2 Broke Girls, S5E17 “And the Show and Don’t Tell”: A TV Review


In a little bit of a continuation from last week’s review, tonight’s episode could easily be summed up with “Max and Caroline’s friendship is tested very little, and unsurprisingly manages to remain intact.” While that’s par for the course for quite a few episodes along the years, with a bit of a shakeup in their relationship occurring every so often, what’s interesting is the showrunner’s decision to turn to this narrative just as the status quo is reestablished.

Yes, Max and Caroline are back to waitressing at the diner, and almost immediately the impending $250K payday from Caroline selling her movie rights starts being thrown around. The thing is, it immediately starts to collide with the goal of the first few seasons: the girls’ cupcake business. It’s so strange to see that being brought up again, especially when it hasn’t been brought up since Episode 10 of this season [and even then, it was simply to have Max bump into an old friend].

Their cupcake business has played so small a part that when the studio audience gasps in response to Sophie asking Max and Caroline if they “know any bakers” I was initially confused. Why would they be offended by that question? When was the last time they baked anything, let alone sold any baked goods at all?

I suppose that Max’s Homemade Cupcakes taking a backseat to the rest of their zany adventures adds to their eventual [and short-lived] conflict over what to do with the money. That disagreement is introduced by Martin Channing [Steven Weber], Caroline’s imprisoned father who we haven’t seen since late in Season 2 [seriously, it has been three actual years since the last time he was on the show]. While there are some pretty entertaining diversions with the musical he wrote as a part of his therapy in prison, he’s primarily there to be a wedge that [temporarily] keeps the girls apart.

Yes, I’m belabouring the point a little, but the truth is that things never escalate all that far. Martin Channing tells Max that the $250K is exactly what his daughter needs to start a new life and that “this is her big chance, you just gotta let her go” [ie. to Wall Street, to make it big]. While she never explicitly states how she’s feeling, Kat Dennings acts exactly the way someone would when being accused of being the anchor that holds people back: she lashes out. There’s a bit of a fight involving cake batter that culminates in Han getting the majority of it in his face, and not long afterwards Caroline is asking her father what he told her friend.

While that plot ends as it always does, with Max and Caroline staying committed to their friendship and business partnership, what I have to give the writers credit for is how much they’re calling back to what 2 Broke Girls was at its outset. Chestnut [their horse] makes an appearance, and  they even muse aloud how “Five years ago we were sitting on Chestnut with our iced coffees.” They even said at that time that $250K was all they needed to start their business, and now here they are with that money coming to them in a fairly short time and the shop already in place.

While the Wharton graduate has no exact plans as to how to spend their money, it’s her streetwise roommate who comes up with “Dessert Bar”, a way to combine their current business model with the tiny bottles from the minibar they enjoyed so much on the west coast. It’s an intriguing idea, albeit one that ignores the hurdles necessary when it comes to obtaining a liquor license. That said it’s still a return to the Max and Caroline doing what they always set out to do, and while it’s not the freshest direction it somehow feels right to have them return to chasing that particular dream.

This episode also has Sophie and Oleg wanting to find out the sex of their baby. They ultimately don’t, which is fine.

Current Total: $90.

New Total: $72. Okay, so Sophie and Oleg hire the girls to make them a “gender reveal cake”, but Caroline botches it by forgetting the food colouring. The Eastern European couple refuses to pay them, which is how I’m accounting for the missing 18 bucks.

The Title Refers To: I suppose this could refer to the gender reveal cake that I mentioned up above, though it honestly comprises such a small part of this episode. That’s what I’m going with, though. The expectant parents want to be shown the sex of their child, but not verbally told.

Stray Observations:

  • Han admits that he’s “been wanting another Asian in the mix for some time!” While I want this in almost all media, this show may be the exception.
  • He also claims that Freddie Prinze Jr. works more than Max and Caroline, which was a pretty sick burn.
  • This week Earl is so old he can’t shake his head.
  • Caroline’s means to save money are pretty bad, actually [using their bath mat for toilet paper?]. Maybe she should head over to /r/frugal for some pointers.
  • “If those inmates weren’t hardened criminals before, they will be once they see you wearing that-“
  • Honestly, the musical numbers are not as bad as those I’ve seen in other sitcoms.
  • “Steel bars; steel bars on our balls / Steel bars on this jail, and there ain’t no bail / And nobody caaaallllllls”
  • Also, huge props to the writers for not going to the well of “people have gay sex in prison, hahaha”.
  • “Moody Giuliani” is the best nickname I have ever heard on 2 Broke Girls.
  • “I didn’t lose it, I just don’t have it and I don’t know where it is-“
  • “Like a waitress at a vegan restaurant, you’re bringing almost nothing to the table.”
  • “That’s the hardest thing I’ve had to take in all day. And at lunch they served us something called ‘brown’.” Prison is hard.
  • Sophie and Oleg had such a bitingly clever exchange it felt strange coming from their mouths.

“[The cake’s] white, what does that mean?”

“It means it has a chance of being nominated for an Academy Award.”


One response to “2 Broke Girls, S5E17 “And the Show and Don’t Tell”: A TV Review

  1. “There’s a polio vaccine?” LOL

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