2 Broke Girls: 2 Bad 2 Watch

I watched 2 Broke Girls last night with what I felt were managed expectations. The show was co-created by a woman, but that woman is Whitney Cummings (who, with the addition of her show Whitney, may be responsible for this season’s network sitcoms being schlockier than ever). The show is about a female friendship, but the premise is really trite and predictable. The show stars Kat Dennings (whom I like), but it is also really bad.

the stars of 2 Broke Girls wearing waitress uniforms
I agree. These uniforms ARE a visual representation of the tired stereotypes that permeate our show!

Very briefly, the show is about a naive, pretty, formerly rich girl (Beth Behrs as Caroline) and a poor, tough-talking, mean-spirited girl (Kat Dennings as Max) who work at a confusing diner in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. (Why is the place sometimes packed with young hipsters and other times no one is in there?) Because it’s a formulaic sitcom—with a laugh track, no less—circumstances make it so that the two women end up living together. Oh, and *spoiler alert* they get a HORSE. To live at their apartment in Williamsburg. As you do.

What irritated me more than the tired format, pacing, and plot (this feels like a show that would’ve aired 20 years ago except for the sex talk) were the tired stereotypes, dialogue, and off-color jokes. The black guy is a jive-talking old timer, the Asian guy speaks in broken English (played for laughs, obvs), and the “foreign” guy (country of origin unknown) is a dirty horndog. At least there are people of color on screen? Ugh. Oh, and in case that wasn’t enough to put you off of the show, rape jokes abound.

While I’ve been looking forward to this fall TV season because of all of the women-created fare, I don’t like the idea that a show that peppers its script with vagina references and punchlines about sexual assault is progressive just because it’s about and by females. The only progress I see is that this show is called 2 Broke Girls instead of 2 Broke Guys, and that’s certainly not enough to get me to watch next week’s episode.

Previously: We’re All Mad Here: Main Characters, Pop Pedestal: Amber Holt from Parenthood

by Kelsey Wallace
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Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

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10 Comments Have Been Posted


It looked absolutely abominable from the promos, and those didn't even have rape jokes. I'm glad I skipped this - and selfishly, I'm glad you watched it so I didn't have to. :P Vindication. I'll just sit here and wait patiently for new episodes of The Office and the Big Bang Theory.

It's almost as if someone at

It's almost as if someone at the show thought "Well, if we're going to make a show by and about women, let's at least be sure to throw someone under the bus as much as possible. How about All Non-White People, Ever?" The show ACTUALLY has a Magical Negro character. Like. Right now, in 2011. And he was the only male character who didn't seem stupid, desperate and/or completely loathsome. Do we have to make men look like complete idiots to build female protagonists up?

I had really wanted to like this (and Whitney, and The New Girl), but, damn.

Maybe it'll get better as the season progresses, though.

Thanks for taking the bullet for us

I too avoided the show, because I don't have cable TV, but am disappointed that this is a show that hypes female creativity only to pander to worn out tropes. If the masses can't stomach a show with witty, empowering scripts, then perhaps we're better off sticking to our independent shows and movies. No need to reinforce the idea that women are predictable creatures with only a few uses, I think we got that message. Back to the drawing board, ladies!

Wanted: funny women on TV

Has anyone watched Whitney yet? I have. Only the pilot, but it was stupid enough for me to never watch another episode, unless of course I am stoned and can not find the remote and I happen to be on that channel... which happens every now and then, but I am usually lucky to be stuck on TLC when a there is a show on about midgets.

Anywho - not funny. she tries to be shocking and progressive but she is kind of an idiot and a little over the top. I will be sure to avoid 2 Broke Girls, now knowing who is responsible.

On another note, the New Girl on FOX is kind of cute with Zooey Deschanel. I love that girl because she is so likeable except I hate that her hair is always perfect and effortless. Ho Hum.

Not yet...

I haven't watched Whitney yet, but the interviews she's been giving and the clips I've seen so far have me dreading it. I agree with you on <em>The New Girl</em>—it was better than I thought it would be! We discussed it on last week's Popaganda if you're interested in hearing a little more: http://bitchmagazine.org/post/bitch-popaganda-the-cheesy-beefcake-edition

FYI: The word "midget" is not the preferred term for most people with dwarfism (more here: http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2009/07/16/m_word).



I wasn't going to watch this anyway (primetime TV and I have not been friends for a long time), but now that I know Whitney Cummings is behind it, I'll stay even farther away. I had never heard of her, but was immediately grossed out by the commercial for "Whitney" where she suggests that men like the "silent treatment" and to *really* stick it to a guy you're mad at, you should talk a lot. Because, you know, women talking is AWFUL amirite?? I wanted to punch her through the TV. I just can't get behind women acting like sexist assholes and declaring it "progressive." It's not. Doing that just tells me you're not actually funny.

Whitney Cummings and 2 Broke Girls ... not for me.

I watched her on Comedy Central once and found her to be quite unfunny as a comedian. I rank her right with the also un-funny Olivia Munn (I want her off the Daily Show). So far, the only new program I have any care about for this season is "Up All Night" and I am not a parent! I found it genuinely funny. I'd rather watch Roseanne reruns than this mess of tired old stereotypes parading on my TV screen. Couldn't agree more.

I'm only familiar with

I'm only familiar with Whitney Cummings from a random Netflix stream-surfing moment. After half-watching her stand-up routine I remember thinking "people are still making jokes about men leaving the toilet seat up?" As much as I'd love to support women in their creative efforts, especially in a tough market like TV comedy, I hate to see them succumb to the comfort of clichés. I don't expect TV entertainment to be groundbreaking nor educational, but it's disappointing to see that the majority of the TV shows targeting women underestimate their audience's ability to appreciate the complexity of human nature. This stems directly from the stations' elitist point-of-view that the majority of America watches junk TV *because* they cannot process anything more cerebral.

I think the rise of lowbrow reality TV is not necessarily due to the "reality" element, but it's the complexity of its characters that helps people identify with what they are watching. Reality TV requires some emotional investment, which cannot happen without the characters igniting a spark in the viewer. If other TV shows are failing to capture women audience's attention, it's not because they have plebeian tastes, but because the character depth of TV heroines are dwarfed by the vast diversity of life experience American women posses.

Reality check

Although I have not seen this program I can imagine that it will be the lighter, funnier side of the reality of being broke.
Sure being broke can build character, but read "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America" written by Barbara Ehrenreich as a balance to the Hollywood version. This book reveals the dirty underside faced by the working poor.


I've been watching 2 broke girls, since the pilot. at first I thought that Kat D. character Max was saying things we all think but are to polite to say,but more and more she is just comeing off as bi*#-. I loved her performance in the thor movie, and I wanted/want to like this show but now 2BG has become an endless parade of stereo types jokes that just aren't funny. I would like to see guy on the show that isnt a D-bag eg Maxs on and off again love intrest. This show needs better writers. And the actress who plays carolina does a horrible job of timeing her lines to bulid the joke more often times and not she kills the joke. this is just the way I feel and I will not apologize, this shows not as bad as big bang theory but it's getting there. and whenever they need a rateing boost they just show more of Maxs cleveage if you think I'm joking watch the season finale. not a bad technique to keep a bad show on the air for 1 more season.

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