Tag Archives: Kramer

When Do We Forgive Celebrities?

We all screw up.

It’s a simple and inevitable fact of life. Some of us have a few, major blunders, others are stuck with a seemingly unending trail of little errors, but the point is, everyone makes mistakes.

We’re going to be grappling with that issue, so upfront I want to declare that nobody’s perfect.

Then again, not everyone has a racist meltdown in a crowded comedy club.

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2 Broke Girls, S2E20 “And the Big Hole”: A TV Review

andthebighole

The “big hole” in this episode is courtesy of Oleg, whose leg punches through the girls’ ceiling due to him and Sophie’s vigorous lovemaking. That’s probably too delicate a word to describe what was going on, I mean, they were using a bowling ball. Anyway, that’s the cold open for ya.

Since Sophie and Oleg’s excessively cacophonous copulation leads to Caroline losing sleep [she didn’t strap sponges to both ears and get smashed on booze like Max did] she is 20 minutes late to her shift at the diner, which starts the first real conflict I can remember between the girls and their boss, Han Lee.

Now, I am not a person who enjoys the jabs every single character on the show makes at Han. They constantly attack a) his height, or b) his sexuality, and both types of joke been done to death. I don’t know who thinks they’re funny, but the show’s writers seem to think we live and breathe the stuff. What I do love, and you know this if you’ve been reading these reviews, is when Han dishes it back as good as he gets it. It’s great to see him as more than just the show’s whipping boy, and Matthew Moy almost always nails the delivery.

So when Caroline finally shows up, makes excuses about having to take a nap before badmouthing the diner she works at, Han gets a little upset. He makes a remark at their shop closing, which is sort of in poor taste, but Caroline calls his establishment a “dumb diner,” and he pulls out the big guns. By firing her.

“Well at least my diner is still open and successful, whereas your cupcake shop was so dumb it failed.”

“Oh really, you quit? You must be dumber than my diner because I already fired you.”

Which leaves Caroline unemployed, a change I would have enjoyed more if Max hadn’t gotten her fired in the last episode. She waits in front of the apartment door [like a puppy] for Max to get home so she can start complaining about how unemployed she is. Then the girls head upstairs to return Sophie and Oleg’s sex bowling ball because we’ve gotta keep this episode moving.

Sophie answers the door roleplaying as Beyoncé, which was an image I did not need to see or want to write about. Upon hearing that Oleg was inside dressed as Jay-Z I fully admit that I expected him to be in blackface; this is not a show that has had a very good track record when it comes to race. Thankfully, he was not. The girls suggest that the two get their freak on at Oleg’s, and he worries, for some reason, that she’ll be disgusted by his place, an understandable sentiment if they weren’t already sleeping together. So Caroline offers to give his apartment a woman’s touch, for cash .

I spent actual time making this gif specifically for this blog, and you will appreciate it.

Subjectively, Oleg’s apartment is awesome. Sure, it has skeevy stuff like a sex swing and a sex chair and an anatomically correct “previously loved” sex doll, but it also has a sweet waterbed and some really awesome lighting courtesy of 1,500 tracer bulbs, most of which he tore out of the new Cineplex 14 on Queens. It’s got some good stuff going for it, is what I’m saying, and any logical person would assume that Sophie would be down with the whole deal. But Oleg thought it needed a bit of a change so of course Caroline wrecks it by covering it in beige.

Max realizes that she needs to get her friend her job back [the irony] and tells Han they should go get high and watch movies. In the most obvious plot twist since “they were planning a surprise party the entire time,” she gets both Han and Caroline into Oleg’s newly female-ready apartment to kiss and make up. Minutes later and they are hiding in a closet [cue joke about Han’s sexuality!] from Sophie and Oleg. Their hijinks crouched in a small space with a sex doll aside, we’re also able to witness another turn of events you all knew was coming, that Sophie was actually into the weird kinky sex stuff and “[likes Oleg] a little bit” for who he is! 

