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3 stars, Comedy, Reviews

2 Broke Girls S1, E1: “Pilot”

From the opening line of “Stop looking at my boobs!” it was clear that 2 Broke Girls was going to be littered with the kind of sexual jokes that instantly makes it the female answer to Two and a Half Men (hey they even have similar titles!).

In the opening sequence alone were are presented with a Russian waitress supposedly having sex in a diner storeroom (“She’s coming”) and an interaction between a waitress and customer resulting in the line: “dries up my vagina”. The show did attempt a stint at relevancy with a couple of pop culture references, but ultimately they fell flat (linking knit hats to Coldplay was simply not that clever). Admittedly Caroline’s response to whether she had met Paris Hilton (is she still around?) was kinda funny: “No, she’s like a hundred”, but that was about it. Oh, there was also a lame stereotypical reference to the Asian diner manager changing his name to “Bryce Lee”. By far the most cringe-worthy moment of the episode came from Caroline proclaiming that she thought she was “being raped” when Max awoke her on the subway – and that’s including the unoriginal line of “Oh my god, you’ve been robbed” when she first sees Max’s dumpy apartment..

Character-wise, Caroline (played by Beth Behrs) surprised me by not being near the Paris Hilton/Barbie clone she easily could have been. We learn a bit of her (surprisingly intellectual) back-story: she attended Wharton Business School and achieved a 2,300 on her SAT’s. Behrs did a better job than her acting CV suggests (a starring role in the 2009 direct-to-video American Pie Presents: The Book of Love), though you couldn’t call it a captivating performance. There were, however, several quality moments, namely when she pulls out a fistful of dollars she has earned by over-charging for cupcakes and her genuine desire and willingness to share herself with Max (“we have a horse”) was quite a touching moment.

Despite the strong leads, the minor characters were one-dimensional stereotypes. Earl was simply annoying, and at this stage at least, seems pointless in his role sitting in the diner all the time (is he a musician?), and the less said about seedy chef Oleg the better.

The series’ main point of difference comes from its clear end-goal: earning enough money for a start-up cup cake shop, which could be an interesting concept (at least the premise is clear enough). This tactic could certainly assist with audience engagement as we watch Max and Caroline work their way up over (potentially) the next few years (they have only earned $387.25 of the required $250,000 so far!).

When all is said and done, it was a par performance for this episode –  enough to make me want to tune in for at least the next episode to continue the journey with the girls.

3 out of 5 stars

Episode details

  • Original Australian airdate: 14 February 2012 (8:00 pm)
  • Channel: Nine Network
  • Viewers: 984,000 (8th most-watched show for the night)
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