When only four percent of scripted TV shows feature LGBT characters, what’s a gay girl to do? Why, strap on your gay goggles and watch TV along with us, of course! Our handy appraisal scale is better than any old letter grade. Other sites A+. We say, “What about our lezzy-lady feelings?”
Welcome fellow broke girls or not-broke-but-slumming-it-to-gain-street-cred girls. The new CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls featuring Kat Dennings as sarcastic, smartass Max and Beth Behrs as the recently turned poor little rich girl Caroline is an odd-couple comedy in the age of hipsters and Facebook. Long story slightly shorter, Beth’s dad pulled a Bernie Madoff, she went to work at the diner where Max is a waitress and now they room together. They’re trying to save up money to start a cupcake business based on Max’s love of baking.
And while there have heretofore been no gay ladies on the show, genuine gay ladies are involved with the show like friend of AfterEllen.com Liz Feldman and former Will & Grace writer Jhoni Marchinko, who also was behind the failed pilot for the new lesbian comedy I Hate That I Love You. So, you know, maybe we’ll get some lady action after all. Or, at the very least some subtext good enough for me to keep calling the show 2 Brokeback Girls. I mean, they have that damn horse – might as well go with it.
AFTERELLEN BAIT (What enticement did the episode use to reel in gay lady viewers?)
Kat’s waitress uniform is about two sizes too small. I am totally OK with that. Besides the, um, shapely attributes of its star, the show is one of the few new shows on TV that is guaranteed to pass the Bechdel Test week after week. While it’s one thing to create a show with a female lead, it’s another to allow her to actually interact with other women while talking about things other than men. The show shows Max and Caroline at work, at home, at the Goodwill – without the need to make them overly boy crazy. It’s refreshing. Also, have I mentioned that Kat’s uniform is about two sizes too small?
FEELINGS, FEELINGS, FEELINGS! (Did the episode give you a lot of feelings?)
I like this show more than maybe I should. Quite simply, seeing two funny, talented young women riff off each other makes me happy. Part of the big appeal of this show is the opposites-attract chemistry between Kat and Beth. Max’s dark cynicism and Carolines’s light incredulity just click together. And the show just makes me laugh.
Yes, there are some problems. The ethnic stereotypes border on that word that starts with the letter between Q and S. Some of the jokes have been unnecessarily low rent (horse poop, really?). And, come on, don’t get me started on the horse. How is Chestnut possibly getting enough exercise? How has no one noticed his presence in the middle of Brooklyn? How are they paying for his food when they can barely pay for their own food? So many questions.
BROKEBACK GIRLS (Did they ride off into the subtext sunset on Chestnut this week?)
Max extols the virtue of sensible shoes to Caroline. Max wears a plaid shirt. Max asks Caroline what her orgasm sounds like. Max tells Caroline to think of her “as a dude.” I think that accidental subway kiss from the premiere episode had a lasting impact. Also, Caroline’s little $5 booty shorts dance display for Max – twice? Saddle up, ladies.
FUNNY BUSINESS (What made us want to tip our waitresses for their hilarious service?)
This show is a series of one-liners built into a buddy comedy. How successful they are or not depends on delivery, timing and, you know, if it’s funny. The show’s been making a play for the Tumblr generation with its copious references to The Interwebs — Yelp in one episode, Facebook in this episode. Though I did quite enjoy Kat’s derisive use of the abbreviation “totes.” A duffle bag is not an adverb, people. What helps set the one-liners apart is Beth’s physical comedy. While she is essentially the show’s straight man, she has a nice zaniness to her physicality that complements Kat’s more deadpan line reading.
So, are you investing in 2 Broke Girls? What made you laugh? What fell flat? And seriously, what is up with the horse?
UPDATE: 2 Broke Girls was picked up for a full season today. So ride that subtext, cowgirls.