Last week, after my wife and I concluded our viewing of “And The Hold Up” and I realized that I’d spent more time looking aghast than actually laughing, I took to Facebook and publicly declared, “After tonight's urination-related plot line, I believe we've reached the point where Beth Behrs' legs and Kat Dennings' cleavage are no longer enough to keep me tuning in for 2 Broke Girls." This week, I’m reviewing the show for TV Club. Funny old world, isn’t it?
Although the general rule of thumb for substitutes is to carry on as if nothing is out of the ordinary, it seems as though it should be clarified that, no, Pilot Viruet has not been institutionalized as a result of having taken on the assignment of reviewing 2 Broke Girls from week to week. Still, it’s got to be a real pisser that this one-off absence should have taken place on the very week that the show not only confirmed that it exists within the same universe as Cupcake Wars but, indeed, that Max and Caroline have found their way into an audition for the show.
As per usual, the proceedings kicked off in the diner, with Max almost instantly earning the opportunity to utter the phrase “baked crotch” and ask the time-honored question, “Can balls fart?” (I’d say, “Stay classy,” but as the show’s never been classy, there’s really no point.) The stoned Oleg stuff was pretty funny—“Is anyone writing this gold down?”—as was the visual gag of seeing the smoke roll out of the freezer when Earl stepped out, although it seemed like a wasted opportunity for his first words to be, “Ooh, a French fry!”
Max’s conversation with the bikers had a very odd tone, and I still don’t understand why the audience (or anyone else, for that matter) would laugh so hard at the line, “Who’s Max? She’s Lance Armstrong’s left nut,” but her general frustration with the customers ultimately served to lead Sophie to find the girls a charity gig in order to help raise their profile. Unfortunately, the timing couldn’t be worse, as the gig is set to take place right around the time they’re anticipating that they’ll be winning Cupcake Wars and therefore building a better future for themselves.
It’s at this point when the episode hits something approximating a stride, starting with the girls’ audition tape, which is filmed by Oleg, who of course thinks he’s been asked to direct a porno. For someone who hadn’t really known the first thing about Cupcake Wars until she stumbled onto Max giggling as she watched an episode, Caroline nonetheless latches onto the idea of branding her and Max as “scrappy girls with so little you can't help but love them,” filming their audition tape in “an adorable, scrappy, low-income kitchen,” albeit one with a horse who conveniently pops his head into the shot. The duo has cute onscreen chemistry together, so of course they manage to earn themselves an audition, even if the turnaround time is ridiculously quick even by sitcom-plot standards. Unfortunately, what they didn’t consider was that their opponents would have their own branding… and that it’d be Hurricane Katrina related.
What could’ve come off as tasteless is actually played perfectly, with the so-called “Neighbor Cakes” being so darned enthusiastic and well-intentioned that it’s no wonder that they’d throw Max and Caroline off their game. Watching the mayhem when they try to do their onscreen introduction, however, may have been the funniest moment of the episode, with Behrs just completely giving it her all, portraying Caroline as acting so completely ridiculous that she’s forced to ask later, “Did I just freestyle rap?” Yes, Caroline. Yes, you did. Unfortunately, the episode starts to fall apart after that, starting with the absurd decision to have Max and Caroline go all I Love Lucy as they try and fail to make a decent set of cupcakes for their audition. In the end, it’s so unbelievably slapstick that it’s no surprise whatsoever that they fail to win a spot on the show.
2 Broke Girls is still an incredibly frustrating and inconsistent sitcom, thanks to its perpetual insistence on seeing how dirty it can be while still getting away with it, but once in awhile it sets the crudeness aside in favor of a clever, funny concept, and that’s what was at the core of this episode. It’s just a shame we had to dig for a fair while to get to it.
- Han is barely utilized this episode, although the idea that he’s an obnoxious gossip seems like one that was intended to be a bigger subplot that never got off the ground. Or maybe it’s something the show is going to pick up again in the future.
- The whole bad whores / tired whores gag was just about worth it for the whole El Camino joke. Just about, but not quite.
- Of course they watch the show about the conjoined twins.
- “In my dreams, spiders are always eating my eyes.” Sometimes, Max says things that really make me wish this show would go in a different, darker direction.
- “Oh, I didn't know I was talking to Cagney and Lacey!” Sophie gets off a good one.
- No, Caroline, Hamhock is not a character in The Hobbit. And no one, not even you, really thinks he is.“When God closes a door, you work here.” Thanks, Earl.