I mentioned not too long ago that chances are Season 6 of 2 Broke Girls will be 22 episodes. That means that “And the Alley-Oops” is the antepenultimate installment, and you would hope that at this point the showrunners would begin lining things up in preparation for the finale. Nope, this is just an episode about bowling.
Caroline and Bobby have some mild conflict, but even it describing it that way feels hyperbolic. Max is very much a footnote to the episode, and on the outskirts the rest of the diner gang get up to their own light shenanigans. In other words it’s pretty par for the course, as 2 Broke Girls has been lately, but at Episode 20 we should expect a little more.
All relationships have their share of secrets, big and small, and Bobby’s is [hilariously] that he likes to bowl. His confession is treated a lot like Zeke’s, from High School Musical, when the jock admits that he “likes to bake”. Initially reticent to share, Bobby understands the apparent stigma surrounding the sport and tells Caroline directly that “We can have separate things!”
The episode proceeds in a very formulaic fashion. Caroline’s disregards Bobby’s assurance and throws herself into supporting him and his team. Along the way she injures Frank, their star player, and then Max, who fills in with surprising ease [she used to be on a team in juvie, “The Girls Who Escaped When the Guards Took Us to the Bowling Alley”]. At which point Caroline must take her place to help them win the tournament, her first attempt being one of the few genuinely funny moments in the episode:
The one swerve introduced is after Caroline ends up pulling off a spare, with her second try knocking down all of the pins [complete with the theme from Chariots of Fire], it’s revealed that Max was the one who knocked them all down. It’s a pleasant surprise, to be sure, but not quite enough to offset the thoroughly predictable lead up to it.
What’s frustrating to me is how Bobby isn’t frustrated by the course of events. Her obnoxious cheering at the bowling alley doesn’t grate at his nerves, and her maiming Frank doesn’t lead to any sort of strong emotional reaction from him. They’re so confident that Max is going to win the game for them that it’s shocking he doesn’t explode at Caroline when she inadvertently takes her out of the game as well.
The fact of the matter is that sitcoms require some form of conflict. It’s not satisfying when the two reconcile, because their relationship was never really in jeopardy to begin with. While Modern Family is a far cry from the heights it once reached, one element they successfully pull off week after week is the embarrassment and shame that inevitably results when someone is proven wrong by a person they’re close to. There’s no biting back of pride with either Caroline or Bobby. He tells her that she’s “never coming here again,” but all it does is repeat his initial statement that they can have different things.
As a result there’s no real progression to their relationship. Max has spent a lot of time throwing her best friend under the bus for being boring and vanilla, but that actually seems to be the case for her and Bobby. If their relationship is what 2 Broke Girls is going to focus on in order to raise ratings I would advise an immediate course correction.
In other news, if Max isn’t going to be the centre of attention it looks like the show is going to fall back on her being the weird little Danny DeVito-y gremlin we last saw in the 16th episode. Again, I’m not trying to bodyshame or anything, but the direction apparently seems to be for Kat Dennings to hunch over and do little inhuman jigs.
As Bobby says, “what [she’s] doing now is very off-putting.”
Current Total: $6,922.14.
New Total: $7,836.72. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The Title Refers To: An accident [hence the “oops”] that takes place in a bowling alley. Does not refer to an offensive play in basketball where one player throws the ball near the basket for a teammate to catches in mid air and score with.
- The cold open features a drug-sniffing dog. Max tokes up not fifteen feet away and it does nothing.
- Oleg’s family won Family Feud in Ukraine. “…it takes intelligence to kill another family.”
- The diner gang calls Han a dumb baby and then mock his “giant potato head”. It’s really ugly teasing that wouldn’t feel out of place in earlier seasons.
- Sophie and Oleg bring little baby Barbara to the bowling alley as a means of stimulating her intellect. After all, it is a place full of “flashing lights and fist fights”.
- “Wow, a curtain on the sex booth? Classy place. They had the same thing on the sex booth where we voted.”
- Caroline knows what’s going on in Max’s room due to the sounds of the Sex Bell and Hand Stuff Buzzer.
- I’ve never seen 3 Men and a Baby, but-
This week’s feature is about ethics!
This Feature Is About Ethics
Frank is really dumb!
This is explicitly stated when Max says:
“Cute and dumb. Where have you been all my life?”
Frank actually confirms this when he discloses:
“Well, I was in high school for ten years.”
Frank is so dumb it’s heavily implied that he doesn’t understand sex, and therefore is unable to give consent!
That said, Max is going to work on that with him!