Category Archives: television

Running the Race on The Bachelor [One Year Later]

Almost exactly a year ago today I wrote a little about race and my latest obsession at the time, ABC’s The Bachelor. At that point we were in the middle of its 20th season, which had the very affable Ben Higgins as the pearl of great price 28 women were striving to attain.

While both that show and its spinoff, The Bachelorette, have never had stellar track records as far as racial diversity, things came to a head when Jubilee Sharpe, the final Black contestant remaining, was eliminated on the first day of February [AKA Black History Month]. Cue soundbites from higher-ups that “[they’re] doing a whole lot of tweaks”. Not that that’s anything new, as a lengthy interview that NPR conducted with host Chris Harrison back in 2015 reveals they’ve long been aware of the issue, and that they want to do something about it. Harrison also used the exact words “we really tried” after surmising that a previous previous star was “1/16th Cherokee Indian”, if that’s any indication of what we might expect.

Those of you who follow both shows will be well-aware of the events that took place at the beginning of this week, but before I get into that I want to fill in the gaps between that last post and this one.

So, What Happened After Ben’s Season?

The cyclical nature of franchise means that the The Bachelor premieres every January, with The Bachelorette following not too long afterwards in May. ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee, the man who hinted at the “tweaks” up above, also told reporters at the time that:

“I’d be very surprised if ‘The Bachelorette’ in the summer isn’t diverse. I think that’s likely”

He also made reference to something called the “farm team”, which sounds, at least to this writer, like a pretty degrading term for the contestants featured on each season of The Bachelor or The BacheloretteVariety notes that the norm is for the next Bacheloron [a gender neutral term for the star of either program that I took from an article I’ll link to later] to be from the previous season’s “farm team”. With that in mind both fans and critics of the franchise saw the 12th season of The Bachelorette as the perfect opportunity to make that much-needed change. Continue reading

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2 Broke Girls, S6E16 “And the Tease Time”: A TV Review

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“When one pair of legs closes, another one opens.”

Or at least that’s what Polish Oprah says. I’d be careful about disagreeing with her, since critics are hanged by the neck until dead. It’s also the tactic that 2 Broke Girls appears to be taking, since I can’t remember a point when both Max and Caroline were in serious romantic relationships at the same time. One may have a brief fling while the other is dating, but that’s about the extent of it.

Larger ensemble comedies have likewise chosen to give select characters the spotlight re: significant others, but in this case the rest of the cast plays second fiddle to the duo at its core. The inability, or unwillingness, of the show’s writers’ room to allow both Max and Caroline date concurrently speaks to their narrow focus. One at a time; wait your turn, please.

To be fair this episode actually closes on the idea that they might be trying to make a change moving forward, so we should probably get to what actually happens-

Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S6E15 “And the Turtle Sense”: A TV Review

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Move over, 2 Broke GirlsSuperior Donuts owns the 9 PM Monday time slot now! The half hour delay of gratification for fans of the sitcom may have been frustrating, but it’s far from something to worry about. After all, it’s not like CBS has moved the show to Friday evenings, where programs go to die.

This week feels like things are back to basics, although the showrunners do try something new within that framework. What’s notable is the absence of an expected Sophie and Oleg B story, with the two narratives instead belonging to the title characters. That’s right, while we get our regular dose of Max we’re also treated to much more Caroline than usual! Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S6E14 “And the Emergency Contractor”: A TV Review

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First off, I want to apologize for the quality of the header image. As some of you may know I had to switch over to screencapping previews on YouTube some time ago due to CBS’s refusal to update the photo section of the 2 Broke Girls section of their website. Most have turned out okay, but this one is not very good. I really am sorry and will try to do better next time.

Yet another point I’ve touched on again and again is whether this is the last we’ll see of Ed Quinn’s Randy, and I think I can finally  say that this is the case. Unless, of course, the show’s ratings [which I’ve been keeping a close eye on] end up tanking 2 Broke Girls Season 7, in which case his return seems both inevitable and justified. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S6E12 “And the Riverboat Runs Through It”: A TV Review

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Context is always important. As far as the television landscape in the past two decades we have an expectation as viewers that the midseason finale, which typically airs right before the holidays, marks a significant moment ideally meant to draw the audience back in the new year. The problem with 2 Broke Girls, at least recently, is that being pushed around in the fall TV schedule has resulted in that episode not landing with the weight that it should.

Take Season 5 where the episode at the halfway mark, “And the Storytelling Show”, ends with the two girls heading out to Hollywood to sell the film rights to Caroline’s life story. That would have been a phenomenal way to wrap things up in late November or early December, but instead aired mid-February.

While likewise plagued with scheduling issues, Season 6’s 12th episode actually opens up with another “Previously on 2 Broke Girls“, establishing that the titular duo is in the middle of their quest to get Max and Randy back together. To be fair the last episode of 2015 did end with them plummeting towards the ground in a single engine aircraft, but it’s not like we ever thought they wouldn’t survive the experience. It’s difficult to blame the showrunners for just trying to roll with the punches, but decent pacing is a good way to keep people watching and hopefully buoy flagging ratings. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S6E11 “And the Planes, Fingers and Automobiles”: A TV Review

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2 Broke Girls is not exactly a show that I would call jet-setting, let alone, uh . . . taxi-setting. I mean, sure, they’ve gone off to Rhode Island and even Paris, but for the most part this is a sitcom that revolves around either The Williamsburg Diner or the recently renovated Dessert Bar. In this episode, however, the girls take a page from Sun Wukong and embark on their very own journey to the west [just look it up, it’s a great reference].

Despite Max’s sobering realization last week that things between her and Randy are officially donzo we open up, after what I believe is an unprecedented “Previously on 2 Broke Girls” segment, with her announcing that she’s off to LA to save their relationship. “And the Himmicane” marked a real low for the character, with half of the titular duo actively deluding herself that the breakup was in fact just a break. Watching “And the Planes, Fingers and Automobiles” I kept noting how much stronger Max appeared compared to the last time I saw her, but also observed that it was still in service to keeping things with Randy going.  Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S6E10 “And the Himmicane”: A TV Review

himmicane

First thing’s first, let me just say that I love the title of this episode. It’s just such a ridiculously simplistic play on words, but one that suggests at a number of entertaining possibilities. Or, at the very least, everyone’s favourite song by the appropriately named Weather Girls. That said , it’s with great sadness that I must reveal that “And the Himmicane” does not live up to those hints at greatness.

For one thing, there are absolutely no references to it precipitating male individuals. There’s also no plot that revolves around what’s a very fitting male alternative to “bridezilla”, a man whose very presence is a force of nature. No, the focus of this particular episode is Max’s relationship with Randy. And an actual hurricane as well, I guess. Continue reading