Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pilot Review: 2 Broke Girls

2 Broke Girls (CBS)
Premiered September 19 at 8:30pm

CBS is one of the only networks still in the business of traditional laugh track-accompanied sitcoms, some of which are actually funny. This latest effort pairs Kat Dennings of “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist” and “Thor” with relative unknown Beth Behrs as two disgruntled waitresses at a diner in Brooklyn. It makes sense that this show is on CBS, as it fits in perfectly with some of their other shows, with characters frequently making retorts to nearly everything that anyone else utters and plenty of double entendres that come close to crossing the line of what’s acceptable before 10pm on network television. Dennings in particular is fiercely committed to being witty and sardonic as Max every moment she appears on screen, and putting her with Behrs, whose newly broke and homeless rich girl Caroline is much more fun and three-dimensional than that character could have been. Separately, they are completely different people, but together, they represent the same kind of person: someone who would never be where she was if she had any other viable option, just trying to make it through each way as sarcastically as possible. I’ll admit that the horse scene goes a little far, but I like Caroline’s optimistic spirit, which plays well off of Max’s negative energy. This pilot features some funny moments, and I think that this show has great potential to become a reliable weekly sitcom, but it needs to make sure to let its characters grow and not always hold them back to the same stereotypes they are right now.

How will it work as a series? Setting the show in a diner makes it possible for a whole slew of colorful characters to happen in and make the lives of our two protagonists all the more entertaining. Their dynamic is also going to be the heart and soul of the show, and as it develops, they’ll become closer but equally at adds with each other, which should prove plenty enjoyable.
How long will it last? CBS tends to make long-running comedies, and launching this in their Monday night block means that they want it to succeed. Its tremendously successful first airing bodes well for its future, and it pairs well with "Two and a Half Men," which should give it what it takes to make it to a second season.

Pilot grade: B+


Richter Scale said...

Interesting that you liked this one, since you tend to be pretty harsh on CBS sitcoms (I remember you hated the pilot for The Big Bang Theory). I liked this one quite a bit myself, though I'm a bit underwhelmed with the supporting characters. I'm really interested in Max and Caroline and definitely want to see this relationship grow, but they need to do the same with the supporting characters (but hey, it took some time with Howard and Raj, so I'll give them some time). I'll keep watching this one, and yes, I hope they continue with these two characters because they are fascinating.

By the way, Abe, have you seen the new Two and a Half Men? I know you don't watch that show anymore, but I figured you might be interested in seeing it this one time as kind of a Pilot Review (now that Charlie Sheen is gone and Ashton Kutcher is here). The first part of the episode is kind of same-old Two and a Half Men, with all the characters saying goodbye to Charlie and with a lot of the jokes we already know, but once Ashton Kutcher is introduced (in a fantastic way!), we get to the possibilities of the new show and the new dynamic between him and Jon Cryer is something I'll be watching for. Walden Schmidt (Kutcher) is nothing like Charlie. It's an entirely new character and his scenes with Alan really made me laugh. I don't know if you'd be interested in giving it a try but let me know if you do (it's still Two and a Half Men, but this new character is a welcome breath of fresh air for a show that was growing stale).

Movies with Abe said...

As you know, my feelings on "The Big Bang Theory" have changed a bit. This one shows some promise, but we'll have to see if it pans out properly.

Funny you should ask about "Two and a Half Men" since I did purposely watch the premiere but ended up not reviewing it simply because I didn't have all that much to say. I was a huge proponent of the show back in year one - and even a bit later than that - before it was getting all the recognition and hype. At some point, possibly when Jake started to grow up, it took a bit of a dive, and it's only then that it started getting nominations and awards. I don't think Kutcher is a particularly good actor, but I will say that his introduction and reason for existing on the show made a decent amount of sense. I'm not committed to the idea of sticking around, but I may just tune in next week to see where they're taking it. If I keep watching for a few weeks, I'll start reviewing it, but I'm not so sure I will.