Back like a bad rash, and this time on Thursday nights! That’s right, CBS has finally started airing the fifth season of 2 Broke Girls and not even the AV Club, who stopped reviewing the show midway through the second season, could ignore its momentous return to the television landscape.
When we last left our heroines at the culmination of Season 4 they were headed off to France for a much-needed vacation. More importantly, however, they realized they had been neglecting their dream of running their own cupcake business [mostly through apparel-related moneymaking schemes]. While they waited for their plane to begin taxiing down the runway Max turned to Caroline and confided:
“Well, partner, after all we’ve been through this year, whatever comes next I kinda feel ready for it.”
In this episode, scripted and directed by showrunner Michael Patrick King, we find that “whatever comes next” includes a rude tour guide who shares a name with yogourt [Dannon] and the threat of their little corner of Williamsburg being levelled to make way for an IMAX theatre. At least one of these two is a substantial hurdle to the success of their business, as the absence of a storefront would make selling cupcakes pretty difficult. Also the loss of the diner, ostensibly their primary source of income.
That conflict is wrapped up almost as quickly as it’s introduced as some quick-thinking by Caroline reveals to a judge that their building has 100+-year-old Tiffany windows, a fact verified by their aforementioned former nemesis Dannon.
If that all seems pretty cut and dry that’s because it is, with minor complications arriving in the form of Pop Tarts being stolen and fellow business owners looking forward to the buyout money that would’ve been paid out to them. That last factor could have had a lot of potential if we had been introduced to them before now, or knew anything about them besides the fact that they’re a bunch of kooky characters [one owns a shop specializing in crystals]. Unfortunately their desires are never considered by any at the Williamsburg Diner, and their anger is played for comedic effect as they form an angry mob who almost . . . savagely beat Han? It’s implied that they would’ve taken their rage out on the guy if he hadn’t been rescued by Max and Caroline.
My point here is that the storylines on 2 Broke Girls don’t have to be so simple. The general problems introduced in each episode themselves aren’t bad, they’re just never carried out to their greatest potential. When Caroline asks her friends to stall the judge as she gets research we never feel like the block is actually at risk, or that she won’t arrive back in time. A coherent narrative is great, but this is a sitcom, not a Little Golden Book.
Tragically, this episode features one of the best jokes I’ve ever seen on 2 Broke Girls, tragic because it’s in a lacklustre installment and because it’s not given the amount of time it deserves. Upon being asked how old she thinks she is Caroline scrawls a number on a note card and slides it over to Sophie, only to have the Polish woman peek at it, scrawl a different figure, and slide it back. It’s played off excellently by Behrs and Coolidge and had me thinking back to the AV Club highlighting the episode as something to watch tonight, as well as:
“nothing if not a place for funny, talented women to make the best of bad material.”
In this case it was funny, talented woman making the best of pretty great material, sandwiched by a whole lot of meh. This show definitely has hints of greatness that shine through from time, but they give me hope that it will be, at bare minimum, the sum of its comedically gifted parts.
Current Total: $89.
New Total: $164. I don’t know where they got the $75. Don’t ask me.
The Title Refers To: Although the threat of having their block knocked down for the theatre looms imminent we don’t ever get to see an actual wrecking ball, an implement that might be used for such a purpose. Surprisingly to me there were also no references to one whatsoever and consequently no Miley Cyrus jokes.
- Another bright spot was Caroline’s first line, an offhand comeback to another of Max’s dirty jokes: “Yeah, hilarious, sex is messy.”
- Her German accent is so bad I winced, which made me pleasantly surprised to see it turn into a plot point.
- There’s actually a lot more sniping between characters, as Earl lines both Han and Caroline up asking, “aren’t you both an A cup?”
- “Kentucky Fried Chicken now comes with free hair extensions?”
- I liked Max’s shirt a lot.
- Oh, and Sophie is trying to get pregnant but hasn’t gotten her period in “six months to a year.”
- In Max’s world “PPT” stands for “Personal Pop Tarts”, and not “PowerPoint”.
- NEW FEATURE: Pop Culture Put-Downs: Ryan Seacrest’s sexual orientation put on blast this episode.