2 Broke Girls, S3E1 “And the Soft Opening”: A TV Review

Ladies and gentlemen, a little under half a year has passed and here we are again, with the first episode of 2 Broke Girls Season 3. For this season I am committed to bringing better reviews and not just play-by-plays of each and every scene. After all, this is the first full season of a show I’ll be reviewing [I took over after The AV Club’s TV Club dropped it from their list], and I’d like to improve as much as I can.

When last we saw the girls they had just discovered a back room area of the diner in which they will be breathing new life into the dead dream that was their cupcake business. As for the rest of the gang, both Oleg and Sophie are “back”; I recapped the whole thing pretty thoroughly back in May].

2 Broke Girls is a show that relies on what has worked in the past, a fact that only stands out due to how much more heavily it does this then its fellow sitcoms. This episode, like all of the others, opens up with Max snarking at a customer. Later on she makes fun of Han’s height, Oleg refers to his penis, Caroline says something that makes Max want to hate her, and so on-

Even if I wanted to lead you through each scene this episode can actually be summed up very succinctly. Take the range of material the show and its writers have grown comfortable with and apply them to a British rock star Russell Brand lookalike who eats at the girls’ new cupcake shop before dying. The two profit from grieving fans, clash with Han when he seeks to do the same, and then patch things up with him in an emotional event.

There’s no problem with a show sitting back and retreading well-worn ground, but 2 Broke Girls in particular lacks ambition. The one area where I’ve observed it seeking to move forward and try to outdo itself is in its humour-

While that’s not a particularly great example [hey, there aren’t exactly plentiful gifs around for this episode], I’ve written before about how co-creator Michael Patrick King considers their jokes to be “classy-dirty.” I would maybe use the likewise hyphenated “shock-and-amuse,” because many of the quips being made venture into areas like rape [this in particular], abortion, drug abuse, and so on-

I don’t really care to discuss the show on the merits of how funny it is, because it’s been established that these jokes are meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator [“And you only live until the next time you say YOLO”]. What I want is to have some form of narrative to look forward to, and ultimately think about. That’s what keeps people coming back to shows. Heck, it’s the only reason I ever got four episodes deep into Underemployed.

2 Broke Girls‘ sister CBS show How I Met Your Mother has its premise in the title, and is bringing people back for a ninth [and final] season. The reason countless viewers cite for watching at all is to finally lay eyes upon the mother, and because through years of watching they’ve been waiting for Ted to finally find that woman he’s going to spend the rest of his life with.

Unless there are some pretty big shakeups in the writers room [and you can actually listen to a fascinating podcast about that] this isn’t a show that’s going to change tonally, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t head in a certain direction. That’s what I’m holding out for this season, some kind of journey for Max and Caroline that I actually want to join them on. I guess we’ll see what happens.

Current Total: $0 [I assume last season’s profits went into renovating the back room.

New Total: $725 [with cupcakes being sold at $7 apiece].

The Title Refers To: The “soft opening” of their brand new cupcake business. It is also a double entendre for a vagina.

Stray Observations:

  • One of the bathroom stalls in the diner says “For a good time call Max,” written by her, natch.
  • Caroline’s decision to target the “post-bars demographic” by opening from 2-4 AM is genius. It’s how many hot dog vendors make a living.
  • Oleg poked Han in the back with his penis to prove how quickly he could get an erection, or something.
  • “In England we call them fairy cakes.” According to Wikipedia, this checks out.
  • When Han says “That’s not my wallet” it’s a much deeper voice, and, as far as I can tell, clearly someone else speaking.
  • The episode ends with a homeless guy peeing on Caroline’s face.
  • 2 Broke Girls Cheesecake Menu: Caroline shows Han the rat bite on her butt. Not particularly gratuitous, though.

One response to “2 Broke Girls, S3E1 “And the Soft Opening”: A TV Review

  1. Pingback: 2 Broke Girls, S3E23 “And the Free Money”: A TV Review | Culture War Reporters

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