While it’s certainly disappointing to have to write, a run of two decent consecutive 2 Broke Girls episodes is really not bad at all. I thoroughly enjoyed “And the Rom-Commie” as well as “And the Sophie Doll”, and even though they weren’t incredible or even the best the show has ever been, their airing one week after the next felt like an encouraging change of pace for the CBS sitcom. It’s unfortunate that in spite of the season’s eighth installment continuing to land successful physical gags and better utilizing their cast neither are enough to prop up a paper-thin plot.
Which doesn’t mean that those two points are unappreciated, by any means. Han is actually the driving force of this episode, and while he’s been the focus in past seasons this week he manages to participate in the joke without necessarily being the butt of it. Also notable is the fact that, besides being POC on ensemble comedies, this is the first connection I’ve ever made between him and Sergeant Terry Jeffords on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Fans of the FOX sitcom might recognize the above still from “The Oolong Slayer”, the fourth episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s third season, in which Terry becomes briefly [and intensely] addicted to cacao nibs. Han’s into the raw, powdered version himself, but even then I never expected the two to share a weakness, let alone anything else.
The reason for Han’s addiction is that the cacao apparently fuels his creativity and artistic abilities, which are particularly important since he’s entered the U.S. Post Office’s Federal Duck Stamp Contest [yeah, it’s a real thing]. The conflict arises in Max seeing this as being a bad habit for him to get into and Clint, the new bartender at Dessert Bar, being his supplier. His refusal to stop after being told not to leads to Max firing him, and it’s a genuine surprise to everyone involved when she reveals her reasons for doing so [i.e. she cares about Han].
All that boils down to a fairly straightforward plotline we’ve seen many times before, with Max’s affection for her friends being exposed, much to her chagrin. What’s unfortunate is that although Han’s cacao addiction is not short [no pun intended] on physical comedy-
-it’s the B-plot that holds so much potential. See, Caroline essentially headhunted Clint from a nearby bar, and much of that establishment’s clientele ended up following him. This means a pretty significant profit his first night, a height [again, no pun intended] not reached by Max and her “one for you, one for me” policy when it comes to tending bar. It’s by, definition, a pretty successful outcome all things considered. The thing is that Caroline lets that success go straight to her head.
There’s a Filipino proverb I read way back in high school that essentially states that a man coming into a bit of money is generous, whereas a man coming into a lot of money builds a high wall around his house. The gist of it is that wealth changes you, and at the first sign of escaping a life of squalour Caroline’s course of action is to burn as many bridges as possible. It’s the perfect narrative for a sitcom about two young women living just above the poverty line [please don’t tell me they’re below it I will never believe you] and I would have sacrificed the visual of Han frantically rubbing cacao on his gums for it to have taken centre stage. It’s very true to life, and to have there to be little to no fallout [Max is back to bartending, Caroline faces no repercussions for her announcements] is a major disappointment.
As for Sophie, this episode may actually showcase her at her mothering best. She still violently shoves the baby carriage through crowded rooms [“I hope they’re never expecting Barbara to have a short-term memory.”], which I’m horrified elicits any laughter at all out of the audience, but she also realizes that parenting is all about sacrifice. She only has enough time to make either Barbara or herself sexy, and she’s been opting for the former every time, resulting in her not looking her best. Ultimately Max tells her she’s setting a bad example and the status quo is reestablished, but it’s a nice sentiment nonetheless.
All in all “And the Duck Stamp” has some bright spots, but doesn’t take the time on a storyline worth telling. It’s great to see them up their comedic game, but a little more attention to where 2 Broke Girls is headed would be great as well.
Current Total: $3,340.35.
New Total: $4,840.35. This account for the $1,500.00 they made on Clint’s first night tending bar. It does not, however, factor in Max and Caroline’s manicures.
The Title Refers To: The U.S. Post Office’s Federal Duck Stamp Contest, as mentioned above, actually does not compensate winners beyond having their hand-drawn work featured on a new stamp. Sales of the stamp will, however, help raise millions of dollars for conservation efforts.
- “Hi, I’m Clint the new bartender. It’s a pleasure for you to meet me.”
- “Why you gotta harsh my buzz?” Just the first of many lines that make Matthew Moy the comedy MVP this week.
- “If this keeps up we’ll be able to watch Hulu without commercials.” I’m not sure what’s changed since but . . .
- “We don’t have grooming money; I’m still cutting my hair with a sword like Mulan.”
- They don’t have “screw-you money” yet, just “enough to be mildly unpleasant.”
- I still can’t wrap my head around this exchange in their laundromat:
“I can’t wait till we don’t have to come here anymore.”
“Then where will we cook our chicken?”
- “Caroline wanted our nails to project success, so-” Max got little Monopoly houses painted on her nails. Monopoly houses are green and her nails are blue, which I also can’t wrap my head around.
- “You better slow down, we’ve only had one good night at the Dessert Bar and you said we have to keep working at the diner until we have at least enough money to be legally poor.”
- Han stayed up all night sketching a duck so . . . his hair is wild?
- “My guy from Columbia guarantees it. Not the country, we went to college together.”
- In response to the chocolate all over Han’s face: “You look like Jonah Hill reading the reviews for War Dogs.”
- Max once made opium out of poppy seed bagels and a La Croix.
- “I come out here to smoke a joint and I walk in on a dug deal? Shame!“
- “Caroline, there are no shortcuts to success, or creating a stamp-worthy Mallard. Life is a slow steady climb to just getting by-“
- Han’s new cacao dealer is a stay-at-home granddad just so they can really double down on the old person jokes.
- Between that guy’s daughter working for Nestle in Toronto and Han making sure the cacao isn’t cut with Nestle Quik there’s a suspicious amount of product placement for a truly terrible company.
- Sophie and Oleg have some pretty great lines about public sex in front of an Amish family, including: “I bet they wish they had a camera for that!”
Going back to Donald Duck’s first appearance in the early 30s, and Daffy Duck’s soon afterwards, waterfowl have long held a place in American comedy TV. That being said, it’s no surprise to see ducks make an appearance in 2 Broke Girls and shouldn’t be if they do again. This feature, which may be a weekly one, is dedicated to everyone’s favourite aquatic bird and titled-
What the Duck!?
Han spends a cacao-fueled night drawing a number of ducks for the U.S. Post Office’s Federal Duck Stamp Contest, and they are, in order:
- the American Wood Duck
- the Harlequin Duck
- the Spot-billed Duck
- a Mallard
- a Mallard
- a Mallard
- a Mallard
Assuming that he’s trying to complete his entry for the 2017 contest the problem is that there are only five eligible species accepted. Those are:
- Cinnamon teal
- Blue-winged teal
- Harlequin duck
As you can see only two of the birds, the Mallard and the Harlequin Duck, make the list. My best assumption is that Han knew what ducks were and weren’t eligible, and chose to illustrate the Spot-billed and Wood ducks as a means of practicing his craft.
Also worth mentioning is that this year’s winner was actually a Canada Goose! In fact all three winners featured geese, with first and third place being Canada Geese and second being snagged by a Brant. You have to feel bad for the Northern Shoveler, Red-breasted Merganser, and Steller’s Eider, it looks like geese were the it-birds for 2016!