Tough Times for 2 Broke Girls
- Tuesday, October 11, 2011
In 1976, ABC introduced viewers to Laverne & Shirley, a TV comedy starring two single women who worked dead-end jobs and chased their dreams on the side.
The show ran a good seven seasons, and is considered by many as a prime example of classic television. Now, in 2011, CBS is attempting to put a modern spin on the old classic with its latest comedy 2 Broke Girls, but so far their success looks doubtful.
Set in Brooklyn, 2 Broke Girls follows the lives of two young waitresses working at a local diner. Max (Kat Dennings) is a sassy, streetwise girl from a poor working-class family, while Caroline (Beth Behrs) is a Manhattan socialite who finds herself penniless after her father is arrested for operating a Ponzi scheme.
Though the two girls clash initially, they eventually become good friends, and on Caroline's urging, they begin working toward their dream of one day opening a cupcake shop (which will cost them approximately $250,000). Each episode chronicles their adventures as the two girls search for ways to make ends meet, and concludes with a running tally of their savings thus far.
On paper the show sounds like an instant hit, and admittedly, 2 Broke Girls does find ways to grab your attention. Easily, the shows biggest strength is Kat Dennings, who owns her role as the cynical and sarcastic Max. Her magnetism is what drives each episode, and she's not afraid to play with her "tough on the outside, sweet on the inside" persona.
Furthermore, with the economy going bad and the American Dream moving farther out of reach, a show about blue collar underdogs is certainly something an American audience can relate to.
Unfortunately, the rest of the cast is less successful in their performances than Dennings. Beth Behrs, as the naïve and ditsy Caroline, comes off more frustrating than lovable. In fact, some viewers may start wondering why Max even bothers to keep her around at all.
Others, like Matthew Moy and Jonathan Kite (who play Asian restaurant manager Han and Russian cook Oleg respectively) simply play to their stereotypes and will leave the audience feeling annoyed.
The show also struggles with forced jokes, and the situational humor it applies often comes off more awkward then funny. As a result, 2 Broke Girls has started to rely heavily on crude laughs to pick up the slack, but it's a move that could end up alienating some of its audience.
Worst of all though is that the CBS comedy has recently found itself competing against the new Fox drama Terra Nova in its Monday night timeslot. With such heavy competition for viewers, this fledgling comedy could be in trouble.
In the end, 2 Broke Girls does have some potential, but Dennings can't carry the show forever. If it hopes to survive to a second season, this new comedy will undoubtedly need some bigger tips.
*Watch 2 Broke Girls Mondays on CBS
**2 Broke Girls is Rated TV-14 for suggestive dialogue and coarse language
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