Have you ever watched an episode of 2 Broke Girls and thought to yourself, “That episode ended too soon”? The latest installment of Max and Caroline’s Hollywood adventures continues this week, and somehow manages to feel much shorter than its 21-minute runtime.
A large part of that is because the show largely eschews showing for telling, with two big moments taking place entirely off camera and only referenced after the fact. While this can be effective, the result is ultimately more confusing than anything else. For sitcoms the primary goal is to make your viewers laugh, but the second priority of telling a good story comes swiftly behind that. A lack of emphasis on that aspect is what leads to viewers being confused as to whether or not a love interest has been written out or not.The Caroline Channing film is still well on its way to actually existing, and it’s time that screenwriters entered the picture. I’ll openly admit that I don’t know much about how Hollywood works, and so was unsure if the aforementioned screenwriters typically meet up with the men and women that biopics are about beforehand. Either way, apart from the wonderfully bubbly Leslie [Alison Rich, who unfortunately doesn’t appear again] the primary takeaway from their meeting with Caroline is that Max’s character won’t be in the film.
There’s actually a fair amount of complexity surrounding this conflict, with Max initially miffed she’s asked not to be present for the discussion and later having to accept that she’s been cut out of the story. Her primary outlet for keeping her mind off of all this is Randy, who she’s still seeing, and auditioning for The Price is Right. She’s never been one to stick around when she’s not wanted [that’s why she “hightailed it out of [her] mother’s womb”], but also doesn’t want to drag her friend down.
On the other side of things Caroline has to be as easy to work with as possible to ensure her film is made while also coping with the fact that Max is spending far more time with Randy than with her. There’s also the addition of Bob, a Hollywood relic that Max’s sort-of-boyfriend [they’re not putting labels on it] sets her up with. The audiences’s reaction to seeing George Hamilton [who?] on-stage was pretty telling as far as who the show’s primary demographic is.
Sophie is also still around, appearing onstage to particularly energetic whoops, while the diner continues to chug along, more or less, without its only two waitresses.
The first big event that takes place completely off-camera is Caroline’s wild night out with Bob in Vegas, during which he “lost $50,000 and somehow Faye Dunaway’s Oscar.” This is a perfect example of when a single camera format would have worked wonders, with a quick cutaway to their raucous evening that isn’t possible when filming before a live studio audience. The inclusion of that gag certainly isn’t necessary, but it would’ve been nice to have any kind of lead-in to it happening.
While in Vegas Bob imparts his centuries of wisdom [they make a lot of old jokes this episode] to Caroline, which has the effect of her running to find Max, who has just been picked out for The Price is Right. She asks her best friend to step away from a chance to star on a gameshow and instead help argue for her inclusion on the film. It’s one of those classic “Max and Caroline are friends!” moments, and leads up to the next scene the audience doesn’t get to see.
The follow-up meeting with the screenwriters is likewise skipped over, which is a lot more fine, what with the vastly less entertainment to mine from it. Max thanks Caroline for fighting to keep her in the movie and her life and things wrap up. Both scenes being excised is a big part of what makes it feel like the episode is short for time, as well as the weird resolution to Bob [he leaves on a helicopter and Caroline cries out after him, because of course] and lack of resolution for Randy, who ostensibly will be back around next week. This week actually had a far better narrative structure than most, and kept me engaged with what was going on, but ended up feeling rushed for whatever reason.
Current Total: $390.
New Total: $390. See my “all expenses paid” comment in my last review.
The Title Refers To: An exchange between Bob and Caroline:
“I don’t need fake friends, I have Max.”
“That’s what Wesley Snipes said about Jane Fonda.”
“They’re not friends.”
“You bet your ass they’re not.”
It’s a really weird line to title this episode with, at least in my opinion.
- No Lawrence in this episode, but there’s honestly no room for him.
- “I just wanna tell Earl about the pot sitch out here. He’ll think it’s high-larious.” Groan.
- I really want to know if they got a stunt double for Caroline’s fall-
- “Max, you’re going out with Randy again? I’ve barely seen you since we got here. And I’ve seen David Schwimmer four times.”
- “Writers are actors who gave up, so, they’re allowed to eat.”
- “That’s so unprofessional.” / “Right, like I’m the one who has to stay 500 feet away from Fred Savage.” Leslie and Jason, the other screenwriter, have fun.
- “I have an appointment to stand in line for a little thing called Price is Right. Y’ever heard of it? [laughs] You know you have-” Arguably one of the best line-readings Kat Dennings has ever done on the show.
- JLaw wants to play Caroline in what’s sure to be a brave “no makeup role”.
- Cue the old jokes-
- “I think that’s the very first Bob.”
- “If me and Randy are May-December you two are May-dead.”
- “I’m not gonna sleep with God’s college roommate to get ahead in Hollywood!”
- “That man sure knows how to make an exit. Not from life, but, from everything else-“
- “We’ve got a lot of 12-year-old boys playing sick at home, how long can you two jump up and down?” The Price is Right producer knows her audience.
- “Carpool and . . . fluffernutter . . . because soccer, right?” Sophie’s attempts to act like a stay-at-home mom from the Midwest.
- I actually found the cutaways to the diner a lot of fun, as Max left a series of Home Alone-style traps in Han’s office, “each one more fiendishly clever than the last.”
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