Then Han admits that he overreacted and hires Caroline again.

Also the Current Total ends at $205, because apparently Oleg paid Caroline the money to make his apartment look like it was inhabited by a 70-year-old woman.

I guess I should probably talk a little bit about the episode as a whole. Yes, everything turned out exactly the way you thought it would, but what I’m more concerned about is what happened between the characters. Han is the butt of every joke in every episode, and it is fantastic to see him sticking up for himself for once. That being said, it is disappointing to have things resolved on the basis that Caroline “makes everything prettier,” and that he misses her. Caroline apologizes too, of course, but I doubt this will put an end to their sassing the man who signs their paycheques . As I mentioned earlier, it is kind of really stupid for Max to be trying to get Caroline re-hired when she cost her a pretty decent office gig just last week; it’s illogical and thinking about it still makes me angry.

Two episodes away from the car crashing in through their cupcake store wall and we’re still left without any real direction, though Caroline insists that cupcakes are still the dream. We’ll continue to stick around and see  what happens, I guess.

Stray Observations:

  • Max makes a joke about asking Oleg to at least keep it in his apartment, and this one woman goes crazy. There’s this really loud high-pitched “WHOOOOOO!” and she is loving it
  • Han has dubbed his employee handbook “The Han-book,” which is, as he says, super adorable.
  •  So Max actually makes fun of CBS, their very own network, which was very . . . uh . . . I guess I’m gonna go with the age-old “Simpsons did it first.”
  • According to Oleg he has banged 1,684 women in that apartment. By the end of the 4th season of How I Met Your Mother Barney Stinson had only reached 200. I highly contest Oleg’s claim. I contest it so much.
  • Out Of Date Reference of the Episode: Sophie quotes the infamous Antoine Dodson “hide yo kids hide yo wives,” which went viral in 2010.
  • 2 Broke Girls Cheesecake Menu: Caroline is once again in her skimpy all-grey sleeping ensemble, while Sophie re-enters this section by dressing up as Sasha Fierce. Though I guess this is technically pre- that album since she kept singing bits of “Crazy In Love.”

2 Broke Girls, S2E19 “And the Temporary Distraction”: A TV Review

necessarydistraction

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been infinitely grateful for the two week break CBS decided to give the show; working had made it hard to write these on Monday nights. It couldn’t have come at a better time, either, since last episode worked great as a sort of midseason finale, the opportunity for the show to head in vastly different and mysterious directions.

Open up on the diner, Max cracking wise about Han’s sexuality. Enter the character who is making the diner’s manager feel strange things in the downstairs department, the androgynous-looking lesbian Max has dubbed “Tina the Turner” due to her penchant for converting straight girls. Caroline scoffs at her co-waitress’ warnings and teenage boys the world over hold their breath.

Then they let out a sigh of disappointment, because all Caroline does is unconsciously give up her number before we cut to opening credits.

The next morning both girls wake up and Max lets her roommate know that her old temp agency calls. This elicits Caroline lamenting their fall from being small business owners,  but we all know where this is headed. Some inconsequential Sophie-and-Oleg-burst-into-their-apartment shenanigans later and the two are in an office talking to a delightfully deadpan office drudge. The way she answers questions with “Lemme give you a f’instance” is pretty darn funny.

They watch a sexual harassment video which will be a key plot point later.

As you may have guessed, the conflict of the episode presents itself when Caroline turns out to be a person who actually does her work instead of watching funny cat videos, and is legitimately interested in advancing at the company, filling out an application for a Junior Executive Position. This worries Max, who has been baking cupcakes to make a little extra cash at the diner, and clearly hasn’t completely given up on their dream.

Caroline nabs the position in a really quick back and forth of “YES’s” and “NO’s” between Max, Caroline, Office Manager Eli Green, and some dude named Ryan [I mean Leon]. For some reason her promotion is reason for champagne, which leads me to believe that this is a company with money to spare. Caroline talks to the boss and gets Max the position of Junior Executive’s Executive Assistant.

