Category Archives: television

2 Broke Girls, S4E17 “And the High Hook-Up”: A TV Review

highhookup

This is a bad episode.

In all seriousness, though, this episode is awful. I honestly don’t think I’ve been as unsatisfied with an installment of 2 Broke Girls since “And Just Plane Magic”, where I listed off what happened in bullet points to avoid actually writing out what happened in multiple paragraphs. A bunch of stuff took place this week, sure, but to seemingly no end whatsoever. It says a lot that the writers were able to introduce a new recurring character [who will be reappearing in three more episodes] in such a thoroughly unforgettable fashion.

Anyway, I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself. The new character in question is Nashit, a handsome young man played by Austin Falk whose name is attributed to his being half-Indian and half-Irish [he very clearly isn’t]. Joedth, the joy which I get out of typing her name being the only saving grace of this review, hires him as a new waiter at The High. His stunning good looks create a ruckus and also causes Max to lust after him with a tenacity and passion she only ever devotes to . . . being snarky, I guess. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E16 “And the Zero Tolerance”: A TV Review

tolerance

Did anyone else know that this is the second episode of 2 Broke Girls that Fred Savage, of that-little-kid-being-read-the-story-in-The-Princess-Bride fame, has directed? The first being last week’s. I don’t think there’s been any discernible spike or dip in quality, but it is kind of neat. I also feel like I need to mention that he’s 38 years old and his Wikipedia picture is of him at age 13.

This week the show decides to completely do away with the “Current Total” at the end of each episode by blindsiding us with the fact that Max and Caroline’s account is below zero. I’m going to spoil two of my feature at the end of this review to just lay it on you, because they go from a Current Total of $975 to a brand new low of -$14. And no, there are no solid explanations as to how this happens. Caroline mentions that their business loan payments are eating away at them, but the fact that she mentions it in passing makes the fact that they lost almost a grand in a week pretty jarring. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E15 “And the Fat Cat”: A TV Review

fatcatwhatever

There were a lot of great things in this episode. First and foremost, the A-plot, which involved Max and Caroline trying to blackmail venture capitalist Owen Charles Boyd after his cat impregnates theirs. The fact that I could wrap it up in a single sentence underscores its simplicity. Once you’ve established the premise you’re free to concentrate on jokes and the absurdity that spins out of it, and the former has some wins [the latter I’ll get to].

While we’re staying positive, it was nice to see them back up the fact that the two girls live in a bad neighbourhood. They’re always going on about how horrible their life is in their enormous apartment, so having honest to goodness evidence that what lies outside of it is women screaming [which, let’s face it, is pretty uncomfortable] and men running away [presumably from some recently committed crime] and garbage literally everywhere is nice. It’s the closest the 2 Broke Girls has come to “showing vs. telling” in a long time, even if it is undercut by the fact that they still reference stuff off-screen. I guess that’s my cue to get into a little bit of criticism.

chestnut

Those legs. Yikes.

Remember Chestnut? He’s been around since the first season but didn’t make an appearance until he absolutely needed to, for the Victoria’s Secret models to fawn over when they visited [S4E6]. On a similar note, we haven’t seen Nancy, their cat, since early last season, in “And the It Hole” [S3E8]. I totally understand that it’s hard to have live animals on set, but if it’s that difficult why bother “casting” them at all? To have a pet not appear for 30 episodes, or more than an entire season of the show, feels especially strange when one of the minor conflicts between Max and Caroline is how the latter is not a fan of said pet, while the former is.

To restate the first paragraph, I really do like the premise of the episode. I do. My problem is that someone in the writers’ room came up with it and they then had to sort of create a status quo out of thin air to support the narrative. Up to this point most of us had honestly forgotten that Nancy even existed. Except for me, of course, because- Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E14 “And the Cupcake Captives”: A TV Review

cupcakecaptives

At long last there appears to be an overlap between one of my favourite superheroes [Spider-Man] and one of my least favourite TV shows [this one], in a way that has the former redeem the latter in its own way. In the fifth issue of Superior Spider-Man supervillain Massacre approaches the manager of a big business, offering to kill a large number of people while wearing a shirt bearing her competitor’s logo. Here’s a splash page of him making his offer:

massacre

Which is all to say that Caroline freaking out about their brand being tarnished by a criminal wearing their shirt is actually fairly reasonable. Associations are created by everything from getting a particularly messy stomach bug while eating a certain type of cuisine for the first time to seeing a billboard crush three NYC tourists to death on the news. What I do want to focus on, however, is what the man in question did.

