2 Broke Girls: The Complete First SeasonOverview -
Max (Dennings), poor from birth, and Caroline (Behrs), born wealthy but down on her luck, wind up as waitresses in the same colorful Brooklyn diner and strike up an unlikely friendship that could lead to a successful business venture. All they need to do is come up with $250,000 in start-up expenses.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
Do you hate yourself? Are you a masochist hell-bent on your own destruction? Do you enjoy being beaten, abused, and left for dead? Then boy have I got a TV show for you! It's a "comedy" that will only make you cry. It is 24 episodes of pure comedic blasphemy. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present, '2 Broke Girls.'
Whitney Cummings hates you just as much as she hates laughing. The 2011 fall television season thrust upon us two, count them two, Cummings' helmed sitcom monstrosities. Over on NBC her self-titled 'Whitney' was a monstrosity of sitcom clichés. This is what I wrote in my short review of the pilot episode for The Bonus View: "‘Whitney’ is by far the worst sitcom to have premiered so far. What a waste of time this one is. Don’t even give it a second thought, because it just isn’t going to happen. It’ll never be funny. Never." '2 Broke Girls' isn't much better.
CBS is the channel where nothing makes sense. A show like 'Two and a Half Men' has been chugging along for a decade and somehow became one of the most successful sitcoms on TV. On CBS up is down; black is white. Which is why when '2 Broke Girls' got renewed for a second season, I really wasn't all that surprised.
This is your standard sitcom fare. Lame jokes that are set up by lame dialogue specifically written so there could be a punch line attached. The dialogue has that beat-beat-joke rhythm that has plagued the standard sitcom ever since the Huxtables were roaming the airwaves. Only these jokes aren't funny and are often far cruder than you'd expect from a network television show. Either way the show is a poor excuse for comedy.
Cummings, in her infinite sitcom creating wisdom thought up a completely original idea for '2 Broke Girls.' The odd couple format! Because we've definitely not seen that on TV before, right? Max (Kat Dennings) is a foul-mouthed, poor waitress who lives in Brooklyn and works at a dive of a diner. Caroline (Beth Behrs) is a wealthy socialite who has just had her family fortune confiscated by the government since her businessman father was involved in a huge Ponzi scheme.
This will work perfectly. We'll throw these two opposing characters together and see what happens. What a great idea. Caroline starts working at the diner, the two become friends, and pledge to start saving up for a cupcake business together. One of the many gimmicks of the show is the display of their savings total after every episode. They figure they need $250,000 to start their own cupcake business. At the end of the first season they've saved $927. Using some rudimentary math skills and my computer's handy calculator I just figured out that at this rate these girls will have earned enough money after 270 seasons of the show. Just let that sink in.
The worst part of the show though, isn't its lame jokes, its hackneyed sitcom shenanigans, or even its chintzy "Holy crap did they steal every leftover set on this show from a canceled 90s sitcom?" production vales; it's the show's overt and oft times ugly racist stereotyping. The two pretty white girls are surrounded by more ethnic stereotypes than I care to count. Han, the diner's manager, is a bubbly Asian man who loves technology and speaks like a cartoon from a World War II propaganda film (just to be clear the actor who plays Han, Matthew Moy, was born in San Francisco and speaks perfect English). The cashier at the diner is a black man named Earl (Garrett Morris) who is forced to sit back and watch the scene unfold, only piping up when he has something funny to say about being black. Finally, the cook in the diner, Oleg (Jonathan Kite), is a dirty Eastern European whose only responses to the two females are sexual harassment lawsuits waiting to happen. At no point did Whitney Cummings or any of the brains behind this show try to broaden the scope of their characters. Instead they turned the dial the other way and tied them down into the most racially insensitive depictions they could possibly think up.
I've already written far too many words about '2 Broke Girls,' a show that should have been canceled. This series is just terrible.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
This is a Warner Bros. release even though the show airs on CBS. The 24-episode season (each episode clocks in around 22 minutes or so) is contained on two 50GB Blu-ray Discs. They're packaged in a standard size keepcase that slips comfortably in an outer cardboard case. It's a region A release.
Given its standard sitcom origins, '2 Broke Girls' does give off a good enough 1080p presentation. I expected the show to be flat and lifeless on Blu-ray, since most multi-camera sitcoms appear that way on TV. It was nice to see that the show actually exhibited nice detail and some depth.
The show isn't as detailed as, say, a pristine 35mm print transferred to HD, but it does shine on its own merits. The picture has a lot of fine detail like the bumpy texture of the girls' awfully ugly waitress uniforms. You'll even notice plenty of scenes where you can see individual strands of hair flying away from the rest of the pack. Edges are crisp and distinct. Shadows are nicely delineated, providing believable dimension to the show. The HD quality does point out the rather fake-looking sitcom sets they've created for the show, especially any outdoor set that uses bricks. The bricks appear phony and foam looking, instead of realistic.
Colors pop. As much as I detest looking at their mustard-colored uniforms the yellow on them sure does leap off the screen. Dennings' dark red lipstick is another aspect of the show's color presentation that blossoms on screen. I wasn't expecting much from this video and got more than I bargained for. I might absolutely loathe the show, but I can't deny how good it looks on Blu-ray.
Damn this show's laugh-track. Damn it to hell. I really hate laugh-tracks. They're a leftover relic from a bygone television era, needless to say CBS loves to have them on every single sitcom they own. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix gives heavy consideration to all things laugh-track. Since the canned laughter pops up after just about every line of dialogue it soon takes over the sound stage and that's all you'll be able to hear.
Rear speakers are sparsely populate with sound (mostly laugh-track giggles), because all the action is front and center. Bass is only had during the show's annoying scene-change music. Overall the audio is annoyingly familiar (from a sitcom standpoint) and utterly forgettable.
- 2 Girls Going 4 Broke (HD, 14 min.)— This is a promo featurette that showcases the show's main cast and crew talking about characters, sexual innuendo, and the show's "appeal."
- Unaired Scenes (HD, 6 min.) — A collection of alternate jokes that weren't used in the show and were instead replaced with equally unfunny jokes.
'2 Broke Girls' is an affront to comedy. It treads the same ground over and over (I get it, hipsters are annoying but how many times are you going to tell the same reworded joke about knit hats over the course of 24 episodes?). The thought of this show lasting until these girls are able to scrounge up $250,000 is excruciating. This is a prime example of why CBS is practically the only network left running standard laugh-track addled sitcoms. Don't waste your time with this one no matter how much your friend tells you how funny it is. That friend also like 'Two and a Half Men,' and that's all you need to know about their taste in comedy.
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