It’s weird to type the words “home stretch” without having my mind wander to how the the Raptors are doing in the NBA playoffs. To stick with illustrations involving my hometown’s professional sports team it doesn’t matter if the Raps beat the Miami Heat tonight, tying things up 1-1, since the goal is actually [and I’ll admit, implausibly] winning the entire thing. In a similar fashion it doesn’t actually matter if 2 Broke Girls delivered a spectacular episode or crashed and burned comedically [as per usual, it landed somewhere in the middle] since it’s the season finale that will [or won’t] draw audiences back this fall.
Choosing not to waste time on filler like last week’s episode, “And the Ten Inches” begins to actually move forward with the Dessert Bar idea that Max came up with four episodes ago. Construction is actually underway on what was once Max’s Homemade Cupcakes, with their first hiccup being that there’s definitely not enough room for both the bar and seating [more on that in “The Title Refers To” section below]. Continue reading
Posted in Comedy, review, television, writing
Tagged 2 Broke Girls, And the Ten Inches, Angie, Beth Behrs, boyfriend, Caroline, CBS, conflict, Dessert Bar, Ed Quinn, high school reunion, Italian, Kat Dennings, Lisa Lampanelli, Max, Oleg, pregnant, Randy, review, S5E21, Sophie
Cue the 7th episode of 2 Broke Girls featuring Ed Quinn’s Randy and I’m feeling a lot less gracious than I was last week. While that installment focused on just how far Max’s boyfriend would go to prove his devotion to her [entering her apartment and stepping on the dangerous Nail Patrick Harris, for one] this week chooses to, well . . . do more of the same.
I actually spelled out in that review what typically happens with Max’s romantic partners, i.e. that: “as she grows closer to them the increased intimacy makes her uncomfortable, causing her to want to pull away.” While earlier episodes have revealed that Randy is just in town for the month he reveals to both girls that he’s actually considering becoming a partner at one of the law firms in the city.
This is obviously a huge step, him looking to actually work and live in NYC full-time, and as a result Max takes some drastic action. Or rather, her body does. Continue reading
Posted in Comedy, food, relationships, review, television, writing
Tagged 2 Broke Girls, And the Partnership Hits the Fan, Beak, Beth Behrs, boyfriend, Caroline, CBS, Ed Quinn, Kat Dennings, Max, ortolan bunting bird, Randy, relationships, review, S5E20, throw up, Tiny poached noisy scrub bird with fiddle ferns and fermented egg, vomit
Readers, I want you to picture me.
It’s 10:30 on a Monday, a metric ****-ton past my deadline for this post. I’m weary from a hard day of work (plus overtime). I’m mentally wiped after my past three attempts at creating a post have resulted in thousand word essays, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. And in these times, I turn to the near-infinite bounty of the internet for inspiration, and lo and behold readers the internet hath provided:
Image retrieved from Imgur, fair use
That’s right- it’s a picture of Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, from the upcoming Netflix show A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Because they’re doing that.
Yeah, I’m going nuts here too.
Now I enjoyed the hell out of the books, which were impeccably written (“impeccably written” being a Danish term meaning “the best thing ever”). I thought the 2004 movie adaptation was fascinating, funny, and as faithful a take as could be done in the space of two hours.
There are two kinds of people in the world. People who will say that they want this house, and liars.
That said, I am pumped for the series, and absolutely loving the idea of finally seeing NHP as a villain (yeah, I saw Gone Girl, but I’m not counting that one). And did I mention that the voice of Lemony Snickett will be conveyed to us in the dulcet tones of Patrick Warburton?
Well that’s happening too.
Posted in bizarreness, celebrity, film, literature, television
Tagged 2004, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Aasif Mandvi, adaptation, Count Olaf, Daniel Handler, Lemony Snickett, literature, movie, Neil Patrick Harris, netflix, NPH, Patrick Warburton, Uncle Monty
The culture war is a conversation.
While it is ultimately a conflict, more often than not this takes the form of ideas and criticism being slung back and forth across the trenches. To be heard is a minor success, but to be actually understood is victory.
