"2 Broke Girls" is Bankrupt of Quality Comedy Review

It’s no secret to anybody who has ever tuned in to any of CBS’s sitcoms (save for maybe How I Met Your Mother) that the general strategy is to go for the broadest possible audience by offering shows with writing that’s just subversive enough to be considered “edgy” while at the same time pandering to the average viewer of middle America. Mike & Molly, The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, and many more have all become winners for CBS following this general formula, and now there’s a new member of that lineup: 2 Broke Girls. The show’s only strength is its two leads in Beth Behrs and Kat Dennings, while the rest of the cast is carefully chosen specifically so the writers can use any incredibly obvious and forced joke they can think of. 2 Broke Girls is sitcom garbage, but it unfortunately has all the right elements to be popular.

As disgraced former aristocrat Caroline Channing (Behrs) and chronic poor girl from the bad side of town Max Black (Dennings) continue to work towards their goal of opening their own cupcake business, they pay their rent by waiting tables in a small diner run by an Asian dwarf (Matthew Moy) and a sleazy cook (Jonathan Cook). In their spare time, they do whatever random gig they can find to slowly save up money for their business, while still having relationships with the occasional candy store owner or serving their upstairs neighbor (Jennifer Coolidge) cupcakes. The second season sees the girl get a sudden cash infusion that lets them open up a store, only to lose it and have to learn from their mistakes between misadventures with Amish boys, a heist, and other random things.

2 Broke Girls isn’t a well-written series with any stretch of the imagination. The cast’s diversity is just to give the writers an outlet for every possible kind of joke, and the fascination with obvious sexual innuendos makes the whole show seem as if it’s written by pubescent boys who are just discovering they can make jokes about sex, midgets, foreign accents, being rich, etc. These are the jokes you make as you’re learning how to construct better, smarter jokes, not the finished product that a smart sitcom would use. And yet, that’s exactly the problem that plagues all of CBS’s sitcoms: they go for the easiest possible joke that everyone has heard a dozen times before. The audience’s laughter doesn’t result from the jokes being funny, they result from the audience being able to think to themselves that they’ve told those jokes before and that they think the show understands them. Additionally, all of the characters that aren’t played by Behrs or Dennings just become incredibly irritating, and that brings the show down very quickly.

If you need that kind of self-confidence boost from a TV show, then enjoy your 2 Broke Girls therapy, but if you want writing that’s clever and will surprise you and go to places you haven’t already gone before, then you need to look elsewhere.

DVD Bonus Features

Featurettes on Jennifer Coolidge’s character and the opening of Caroline and Max’s cupcake shop are the biggest draws, but the set also includes a gag reel and deleted scenes.

"2 Broke Girls: The Complete Second Season" is on sale September 24, 2013 and is not rated. Comedy. Directed by Fred Savage, Scott Ellis, Ted Wass. Written by Michael Patrick King, Whitney Cummings. Starring Jennifer Coolidge, Kat Dennings, Beth Behrs, Jonathan Kite.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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