Sunday, September 11, 2011

Review - 2 Broke Girls

At the PaleyFest Fall TV Preview Party for CBS last week, I was able to view the pilots for two of the network's new shows, the working girl sitcom 2 Broke Girls and the highly anticipated drama Person of Interest.


From executive producer Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) and co-creator Whitney Cummings (whose other sitcom Whitney premieres on NBC), 2 Broke Girls stars Kat Dennings as Max, a sassy, street-smart waitress/nanny, and Beth Behrs as Caroline, a privileged uptown girl who loses everything when her father is indicted and her assets are frozen.  Taking on her first job at a Brooklyn diner, Caroline is reluctantly taken under Max's wing, but the two become fast friends, end up rooming together and set out to raise $250,000 and establish a cupcake business.

I don't currently watch many sitcoms - I do seem to like CBS's shows, including How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory - but I have put this one on my list as one to check out.  I'm glad I did.  2 Broke Girls builds on a good foundation ... the Odd Couple scenario is tried and true when it comes to comedy. Its leading ladies are well cast and effectively deliver their dialogue and quips.  The writing is strong, but be prepared for a slew of pop culture references - at least half a dozen in the pilot episode alone, including Jersey Shore, Bravo and "Brangelina." So far it works.

The cast is a racially diverse one, including African-American Garrett Morris (Saturday Night Live) and Asian Matthew Moy (Scrubs). Unfortunately, their characters at the jump embody some of the less-flattering stereotypical traits of their races (attitudes, accents, etc), clearly shooting for the comedy, but it made me cringe a bit.  Will have to wait and see how they further develop.

I'm pleased that Caroline is more Ivanka Trump than Paris Hilton. The character is clearly intelligent, a graduate of Wharton business school, and has morals, resisting the skeevy advances of Max's boyfriend and immediately telling her new friend that she deserves better. It's a classy move and makes you root for her to be accepted and trusted by Max.

Max projects a tough, hard exterior, but you can see that she's going to soften up through her friendship with Caroline, a nice evolution worth watching throughout the season.  She in turn will help Caroline adjust to her new financial circumstances.  It's a setup reminiscent of the beginning of Friends, liken to the relationship between Rachel and Monica.  Not quite as funny as that premiere episode was - Friends' first season was near perfection in my book - but it's a promising start.

Each episode will seemingly be capped off with a tally of the girls' earnings as they strive for their quarter-million-dollar goal, a nice, signature touch.

2 Broke Girls is fast-paced, quippy, has two likable female leads and is definitely worth checking out.

Check back later for my review of Person of Interest ...

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