Tag Archives: Michael Patrick King

2 Broke Girls, S5E4 “And the Inside Out Situation”: A TV Review

insideout

As soon as I saw the promo pictures on the CBS website I began dreading this week’s episode of 2 Broke Girls. “And the Inside Out Situation” centres entirely around LGBT discrimination and political correctness, and let’s just say that the writers on this show have not exactly shown the tact of John Oliver and co. at Last Week Tonight or the biting satire of the South Park people.

From the very beginning things look rough, as the LGBT character they chose to put front and centre, I, introduces themselves:

“To be clear, I am neither he nor she, mister nor misses, male nor female. And the only part of me that is transitioning are my heels from day to evening. I am simply ‘I’. And I cannot be labelled. I am gender fluid.”

The issue with this is when the audience chooses [and/or is prompted] to laugh. After the first joke, the reference to heels, is a given. The second, on the other hand, comes right after I tells the two girls that they are gender fluid. Now this is a word that has garnered a good amount of negative connotations in the past few years, but that is problematic to say the least. Continue reading

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2 Broke Girls, S5E1 “And the Wrecking Ball”: A TV Review

wreckingball

Back like a bad rash, and this time on Thursday nights! That’s right, CBS has finally started airing the fifth season of 2 Broke Girls and not even the AV Club, who stopped reviewing the show midway through the second season, could ignore its momentous return to the television landscape.

When we last left our heroines at the culmination of Season 4 they were headed off to France for a much-needed vacation. More importantly, however, they realized they had been neglecting their dream of running their own cupcake business [mostly through apparel-related moneymaking schemes]. While they waited for their plane to begin taxiing down the runway Max turned to Caroline and confided:

“Well, partner, after all we’ve been through this year, whatever comes next I kinda feel ready for it.”

In this episode, scripted and directed by showrunner Michael Patrick King, we find that “whatever comes next” includes a rude tour guide who shares a name with yogourt [Dannon] and the threat of their little corner of Williamsburg being levelled to make way for an IMAX theatre. At least one of these two is a substantial hurdle to the success of their business, as the absence of a storefront would make selling cupcakes pretty difficult. Also the loss of the diner, ostensibly their primary source of income. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls And the Interview with Federico Dordei, Part 2 – Behind the Scenes at Stage 21

AT THE REQUEST OF FEDERICO DORDEI HIMSELF I HAVE TAKEN DOWN THIS ARTICLE. APOLOGIES TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN READING IT.

2 Broke Girls, S4E22 “And the Disappointing Unit”: A TV Review

disappointingunit

Here we are at last, presented with nearly twenty-two full minutes of television to cap off the fourth season of 2 Broke Girls and set the stage for the fifth. As I’ve pointed out in the past few weeks leading up to this one there is a lot riding on season finales, so it really pains me to say that this one does not deliver.

In my review of last season’s finale I listed off the momentous events that closed off the show’s first two years, which are as follows:

  • Season 1 –  they meet Martha Stewart, a gigantic leap forward when it comes to them opening their cupcake store
  • Season 2 – the decision is made to open a new store in a hidden room adjacent to the rest of the diner [given their old location having a car in one wall]

I also noted the way that that particular season ended:

  • Season 3 – Max passes a US History final and gets her GED

Which, let’s all be fair, is and was not the biggest deal. I mean, yes, it’s great that Max now has a high school diploma, but what does it mean for her and Caroline moving forward? Absolutely nothing, that’s what. This season’s finale does at least include both girls, but can unfortunately be summed up as:

  • Season 4 – Max and Caroline remember that they have a dream of their own, ie. their cupcake shop

That’s right, it dawns on them that they once had a plan to start their own business, a plotline that can actually be traced back to the very first season. What’s really jarring about this epiphany is that they’ve been in possession of their very own cupcake shop with its new storefront from the beginning of Season 3 to the end of Season 4. To have that fact in mind and then hear Caroline say that they “haven’t abandoned it, [they] just haven’t paid attention to it in three months” only makes it that much weirder. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S3E17 “And the Married Man Sleepover”: A TV Review

marriedman

I’m gonna be upfront with this review, the basic plot of this episode is a complete mess. There are too many threads that are technically connected to the main storyline but ultimately feel disjointed or are completely lost. All that being said, I’m going to sum up what happens in the next paragraph and then focus on two particular issues that were dealt with Monday night on CBS, from 8:30 to 9:00.

Essentially Caroline doesn’t want to have anything to do with Chef Nicolas, but he tells her that he and his wife have an open relationship. She and Max get their hair done, and then a Skype call with the wife confirms that she’s good to bang the Frenchman if she’d like. Caroline decides to go to dinner to turn him down, doesn’t, sleeps over, doesn’t sleep with him. The end. Continue reading

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.

onedolla

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.