2 Broke Girls, S5E10 “And the No New Friends”: A TV Review


Look, friendship is hard. I know that as well as anyone. In spite of the interconnectedness that allows you to read these words I’m penning in my North York basement apartment from anywhere in the world, the fact is that many of my peers find it hard to create meaningful relationships [just type “millennial” alongside some iteration of “lonely” into Google and see what comes up]. With that in mind it’s nice to see an episode focus on a problem so many people struggle with.

In particular the issue of starting friendships from scratch, in your twenties, is a daunting one. Compared to the kids you went to college with how strong is your foundation, really? It’s a question Caroline asks herself when Becky White [Diona Reasonover], a girl from Max’s past, arrives at the window to their cupcake store.Things get predictably more complicated when Becky invites Max out to drinks, pointedly ignoring Caroline, and Max skips out without much thought to her roommate. It’s uncomfortably real world for 2 Broke Girls, and many of us can empathize with feeling like you’re on the outside looking in.

To continue focusing on what I think is the strongest aspect of this episode, Caroline then attempts, out of very apparent jealousy, to make her own friends. What’s unfortunate is that her search is cut painfully short, with her jump straight into chummying up to patrons of the diner paying off almost immediately.

Honestly, I should’ve guessed that her falling in so quickly with Rachael and Cathy [Kathy?] was evidence that she was in fact being groomed to join a cult. I mean, the header image I put together showcases an extremely cult-like gathering. And really, while the entire plot surrounding Caroline and Max resisting indoctrination into an unnamed sect is amusing, it’s nowhere near as compelling as what I had just been discussing.

Yes, Mo Gaffney’s maternal cult leader Elaine is suitably off-putting, especially in how the audience appears to be just as enamoured with her as her followers [see the Stray Observations below], but her group is just a little too generically creepy. When it’s revealed that everyone at the mountain retreat they’ve gone to will more or less be required to have sex with her the entire thing becomes a wash. There’s a more engaging narrative out there where Caroline is actually tempted to join a cult and be a part of something bigger and greater, pushed away by a perceived betrayal on Max’s part, but that can’t be found anywhere here.

When the two girls are ultimately rescued by Oleg and Sophie, who Max texted to rescue them if anything went wrong, it’s just after an emotional beat that feels slightly unearned due to the diversion with the cult. To be fair it may lead to more potential conflict between the two, since Caroline’s question-

“Max, are you and I going to be like you and Becky one day?”

-and admission of-

“Am I going to be some waitress you used to know, because that would kill me.”

-are essentially pushed aside when the Eastern European couple drives up to them. Again, the insecurity and anxiety felt in platonic relationships hasn’t been nearly as explored as it could be, and they missed the chance to really delve into that. Chances are that with Becky’s one-off appearance here it’ll be some time before this particular facet of their friendship can be explored, but you never know. Here’s hoping.

Current Total: $80.

New Total: $80. So when Max and Caroline decided to leave Elaine tells them that only “friends” enjoy the free trip, and they will thus be charged. This sounds like a very real thing that happens to me, and in the end they escape after Max offers her body as “nature’s credit card”, only to be refused in disgust. It was a definite opportunity to tap back into their being, well, “2 Broke Girls”, debt and all. As it stands they neither earned or lost anything in this episode.

The Title Refers To: No new friends for Max or Caroline.

Stray Observations:

  • The cold open this week was all about smart phones and the disconnect they can create, which is a fun tangential connection to the topic of friendship. It did make me wonder how Max and Caroline could afford smartphones, though.
  • “Now you have one? Earl- three months ago you thought T-Mobil was a rapper.”
  • “Max, I did not think you would still be alive. I owe you $10.”
  • Max typically introduces Caroline as Taylor Swift’s slower cousin Randy.
  • “Nice meeting you Brandy-” / “It’s Randy!”
  • “So did you guys have fun tonight, or did you two grow apart-“
  • Fun, it’s so fun that you had fun.”
  • “Guess what I’m doing?” / “Motivating me to look at resumes on Monster.com?”
  • “Max, how’s this for my friend-making smile?” / “Do you have more teeth than me?”
  • “The Yelp review specifically said I would be ignored by the wait staff.”
  • “I’ve seen people with podcasts less desperate for approval.”
  • “Yeah, the last invitation we got was to audition for porn.”
  • So Elaine was dropping lines like-

“I’m so glad you all could make it. Oh, except Jerry. He’s getting Lasik. He should’ve listened, I told him to eat more kale. Kale is good for the eyes!”

  • -and the audience was eating it up. It was really bizarre, but helped play up the idea that she was a charismatic person who could draw people to her.
  • “Everyone gather round. Let’s have some mutual eye contact.”
  • Elaine’s cult’s mantra: “My best is my best and that’s why I”m blessed.”
  • Lady Marmalade is a dog with both seasonal depression and fibromyalgia.
  • “And do not fear, before the night is over each of you will have the chance to make love with me.”
  • “Ah, I’m sorry it took me so long to climax. I know I was ‘almost there’ for quite some time.”
  • Max ate $700 worth of shrimp. Surprising no one, least of all her.
  • Sophie was once in a cult called “Avon”.

4 responses to “2 Broke Girls, S5E10 “And the No New Friends”: A TV Review

  1. Max usually introduces Caroline as Taylor Swift’s slow cousin Randy not Paris Hilton’s.

  2. Pingback: 2 Broke Girls, S5E13 “And the Lost Baggage” | Culture War Reporters

  3. Pingback: 2 Broke Girls, S5E17 “And the Show and Don’t Tell”: A TV Review | Culture War Reporters

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