Max ultimately declines, pretty upset that Caroline quite the cupcake biz. After hearing her excuse that their dream blew up in their face, she asserts that “Lots of things blow up in your face, that’s part of being a woman.” I felt like this was somehow weirdly sexist, until Max continued on and I realized it was an ejaculation joke. Then I knew it was weirdly sexist. End on emotional note with them talking about whether or not cupcakes were the actual temp job, and that maybe it’s good not to have a dream.

Then Max gets Caroline fired by claiming that she sexually harassed her, which puts her on my list of horrible television characters. The scene leads to some laughs, such as Caroline’s explanation that “[they] were drinking and [she] was pretending to be a man,” but ultimately left me wondering why Max was being awful. Her excuse ends up being that Caroline forgot her dream, and that even if she’s not down with starting up the business again she should at least wait before jumping at the first opportunity that comes along.

We end with Caroline declaring [to cupcake-withdrawal sufferer Sophie] that they are back in business. Max declares that they’re doing things differently this time, but doesn’t explain how.

I guess it’s time for a plot hole paragraph. To begin with, how has Caroline not gotten a job in an office prior to this? Yes, her father was convicted of embezzling, but she still went to Wharton, “the most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world.” She’s got the qualifications to land far better than a temp job, and we have to wonder why, before chasing the dream of Max’s Homemade Cupcakes became a thing, she wasn’t scouring offices all over NYC for a business position. It’s something that she clearly has a passion for, and it made me really think about how what Max did was a pretty big dick-move.

To end with, the final tally lies at $5.00, which I suppose we’re supposed to assume is from the cupcakes they’re selling at the diner. It’s also a 500% increase in funds, the largest financial jump the show has ever had, considering the last episode left them with a single dollar. The fact that the show has decided to have the two girls continue pursuing their cupcake shop dream was a pretty big letdown for me; the last episode set them up to do anything and this episode informed us we’re be back to more of the same. I understand that they don’t want to be waiting tables forever, but how about trying something new?

I was genuinely excited for 2 Broke Girls to come back, even if I wasn’t relishing writing these reviews [my Monday nights have been so free!]. Max and Caroline have returned to pursuing a dream I though they’d shelved when a car crashed into their storefront, and I guess the last five episodes of the season will reveal whether or not this new-old direction was the right one.

Stray Observations:

  • Max keeps her Temping Blazer in a big red bucket.
  • Caroline’s really embracing the “Broke Girl” lifestyle, talking about turning her underwear inside out instead of washing it and drinking way-too-old iced coffee.
  • Audience continues to mistake Sophie for Kramer.
  • Han is rapidly becoming one of my favourite characters on the show, with a fairly long speech addressing Caroline’s comment about wanting a workplace where her skills are valued and supported:

“Oh, are you not feeling supported here? I’m sorry, I’m a boss, not a bra. Should I praise you more? ‘Really killing it with the leaning on the counter doing nothing.’ Kudos, Caroline! Huzzah!”

  • Office Manager Eli Green displays some fairly obvious gay mannerisms, but is apparently straight judging by his admission to being accused of sexual harassment coupled with his desire to obtain one of Max’s butt photocopies.
  • 2 Broke Girls Cheesecake Menu: Got some skimpy morning wear on the nubile Ms. Channing; Caroline rubs at Max’s breasts after she spills some champagne on her good bucket blazer.

2 Broke Girls, S2E18 “And Not-So-Sweet Charity”: A TV Review

This is late because I work now, so sorry about that.

I feel like I have more to write about than usual this week [unfortunate, since I’m a little late to this review due to my having a job now], so let’s get right into it. To summarize this episode in a sentence, Max and Caroline have not been paying their rent and are being forced to sell their property to a real estate corporation; not wanting to do so the two go to Caroline’s makeup mogul Aunt Charity to ask for some . . . financial help.

