2 Broke Girls, S6E5 “And the College Experience”: A TV Review

collegeexperience

I am invested in Max and Caroline’s relationship.

While it’s no secret that reviewing 2 Broke Girls is far from my favourite task for the week, I do care about how the show deals with the pair at its core. Strongly in its favour is the fact that the conflict that tends to arise between people of vastly different socioeconomic backgrounds is literally the premise of my favourite Arthur episode. For as much as this CBS sitcom is built on the friendship Max and Caroline share, what actually keeps both it and the narrative moving forward is the two butting heads. That said, what difference arises between the two titular leads this week?

Caroline doesn’t like having fun.

Which, to be fair, is sort of true. A much more accurate statement might be: Caroline doesn’t like having fun compared to Max. Though even then the definition of fun would need to be reduced to general debauchery [drinking, drugs, premarital sex, the sorts of activities your parents didn’t want you doing in your teens]. Having just typed out that stipulation it still doesn’t feel entirely accurate, since just last season we had the former heiress knocking back multiple tiny bottles of hotel liquor. Just trying to lay out the conflict in this episode is proving really difficult and I’m not even 300 words into this review. 

At this point you probably think I’m picking this apart too much, and a part of me agrees with you. The thing is that Caroline’s inability to enjoy herself is spelled out so explicitly in this episode, particularly when she visits her alma mater only to find out that her reputation as “Caroline ‘Buzzkill’ Channing” is still well-known throughout its halls. That’s further hammered home by her self-appointed role at a college party of keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors, halting the enjoyment of the as-of-yet-illegal marijuana, and cock blocking [as well as your preferred female equivalent] every person in sight. At one point Caroline actually says: “I have to go, I hear zippers unzipping.”

There are a number of reasons she might be acting this way. Perhaps returning to a place where she still had it all together is a distinct reminder of a better, more structured time. Maybe the reason for their trip to Wharton, giving a lecture to a business class, is what has her set to Super Responsible mode. Regardless of why, and there are a number of solid options, the episode never properly explains it.

Caroline being so anti-fun leads to Max talking her into joining the college party currently in session. That in turn results in a lot of drunken hijinks, mostly taking place on screen, as well as smooching both the floor’s RA and that RA’s fiance. Everything that happens leads to my other issue with the episode, which is that they eventually resolve things by admitting to a need for balance. Caroline is a successful business school graduate and deserves that, but she also deserves to have fun as well. She even admits, “I really did have fun, Max.” Except she doesn’t remember any of it.

Given every conversation her and Max have about the party it becomes apparent that she has zero recollection of what exactly went down. Not only does she not remember making out with anyone, let alone more than one person. Everything Caroline can recount about the previous evening is relayed through her best friend, so how can she really know whether or not she had a good time? It’s not that I think or expect 2 Broke Girls to be an after school special on the dangers of drinking, just that I wanted more out of Max and Caroline’s relationship than the former getting the latter drunk and everything being cool between them.

Considering how disappointed I am with “And the College Experience” you’d think I would’ve done what I typically do and keep things short and kind of sour. This time around I decided to tap into some of my frustrations, and continue to hope, possibly against hope, that 2 Broke Girls will buck the trend of sitcoms flanderizing its characters more and more with each passing season.

Current Total: $1,845.265

New Total: $2,710.65. I still can’t say with absolutely certainty why this total continues to increase.

The Title Refers To: The girls’ college experience.

Stray Observations:

  • I would’ve expected an actual Halloween episode given when this aired, but all we get is The Great Han-dini.
  • Han makes a Pokémon GO joke, because apparently it’s July 2016.
  • “And they say it’s very important for a dad to bond with his baby.” / “I think that’s only true for human dads.”
  • “Caroline Channing’s Dessert Bar? This place isn’t like your sex life, Caroline, you’re not doing it all by yourself.”
  • Max using a garbage bag to pack for their trip was a really nice touch.
  • “You know what they say: If you remember the parties at Wharton ya weren’t there.” She wasn’t.
  • Sophie’s father’s first words to her were: “Next item up for bid!”
  • “We need to party. Tonight needs to end with us driving a police car into the fountain on the quad or it is a fail.”
  • They did not try very hard to find actors who look like they’re in college.
  • “Hey, no random, uncommitted sex here! This is college!” / “I have a computer full of videos that says you’re wrong-“
  • “Well, like most people straight out of college I’m at a job I don’t want to be at.”

I’m becoming increasingly more concerned for Barbara Kachinsky Golishevsky. This feature, which hopefully continues past this week, is named after Caroline’s aside to Max, and its purpose is to track Sophie and Oleg’s fitness as parents-

We’ve Got to Get That Kid Out of That House

  • Sophie “dipped [Barbara] in perfume” so that “everyone treats little Barbara like Mariah Carey”.

Really not great.

  • Sophie asks Oleg to give the baby some space as “her spray tan hasn’t even dried yet.”

Objectively awful.

  • Sophie continues to roughly shove the stroller around, much to the audience’s wild laughter.

Clear negligence.

  • Sophie keeping Barbara away from Oleg because “fathers aren’t equipped for the job”. these
  • Oleg getting a pair of “moobs” so that he can feed his daughter.

Ironically enough, the very reason Caroline utters the words that title this feature is the best example of Sophie and Oleg being good parents. They very clearly want what’s best for Barbara, and in particular this features Oleg identifying his own shortcoming, as it were, and taking steps to amend it. It’s certainly not the way most parents would share childcare duties, but it’s the thought that counts and not what I would consider harmful to the child.

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