A lot of the time, when I wish I had implemented a grading system into these reviews when I first started two years ago, it’s because I want to underscore how truly bad an episode was. Not this week. This week I wish that I was able to qualify how good 2 Broke Girls usually is so that I could give “And the Gym and Juice” an A.
And no, this isn’t a particularly groundbreaking twenty-something minutes of situation comedy, but it is exactly what it needs to be, which is to say that it’s funny. Just two episodes into their fifth season and 2 Broke Girls appears confident in allowing its titular characters to truly carry the show, and they do so in a truly admirable fashion. I’m not sure if there was a shake-up in the writers room, but whatever happened it has me generally looking forward to future installments of the show.
The premise this week is a solid one as well, and one that’s a natural fit given the the series’ title. Their shower breaks down one fateful morning, and a glimpse into a room we’ve never seen before [in my recollection] helps cement a point that’s often told instead of show: these characters aren’t doing so hot financially.
As far as solutions go the option of using the facilities at a gym is simple, but also one ripe with storytelling potential. It may sound like I’m gushing over what appears to be standard television writing, but this is the sort of narrative that I’ve been looking for since things first started. A problem born out of living just above the poverty line prevents itself and steps are taken to solve that. It’s a very simple formula, but one they’ve rarely gone to.
There are a number of twists and turns which involve them landing jobs at the gym, losing said jobs, and eventually getting Oleg to fix their shower, but as mentioned a few paragraphs earlier what’s truly important is how funny the girls make it.
While longtime readers will know that I usually offer the prize of comedic MVP to Beth Behrs, I actually think that Kat Dennings snags the coveted title this time around. Two laugh-out-loud moments in this episode are concerted group efforts, with the first being Caroline’s gagging leading to Max’s gagging and the second, my personal favourite, Max frantically flipping on blenders and even banging pots together in order to drown out her friend’s tirade. On top of that, however, is Max’s freshly showered personality affecting her ability to be surly. Her halfhearted grimaces, meant to be threatening scowls, are slightly off-putting at best, and it’s the sort of performance that reminds me that, yes, she does deserve to be the star of a sitcom. It’s just that oftentimes I don’t think that it’s this one.
Elsewhere Oleg has lowered the age rating of his speech to “G”, and the pains he takes to affirm listeners that know innuendo was intended is handled deftly by Jonathan Kite. Matthew Moy engages in a gag surrounding his inability to get be seen and order anything at the juice bar that could have been better communicated with more customers blocking him, but all in all is acted out well. On almost all fronts the cast appears to be giving it their 120% and it really shows.
As my second paragraph states, this isn’t groundbreaking stuff. At the same time, this week’s 2 Broke Girls isn’t so much “not bad” as it is actually “pretty good”.We can all only hope that whatever’s going on behind the scenes continues and that we can keep seeing these actors do what they do best.
Current Total: $164.
New Total: $264. Max and Caroline work at the juice bar for a little over a day, I think, before being let go. Maybe they given $100 for whatever was done in that time.
The Title Refers To: Han’s gym, Physique Total Body, as well as the juice that’s served there.
- “Max, remind me, what separates us from homeless people?” / “We’re not as tan?”
- “Well, well, well, Caroline, I didn’t know it was Bring Your Boyfriend to Work day?”
- Their shower is a place to cry and to hide from their roommate, for Caroline and Max respectively.
- “Well, I have two Friends and Family 1-day passes that I was saving for my parents’ trip. But last month they littered in Korea so they’re in jail.” This joke would’ve landed with me more if they’d been vacationing in Singapore.
- “Bring me something green, bitch.”
- YBBBB with Brian. Yoga Booty Ballet Boxing and Beyond.
- “And make out with you? Joke. I’m kind of married.”
- The two “old” ladies they face off against bought their trainer a car.
- “Suck it down, baby! But not in a sexual way.”
- “Oh, you’re not the only person who can be threatening. Let me go get my threatening friend.”
- Raquelle, the janitor, has a pretty great line about how the women’s husbands are “silent partners in the gym and in their marriages.”
- Han says “Max, go away, you’re interrupting my flow” while sweating a literal puddle and they don’t make any obvious jokes about it. Weird.
- Having Chestnut gag along with Max and Caroline was the funniest joke they’ve ever pulled off, as far as having a horse on set.
- Pop Culture Put-Downs: The Might Be Giants, their genitals in particular.