The first topic I wanted to delve into a little bit was the show’s humour, not in how it chooses the easy route on almost every joke but how it seeks to push the bar in its content. For example: a semen joke eight seconds into the episode. Co-creator and executive producer Michael Patrick King said that he “[considers] our jokes really classy dirty [ . . . ] they’re high lowbrow.” While the show has largely steered away from the rampant rape jokes which cropped up multiple times per episode int he first season, they certainly haven’t stopped walking, and often crossing, the line between “classy dirty” and dirty.

Take Max’s joke about how bubblegum flavoured lip gloss [which was wearing when she had her first kiss] helped to get her an A in class. It’s no secret that her character has slept around a lot, for little to no reason, but hinting at a minor [I’m sure her first kiss was before the age of 18] locking lips with a teacher is uncomfortable at best. A few minutes later she likes a tube of lipstick to a dog penis.

“How much is too much?” is a question that Gordon and I discussed once in regards to stand-up comedy, and we came to the conclusion that edgy humour is only as good as what its meant to accomplish. In the case of 2 Broke Girls that’s apparently to elicit cheap laughter. As far as I can tell, I mean. This has never been a laugh-out-loud show, but it’s Max’s snarkiness [as overbearing as it is at times] and not her disregard in screening her sexual partners that drew me to her to begin with. 2 Broke Girls may be trying to brand itself as an edgy comedy à la Family Guy, but needs to ask itself if they can continue to counterbalance that with the heartfelt moments they’ve been trying to inject into the show.

As a final note on the show’s humour, Aunt Charity had the upper two layers of her skin removed to look two years younger, which actually made me queasy just looking at her. Physical gross-out humour may be something 2 Broke Girls is thinking about adding more regularly in stretching the limits, which is a decision I’m currently unsure about. After all, one of my favourite episodes was the eighth one of this season, where Caroline yanks a needle out of her arm and proceeds to spurt blood all over the walls of an egg donation clinic.

Finally on to what was the biggest moment for me. So I’ve been writing about what the point of the  “Current Total” and it’s accompanying ka-ching at the end of each episode for a while, so imagine my surprise when I saw it change so drastically in this episode.

Caroline coerces her aunt into signing over $25,000 to cover what the real estate corporation says they’ll need to keep the property, but finds out later that the cheque doesn’t clear because taking advantage of drug-addled relatives [Charity was on morphine lollipops to dull the pain of not having a face] isn’t exactly an ethical business practice. Then her and Max sign over the store.

All of the first season was leading up to “Max’s Homemade Cupcakes,” and suddenly we realize that the girls are starting over from scratch, especially since Max declares that they have just enough money to pay back everyone they’ve borrowed from. Soon after a little bit of curious greenscreen work in the windows behind Caroline’s head is explained when a car crashes through one of their walls. It looked pretty realistic, too.

The “New Total” leaves the girls with a single dollar to their names and us as an audienec wondering what exactly is next for them. This is a hard reboot of the status quo, though there are hints by both Charity and the real estate woman [who was deaf, by the way] that maybe starting out smaller is the way to go.

Whatever happens with the rest of this season, I have to give 2 Broke Girls my grudging respect for reigniting my interest and curiosity in the show.

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Stray Observations:

  • The audience was going bonkers over Sophie today, and she wasn’t even really doing anything. Maybe an exec decided to re-send the memo that she’s supposed to be this generation’s Kramer.
  • Han has been very into memes lately. “Ermahgerd!”
  • “It’s obvious! She’s obsessed with her brother and she saw your being born as his love being taken away from her.” Morphine lollipops make Max smarter. 
  • The greenscreening was particularly suspicious in that is showed an actual street outside their window, and was actually filmed against a wall I don’t think they ever showed prior to this episode. Which leads me to wonder if they’d planned a car crashing into it from the beginning, which I hesitate to believe if only because I don’t think they have that much foresight.
  • 2 Broke Girls Cheesecake Menu: I feel like CBS is forcing me to eat my words when I assumed that they were having the two girls show more skin to draw in viewers. Not much to report here, once again.