I’m gonna be upfront with this review, the basic plot of this episode is a complete mess. There are too many threads that are technically connected to the main storyline but ultimately feel disjointed or are completely lost. All that being said, I’m going to sum up what happens in the next paragraph and then focus on two particular issues that were dealt with Monday night on CBS, from 8:30 to 9:00.
Essentially Caroline doesn’t want to have anything to do with Chef Nicolas, but he tells her that he and his wife have an open relationship. She and Max get their hair done, and then a Skype call with the wife confirms that she’s good to bang the Frenchman if she’d like. Caroline decides to go to dinner to turn him down, doesn’t, sleeps over, doesn’t sleep with him. The end.
Now that that’s all over, I want to concentrate on homosexuality and birth control, which I think you’ll agree are pretty uncontroversial topics.
To start with, I’d like to remind you all that Michael Patrick King, creator, executive producer, and part-time writer for the show is gay.
This is a fact that he’s leveraged to defend a lot of the humour on 2 Broke Girls, in particular stating that he “doesn’t get offended by the show’s gay jokes.” I could get into the wrongness of one person more or less claiming to speak for an entire demographic, but I think we should instead take a look at how the show treats homosexuals.
To start with the good, there’s Grace, who was the lifelong lesbian partner of Caroline’s nanny [“And the Life After Death”]; she had some pretty good things to say about love and keeping it a secret and really, that’s about as good as it gets.
I mean, apart from that there are the titular bears from Season 2 Episode 13, “Big Mary” at the pastry school and, of course, Federico Dordei’s Luis. They’re not offensive characters by any means, but they’re all so horribly one-note. Every one of them is flamboyant, and what little more we know about Luis, who has appeared in 9 episodes so far, is that he has a huge crush on Oleg. I admittedly raved over the character since his first appearance, but come on, nine episodes. Granted, we don’t know much more about Earl and he’s been in pretty much all of them.
This week we can add at least one more appearance of an LGBT person when the girls hit up the the Tristan Evans Salon for some $6 haircuts. Max’s student stylist is named Jamus, and Caroline’s, well, he goes by Dan. She asks to trade for Max’s “gay” and her friend replies with:
Caroline makes a joke about straight guys and how they they treat girls who go down on them, but the general idea is clear: gay men are better at cutting hair, which is just another stereotype being perpetuated. Not only that, but they love Max. Jamus digs Max’s sass in almost exactly the same way Luis did when he first showed up, and just like the bears Deke [another Deke!] and Derk were way back in the second season. What exactly is Michael Patrick King trying to tell us about gay people?
As a gay man who works in the entertainment biz, and as a storyteller no less, King has every opportunity to depict realistic homosexuals on a weekly basis. That’s not to say that the gay men he has used don’t exist in real life, but all of the ones on the show have used the same affected accent, and all err on the side of flamboyant. We’re not going to find any Max Blums around these parts, that’s for sure-
Again, it’s rare for almost any characters to receive a good amount of depth or dimension [see the review where I discuss 2BG‘s outlandish one-time characters], but that doesn’t mean that we can’t more of a straight-laced [no pun intended] gay man à la Captain Ray Holt of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I mean, at the very least throw a few more lesbian characters our way, maybe just don’t have them all be softball-playing short-haired tough girls.
On the other hand, this show also touched on birth control which I actually thought they handled really well. Max asks Caroline in the first few minutes for condoms because she’s “about to have sex and [wants] it to feel bad.” Joke aside, that’s some responsible lovemaking right there, and the show treats it as a given that of course she would have safe sex.
She decides to try the pill to do away with the complications of condoms, only to have it be revealed that they’re just as much a hassle. There’s even commentary about how it’s always women who are the ones that are responsible for ensuring they’re not getting pregnant, even if it is undercut by a rape joke. That’s all just the greatest, and I’m being serious.
In fact, the episode ends on Deke admitting that maybe she “needed a little help” and giving her a NuvaRing. Caroline isn’t super impressed, but I really kind of was. Having this discussed, even a little, in a popular sitcom continues the discussion and that is important. Sex pops up in basically every show on television but the minutiae of the act not so much. Winston can spend most of twenty minutes scouring the city for condoms on New Girl but talking about the unneeded intricacies surrounding the pill? Friggin’ NuvaRing? Well done, 2 Broke Girls. This episode completely flopped on storytelling level but you definitely did a good thing.
Next week let’s aim for coherent plots and rarely addressed contemporary issues.
Current Total: $560 again.
New Total: $840.
The Title Refers To: The three of them [Caroline, Max, and Deke] sleeping over at Chef Nicolas’ apartment. He is a married man.
- Oleg’s response to hearing Max may get a breast reduction: “NOOOOOO! [ . . . ] Why would you spit in the face of God?”
- “The pill’s $50/month that’s more than it costs to raise a damn baby.”
- “That’s because it’s not beef it’s not made today and it’s not special.”
- “We have all this relationship drama and we’re not even in a relationship.” Well maybe you should have told her you were in an open relationship sooner, Nicolas.
- Remember when Earl was kind of into Sophie? What ever happened to that?
- “I can’t risk some discount hetero cutting my hair.”
- Max’s new hairdo for the episode-
- -and her greeting are both references [which she outright admits] to Dame Edna Everage, who was a character played by Australian comedian Barry Humphries. The kind of joke young people will not get.
- “They’re like PEZ for sluts.” Admittedly not always the best commentary, but still.
- Max and Deke’s joke that made me feel legitimately uncomfortable:
“…put it in and not move it around.”
“That’s what I do to you when you’re passed out.”
- “I realized I guess Nicolas is just going to be one of those people in my life that I’m always almost going to have sex with but never will.”
- “Like you and me.”
- Tumblr had a little too much fun with that one.
- 2 Broke Girls Beefcake Menu:
Pingback: 2 Broke Girls, S3E20 “And the Not Broke Parents”: A TV Review | Culture War Reporters
Pingback: 2 Broke Girls, S3E18 “And the Near Death Experience”: A TV Review | Culture War Reporters