Even the worst comedies can have bright spots, and last night’s 2 Broke Girls was a rare moment of competency for a show happily pandering to the lowest common denominator. It still wasn’t funny – most of the humor remained either overtly desperate or borderline racist at times – but for once in the series, “And The Messy Purse Smackdown” executed its plot, and had a nice moment at the end that for once, felt like it was earned by the main characters. Problem is, even though it was one of the show’s better episodes, it was nearly overshadowed by the writers insistence on beating as many dead horses as possible with their jokes.
Seriously, I kept a list. Here are a few of 2 Broke Girls “biggest” jokes last night (and by that, I mean they featured the loudest and longest laugh track sound bytes): a joke about Wesley Snipes not paying taxes, followed by Chilean miners, followed by the entrance of Sophie (Jennifer Coolidge) making a Kim Kardashian joke, which she follows up with a joke about her loser boyfriend having a big dick. That painful stretch of episode alone (dealing with the B-plot of Oleg’s relationship with Sophie) nearly destroys anything positive the episode had going for it, and unfortunately, is a reminder of how generic and washed-up the show is willing to go with its jokes on a weekly basis.
Another thought: since when did the arrival of Jennifer Coolidge bring a massive round of applause? Are people in the audience that happy to hear bad jokes come from anybody’s mouth except the cast – or was there just a lot of Party Down and American Pie fans in the audience that week? Either way, Sophie is an embarrassingly bad character (who may have been on the show before, I stopped watching between episodes 8-20, and won’t waste my time catching up on them) whose speaks perfect English with a Russian accent – which makes no sense, considering the major differences in language, and her character’s assumed level of intelligence. Her Russian accent also sounds like she’s trying to make fun of mentally challenged people, and her comedic presence is wasted on poorly written, tired old jokes.
Take that entire B-plot out of the episode, and eliminate every single joke from beginning to end, and Max and Caroline’s tax adventures actually makes for a revealing interaction between Max and Caroline. For the first time, I felt like the two needed each other, instead of just existing together to make deprecating remarks to each other for a half-hour. Caroline also gets to display some oft-ignored intelligence, and the moment at the end where they triumphantly mail in Max’s tax return was a great little moment for the two of them (although it felt a bit abrupt when the episode ended right there). The show needs more episodes like this, where scenarios demand both of them to work together in order to grow as people and start building towards their dream of a cupcake shop.
It’s a little frustrating that “And The Messy Purse Smackdown” is the best the show can do. There’s some good Odd Couple-type chemistry between Dennings and Behrs, even if the writing does all it can to destroy their chemistry, and turn their dialogues into cringe-inducing exchanges of year old jokes. But at least for once, I finished an episode without feeling like I’d lost a small piece of my soul, a major accomplishment for any CBS program.
- I shit you not: I’ve seen people debating online whether the amount of money is correct, and what is missing, if anything is. Remember when people discussed philosophies about LOST? How far we’ve fallen…
- 2nd most painful scene: the exchange at the beginning between Earl and Han was again, abundantly racist, peddling jokes about the most generic of racial stereotypes. That shit is just unacceptable.
- worst joke: besides the black/Asian jokes, it would have to go to Caroline: “the only thing I’ve ever lost is my virginity.” They can write her character as being smart with taxes, but forever she will remain a stupid whore.
- hipster joke of the week: hipster tax accountants. HAHAHAHAHA… hipster jokes.
- what 11-year old is worried about a facelift? Oh wait, this is America.
anyone agree that “And The Messy Cupcake Smackdown” had somewhat of a coherent main plot? Think it’s the best comedy on TV, and I’m just a prick who likes to bash on TV shows? Feel free to leave your comments below: no 2 Broke Girls next week, so we’ll have to wait a bit before “And The Big Buttercream Breakthrough.” Darn.