl’s brought their horse and made hipsters pay to ride it. Tell me you don’t want to go to a 90’s party where obnoxious hipsters spend all of their money to ride a horse, seriously. Despite my few complaints about the show’s secondary characters, I’m sold on it. There was a 90’s horse party.
You can check it out on CBS, Monday’s at 8:30, or if you’re like most college students, you can find it online either on CBS’ website or doing a google search that will ultimately reveal tons of megavideo links.