It turns out that the guy, Richard Griffin, AKA “Beer Belly Gym Shorts”, kidnapped three women and kept them trapped in his apartment for months. Now I don’t know if you remember the last few times crimes like this have been uncovered by the law, but it is always incredibly disturbing. There is a large amount of rape, is what I’m saying. The episode veers very far away from any implications that this guy was guilty of such acts, but still expects us to think that him wearing their shirt is a big deal. It’s a very fine like that the show traverses, and its success is up in the air as far as I’m concerned. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E13 “And the Great Unwashed”: A TV Review

greatunwashed

Between the two titular characters [pun never intended] it should be plainly apparent to you all by now that Caroline is my favourite. Even if Max wasn’t as unfunny and abrasive as I personally find her the former heiress to the Channing fortune is still brimming with just the right amount of optimism and grim awareness about the reality of life to charm anyone. That being said she’s hasn’t received a lot of character work this season and I actually believe the show has been poorer for it.

“And the Great Unwashed” is all about Caroline trying to figure out who she is, or rather, who she wants to be. That sounds deep, I realize, especially for an episode of 2 Broke Girls, but stay with me. Is she a waitress? If she is, what does that mean for the one-time rich girl? Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E12 “And the Knock-Off Knockout”: A TV Review

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I swear, “And the Move-In Meltdown” really spoiled me. Feel free to read the review of last-last week’s episode yourself, obviously, but let met just reiterate here that it felt like 2 Broke Girls was really mixing things up. Oleg and Sophie were carrying the narrative and creating and experiencing their own emotional beats, ones that Max and Caroline actually had no real part in. If you rewatch that episode you’ll see that they just happen to be around when the finale takes place. They exist in that scene simply to justify the show’s title.

What accompanied that momentary change of pace and plotting for me was actually the pilot episode, which I caught a few minutes of while at my granddad’s. With both of these in mind I was forced to put a lot of thought towards what I wanted from the show moving forward. If the reality is that I’m going to be reviewing every episode until its eventual cancellation [I predict a minimum of three more seasons] I should at the very least be tempering my expectations. Ideally I should keep them reasonable, while still considering how the show could improve. Continue reading

In Defence of Feminine Strength (Re: In Defense of the Warrior-Princess)

When I initially read Gordon’s response to the post I wrote last week, I asked myself, should I be offended?

You see, my original post was one of my more personal pieces, where I touched on my struggle with self-acceptance (as a rather sensitive person) in a culture highly influenced by what I described as the warrior-princess/damsel binary.

As a child, I believed that I needed to become emotionless in order to be strong, and masculine in order to be taken seriously. That’s why I find characters who are feminine and strong, like those often played by Zooey Deschanel, an encouraging presence in films and TV shows.

So, you can probably see why, being the sensitive person that I am, Gordon’s closing statement came off as a wee bit hurtful:

Deschanel states that “we can be powerful in our own way, our own feminine way” [emphasis added].

No you ****ing can’t.

From what I know of Gordon, he seems like a pretty good guy, so I’m going to act under the assumption that he was not writing an attack on my personal character, but rather a critique of the concept of feminine strength as represented by Deschanel. That critique is what I will be responding to in the points below. If you don’t watch New Girl, then be aware, there are spoilers below.

1. The Critique Begins with Flawed Logic

I have to thank one of our most faithful commenters, Rosie, for pointing out the “strawman argument” made in Gordon’s critique. In “In Defense of the Warrior-Princess” Gordon describes traditionally feminine characteristics using words like “submissive” and “weak”, words that neither I, nor Deschanel used to describe femininity. Using these sort of terms creates a false dichotomy between my argument and his.

He also claims that Deschanel plays “ditzy, emotional, pathologically neurotic” characters “who don’t need no man to help them”. He includes a crying gif of Jessica Day, the character Deschanel plays in New Girl as evidence.

This isolated gif ignores the wider context of the show, where every single character deals with their day-to-day life in a “ditzy, emotional, pathologically neurotic” sort of way.

It also ignores how New Girl is not at all about being the kind of person “who don’t need no man”. Instead, this show demonstrates how relationships lead to personal growth. It also shows how every person sits somewhere on a spectrum between sensitive and stoic, and how both of these traits are essential to becoming a healthy individual. Continue reading