Within this conversation it’s undoubtedly artists, especially those who have garnered celebrity status, who have the most powerful voices.
In 2014 the eponymous host of The Colbert Report featured a segment on his show about “The Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever”. Given his popularity it reached far and wide, and was eventually viewed by a Twitter activist who created the hashtag #CancelColbert in response.
As it was meant to call attention to and ridicule the outrageous fact that a national sports team is named after an ethnic slur the response was out of line. It was a classic case of [obvious] satire being taken the wrong way, but by inadvertently contributing to what has been dubbed “a fake year of outrage’ this person’s misstep resulted in others who campaign for better representation and the like being worse than silenced, which is to say, ignored.
Despite calling out from what is ostensibly the same side, the misstep of a single loud voice meant that others were unheard.
The exchange between artist and critic is rarely ever an even one, and only becomes more difficult given the sensitivity surrounding such personal creative endeavours.
Lena Dunham is the star and creator of HBO’s Girls, and received enough disapproval about the lack of diversity in a show set in New York City that she was asked about it by NPR. She responded that “[she takes] that criticism very seriously,” and that very same year had Donald Glover playing Hannah’s Black boyfriend on the show.
While the presence of Sandy on the dramedy was a beneficial one, with arguments between the two capturing the tension that can be present in interracial relationships [including such exchanges as: “I never thought about the fact that you were black once.” / “That’s insane. You should, because that’s what I am.”], Glover’s character faltered in that he was very much a response to criticism. Continue reading
Posted in art, celebrity, Comedy, communication, race, television, writing
Tagged #CancelColbert, activist, apology, art, asian, Asian-American, comedy, conversation, criticism, critics, Culture War, Ghost In The Shell, Girls, Kimmy Goes to a Play!, Kimono You Didn't, Lena Dunham, netflix, offence, outrage, race, racism, rape, Respectful Asian Portrayals in Entertainment, Scarlett Johannson, Tina Fey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, voice, whitewashing, yellowface
What do we want out of Randy? This week marks the sixth episode he’s been around, and within that time he’s already broken up with Max and travelled across the country for her. Neither are insignificant events by any means, and even starring in that many episodes is a feat in and of itself [Austin Falk’s faux-Irish Nashit was only in four last season]. That being said the question still remains-
The 2 Broke Girls showrunners don’t appear to have any interest in either Max or Caroline entering into a long-term relationship, so let’s assume that Randy will eventually exit the show. Besides simply being entertaining, which is and should be the baseline expectation with sitcoms, there has to be more to the men who step in and out of the girls’ lives.
Initially Ed Quinn’s character followed the same arc that Max’s past boyfriends have: as she grows closer to them the increased intimacy makes her uncomfortable, causing her to want to pull away. This week appears to have left that far behind with a casual exchange of “I love you”, and in spite of being a realistically healthy thing stable relationships do not equate to good television. While their “first fight” doesn’t amount to much, it’s the basis for it that could make Randy one of the most interesting addition to the 2 Broke Girls cast. Continue reading
Posted in Comedy, relationships, review, television, writing
Tagged 2 Broke Girls, And the Attack of the Killer Apartment, apartment, Beth Behrs, boyfriend, Caroline, CBS, Ed Quinn, Kat Dennings, landlord, Max, Nail Patrick Harris, Randy, relationships, review, S5E19
This is a weird, random, and controversial thought, but….
I wonder if this consistent pattern of replacing Asian characters with White actors (even with more and more Asian actors getting more screen time [at least on TV] and all these articles highlighting whitewashing) is a subtle and unconscious battle of cultural and racial dominance? If it stems from a fear-based place of “if you put more Asians as leads in mainstream, worldwide entertainment, then it removes some of the cultural dominance of the status quo”.
I’m really not trying to bash White people, but you really can’t argue that White people overall have more privileges than any other race. And White men are the heads and execs at basically every major company in Europe and North America. And in entertainment, which has major worldwide influence, White people and predominately men are the execs, directors, writers, producers, and agents. Ironically, they welcome foreign money with open arms from Chinese to Middle Eastern investors.
