Is “2 Broke Girls” the new “Rizzoli & Isles?”


Is 2 Broke Girls the new Rizzoli & Isles? Now, stick with me. The freshman CBS sitcom features two attractive female leads who work together and seem to be polar opposites. The dark-haired one is working class and filled with quippy one liners. The light-haired one comes from money and is into high fashion. They’re rapidly becoming attached at the hip. And, oh yeah, they’ve already slept in the same bed. Sounds mighty familiar.

The female buddy show similarities end at occupation and intent, clearly. Rizzoli & Isles is about solving crimes; 2 Broke Girls is about trying to pay the rent, but already the show has pinged the mainstream media’s gaydar. New York magazine’s Vulture blog asked if “Are 2 Broke Girls’ Girls Actually a Will-They-Won’t-They Couple?”

When we first got the screener of 2 Broke Girls over at Vulture HQ, one of our staffers joked that this was a show that was going to inspire a lot of fan fiction. Two attractive women with excellent, spiky chemistry and a pony in one TV show? Heavy-breathing Sapphic fan fiction has sprung from less, much less…. But then came last night’s episode, in which subtext became manifest. Are Max and Caroline the fall’s new will-they-won’t-they couple?

Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say the show has the Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander magic just yet. The chemistry between Kat Dennings’ Max and Beth Behrs‘ Caroline is nowhere near Det. Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Isles levels. There has been a distinct lack of eye sex and overt flirting, though there has been some drunken Totally Gratuitous, Totally Gay Touching. Still these two could have potential. Gayzzoli-lite, perhaps.

And, heavens, has the show already laid on the sexual innuendo. Caroline tells Max to open the back door and she replies, “We’ve known each other for 2 days and you’re already asking for back door.” And then when Max’s cheating ex-boyfriend walks in on the two of them in the same bed, he suggests a threesome to which Max responds, “If I were gonna go lesbian, she’d be the last lez I’d be in.”

Right, so really (really, really) bad lesbian joke notwithstanding, Vulture says the 2 Broke Girls repartee is exactly these kinds of “strongly worded denial that the leads in a romantic comedy always make right before they fall in love.” In fact, if you go by the Rules of Romantic Comedy, this pair has already accomplished the first three steps. 1) Meet cute (at work, followed by a mishap with whipped cream), 2) Hate at First Sight (jaded poor girl dislikes spoiled society girl immediately), and 3) Bickering Endlessly (Max to Caroline: “When in doubt, I am always mocking you.”)

Yet when series co-creator Michael Patrick King spoke with during the TCAs in August, he said the two ladies wouldn’t have time to hook up.

They’re 22 and they have to pay the rent. They don’t have time for sexual fluidity at this point. They have to work!

Hey, sexual fluidity is free. So, you know, if you’re looking for a cheap recreational activity – look no further. Just saying. But while King shot down the subtext dreams for now, he said lesbians could still make an appearance on the show. As he said: “It takes place in Williamsburg. If a lesbian doesn’t come into the diner, something’s wrong!”

Also, one of the show’s writers is none other than friend of and super gay lady Liz Feldman, so perhaps she can get a little lesbian loving into the show after all.

So, is this series the stuff subtext fandoms are made of? Do Max and Caroline belong together? Are they anywhere close to gayzzoli? I’ll just be over here eating my poor people chips while you discuss.

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