Monday, September 19, 2011

Series Premiere: 2 BROKE GIRLS

2 Broke Girls
Where: CBS
When: Mondays @ 8:30PM

Tonight was the first big night of premieres for the new fall season, and I'm going to attempt to review a handful of pilots that I feel inclined to watch. Maybe even a few that I'm reluctant to see. (a few have even been added before this entry to coincide with their premiere dates...)

First show that I cued up just happened to be "2 Broke Girls" - one of two sitcoms created by comedian Whitney Cummings (the other one being "Whitney" on NBC.) Other than the fact that the charming and sardonically funny Kat Dennings was one of the 2 broke girls... I didn't know anything about it before tuning in.

The story centers around a sarcasm-addict named Max (Dennings), who takes her waitress job at an inner-city diner very seriously - so seriously, in fact, she very clearly appears to be the most competent person to ever set foot in the place. And she works hard to remind everyone of that. The inciting moment comes when, despite Max' protests, another waitress gets brought in to carry some of the load.

Unfortunately for Max, this "experienced" waitress turns out to be a disgraced socialite, Caroline (the stunning Beth Behrs), who is now struggling with the realities of being broke in her once pearly white, diamond-encrusted world. After a bit of feigned sympathy, Max realizes she has the power to help the pathetically clueless Caroline, and invites her to live in her run-down - and unrealistically massive (ahh, sitcoms) - apartment.

What surprised me most about the show was not that it was funny. Dennings and Behrs have bubbly chemistry, and their differences only enhance the situational humor between them. So that wasn't a shock. What was shocking was just how DIRRTY the jokes were! "Cum" and dry vagina jokes within the first 3 minutes? A woman getting wildly and loudly screwed before the opening credits even roll?

Maybe I underestimated you, CBS. Smart, filthy, and clever. Well played. For now.

Hopefully it doesn't get too shlock-y. Towards the end of the pilot, there was a feeling of JOKE SET-UP, punchline. JOKE SET-UP, punchline... Almost giving up on making it feel organic at all (this is my major concern for NBC's new comedy "Whitney"... but we'll get to that when it actually airs.) However, any lines that seemed forced were smoothed out by the two leads, who were immediately engaging and clearly sharp-witted - it gives the comedy more depth and weight than it may deserve.

I will be returning to this show, for sure. The premise seems sustainable and straight-forward (Can 2 broke girls find a way to crawl out of their financial holes?), and if they maintain the dynamic, I'm 100% on board.

Oh, and word of advice for the show: don't litter too many 1-dimensional side characters in there (who the hell was that uptown, rich-bitch mom?? I didn't get that at all!) You don't need it. You've got solid leads. Work on building up some equally dynamic characters around them.

***/4 stars

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