Asians, population-wise, are more than 50% of the world; China and India have enormous populations with a lot of spending power. Asian countries have created very popular forms of entertainment with anime, manga, and video games. They frequently feature characters of Asian descent. Japan has always been a powerhouse country, but their status as an Axis power in World War II has set them up historically as a bad guy. Then their strength in electronics and cars in the 90’s set them up as the “competition” (i.e. not American and not us). And Chinese is ALWAYS the bad guy in the news. “We can’t have factories in China. The Chinese are gonna take over.” There’s a history of US vs THEM. Besides the military, the only industry of world dominance that White America has complete control over is the entertainment industry. American movies make so much internationally. Ironically, the US entertainment industry depends on the income from the foreign markets, but cater very little to their populations by representing them on screen. They know that the foreign populations will come see their movies no matter what, because they aren’t doing huge budget CGI movies where they are. Continue reading
Posted in America, art, Asia, film, Guest Post, race, television
Tagged actors, Asia, asian, casting, characters, China, Chinese, cultural dominance, entertainment, film, guest post, industry, race, racism, success, us vs. them, white, whitewashing
So apart from Max heckling customers, which the show hasn’t used to grace a cold open in quite some time, and every character besides Han poking fun at the diner’s general hygiene, the typical setting of 2 Broke Girls has rarely been a source of specific humour in the way, say, Sacred Heart hospital was on Scrubs, et cetera. We generally know it’s a dump, but the joke doesn’t extend far beyond that.
Honestly, I didn’t even know what I was missing until I got a taste of it [pun only somewhat intended].
It all begins with Oleg calling out that a “tuna malt” is ready to be served, which is honestly such a ludicrous miscommunication that I couldn’t help but smile.
In addition to that there’s the blackboard of specials, which Max’s atrocious handwriting has turned into a list of food that is . . . well, not as special as Han would probably like. They feature such dishes as “Sloppy Jobs”-
-and “Pork Chips”-
-and while the characters kind of run them into the ground a little, they’re all pretty entertaining. Just having it say “desert” instead of “dessert” is funny, especially given that no one makes note of it. The Williamsburg Diner may be a disgusting establishment, but it’s nice to see that it can also be a place where incompetence is present in the food preparation and signage as well.
As for the actual episode itself, Ed Quinn’s Randy is back! I don’t mean to keep harping on how Max’s relationship with him had its parallels with her dating Deke, but this just proves how much the show is shying away from that approach. Not only did their breakup have a resolution, it turns out it wasn’t really the end! He’s back in New York and looking to start a little something. To skip to the end with this particular arc, after Caroline expresses enough concern to actually grill him in a mock trial he admits that he’s committing to staying in the city for one month to try to make things work. A surprising turn of events to be sure.
As for the rest of the episode, Caroline’s movie money finally comes in and the two girls decide to make their Dessert Bar a reality. This means finding some real estate as Han won’t let them expand their cupcake shop into the dish room. Not willing to leave them in the lurch, their boss decides to connect them with Evie [Camille Chen], a realtor who apparently digs him.
Now, this is something I could cover in-depth down below under the “The Title Refers To” feature, but I’ll do it now. Essentially Evie wants to remain a virgin until marriage, but wants to have sex anyway. Now I hate to say it [and to use a slightly NSFW gif after the jump you’ve been warned], but this is actually something that generally terrible show House of Lies did in its episode “Bareback Town”, and that it did pretty well- Continue reading
Posted in Asia, Comedy, race, review, sex, television, writing
Tagged 2 Broke Girls, anal, And the Loophole, asian, Beth Behrs, Camille Chen, Caroline, CBS, Dessert Bar, diner, Evie, House of Lies, Kat Dennings, Korean, Max, pork chip, racist, Randy, review, S5E18, sloppy job, Sophie, specials, tuna malt, what did Evie say