The multi-cam sitcom isn’t exactly at the peak of its popularity right now, The Big Bang Theory reaching its 200th episode being a pretty extreme outlier. If you watch TV regularly at all you’ll have noticed that more and more sitcoms are trying to be the next, say, Community, as opposed to a worthy successor to How I Met Your Mother. A big part of that has to do with this older format being seen as looking cheaper, and that’s particularly true when it comes to a change in setting.
Not counting Max and Caroline’s spur-of-the-moment jaunt to Paris, which was completely off-camera, there has been at least one instance where the girls have left Brooklyn in a noticeable way. Honestly, it’s hard to forget that lambo sitting on the beach–
-because it was a legitimately great set. I mean, they had sand. It more than stands up to a lot of the exterior shots of Ted Mosby and co. exiting McLaren’s, or getting into hijinks in front of a brownstone. The unfortunate thing is that their other excursions don’t live up to that standard.
Sure, just three episodes ago Max and Caroline walked through a forest, but on the whole a change of setting doesn’t really mean anything exciting. Typically a trip to a cabin in the woods means just the cabin, or having Rhode Island mostly be cheap hotel rooms and high school classrooms. While last week’s episode had me very excited to see the duo hit LA I knew at the time that we wouldn’t be regaled with shots of them driving past palm trees with the top down. It would’ve been nice, though.
Instead 2 Broke Girls provides us with three new sets: a hotel room, hotel bar/restaurant, and a Hollywood exec’s office. I’m not saying that the production crew needed to really glam it up, but a little glam, maybe? At the very least hiring a Johnny Depp impersonator to make a brief cameo appearance as opposed to just name-dropping the actor would have been cool, and pretty cost-effective.
While Caroline is in Hollywood to try to get her movie off the ground Max is . . . just there. They both meet Lawrence [Alec Mapa],
who I’m sure we’ll see more of soon. Max also bumps into Randy [Ed Quinn], and the two of them end up doing what consenting adults sometimes do. The big conflict in this episode revolves around Perry [Chris Williams], who owns the office I mentioned up above. He’s not actually all that interested in the proposed film, and Max ends up reacting to this as she does to most things.
That’s “not how you do things in Hollywood”, and it looks like she may have torpedoed Caroline’s chances at having her life story up on the silver screen. That is until Randy steps in and, as Perry’s lawyer, convinces the film exec to pay them a little more attention. It’s all very neat, but does introduce the idea that this guy wants to be there for Max, which is a relief to her given how interested she had been in him dropping her a line.
Even more interesting than Max’s new beau, which I don’t see lasting longer than a few episodes, is how the writers’ room was able to avoid the entire show revolving around the titular duo while they’re away. A hasty conversation over the phone about having her future child look like her causes Sophie to flip-flop on her decision last week to adopt, and suddenly she’s back to wanting to do things the traditional way, opting to go to a healer based in LA. I definitely feel a little betrayed given how I gave the show props for going this route, but it does make sense. 2 Broke Girls has invested too much in its other cast members to simply jettison them for two or more episodes, and even had the cold open set in the diner instead of just starting things off on the west coast. They can send Max and Caroline away, but they can’t ditch the whole crew.
In the end this sitcom seems invested in following the Hollywood arc for at least a little while longer. I’m not confident that it’ll be the springboard out of poverty they’re ostensibly looking for, but I don’t think they’re bound to find one before the last season’s finale. At the very least things are more interesting than they’ve ever been, and I look forward to seeing if the film is ever greenlit, and if the rest of the gang at the Williamsburg Diner make their way over to sunny Los Angeles.
Current Total: $390.
New Total: $390. When they said “all expenses paid” it looks like they meant it.
The Title Refers To: Oh, right. Max’s baggage is lost, but it ultimately contributes nothing whatsoever to the plot. She gets it back a little later on.
- “Ha, I knew you two weren’t going to LA! I knew you were just pulling my chain!” Oh Han, ye of little faith. And no, that wasn’t a short joke.
- Also Max registered Han as a sex offender at city hall which is pretty messed up.
- “This is so sweet! Is that why they call it that?” That’s some live-action-Disney-show-level humour right there.
- “These are the only 12 steps anyone’s ever gonna get me to take.”
- “You were supposed to be in a room with two queens. Well, three if I was in it.” Oh, Lawrence. You card.
- “Look, not everyone in this hotel is gay. But Claude is hands-down-ma’-pants the gayest.”
- “Can I buy you a drink? [. . . ] A house?” Randy is rich.
- “It’s not the agency. I called to talk to Max and got Caroline’s My Life Doesn’t Suck Anymore podcast.”
- Alongside Lawrence this episode also features Quan [Nikki Tuazon], Perry’s disdainful receptionist. Two [additional to Han] Asians in an episode of 2 Broke Girls without any jokes relying on racial stereotypes. I’m calling that a plus in my book.
- “Absolutely, set in stone! We’re so excited.”
- Nina, who is Caroline’s agent of sorts, tells her that “You need to look broke. Busted. Discarded from society.” Which is fair, because you would never think she was living below the poverty level at first glance.
- “Maybe she’ll smooth everything over. Like everyone does here with their faces.”
- “Perry, what’s happening here, why is there bread on your table-“
- “I didn’t want to come on too strong. Should I not have taken dating advice from David Spade?”
- “Hey, we got a lady that looks like you back at home.”
- Unforunately Lawrence is unable to land the part of “a Filipino gay general manager of a hotel who used to be straight.” Guy just can’t catch a break.
- I’m really regretting shelving my “Pop Culture Put-Downs” feature [first seen here] because this episode was rife with them. Among the many dissed celebs there were mentions of: John Travolta, Keira Knightley, Kevin Hart, and Shannon Doherty.