October 28, 2014

SHOWBUZZDAILY Season Premiere Review: “2 Broke Girls”


2 BROKE GIRLS:  Monday 8PM on CBS

2 BROKE GIRLS is about as basic as sitcoms come.  Take two mismatched young women–Caroline (Beth Behrs), who’s tall, blonde and unable to believe she’s not rich anymore; and Max (Kat Dennings), a busty brunette with street smarts–turn them into enforced roommates and co-workers at a Brooklyn diner until they meld as BFFs, give them an aspirational dream (a cupcake business), and surround them with broadly drawn ethnic types:  Korean boss Han (Matthew Moy), Russian cook Oleg (Jonathan Kite), black cashier Earl (Garrett Morris), and Polish neighbor Sophie (Jennifer Coolidge).  Mix with smuttier jokes than Lucy and Ethel or Laverne and Shirley ever dreamed of, add a boisterous laugh track and at least one wacky storyline per week and stir.

Girls has worked, more or less, because Dennings is a genuine TV star who has fine chemistry with Behrs, and the show’s mechanism, operated by series co-creator and showrunner Michael Patrick King, is efficient if not original.  This fall, though, it faces a major challenge:  the task of taking over for How I Met Your Mother as the anchor show on CBS’s Monday night.  The timeslot was kept warm (more like red-hot) for the first 5 weeks of the season by The Big Bang Theory, thanks to the network’s half-season of Thursday Night Football, but tonight was was Girls‘ turn to show that it could be worthy of the slot.

The Season 4 premiere, written by King and directed by Don Scardino, wasn’t the show at even its medium best, because it was forced to revolve around a pair of “events.”  Half the episode was turned into a jokey infomercial for Keeping Up With the Kardashians, on which Max and Caroline were supposed to make an appearance–they didn’t, but the characters talked about the show so incessantly that ComcastNBCUniversal, which owns E!, the network that airs Kardashians, must have been gratified.  It all built up to a 50-second cameo by Kim Kardashian herself, who mercifully wasn’t asked to do much heavy lifting when it came to punchlines.  The other premiere milestone was the cutting of Caroline’s hair, a hallmark of the character whose trimming required a laborious set-up involving Caroline getting her hair caught in the girls’ Murphy bed, some lube, and many masturbation jokes.

With the exception of earth-shaking incidents like the haircut, nothing ever really happens on 2 Broke Girls, or at least nothing that can’t be reversed by the end of the season, and things are likely to stay that way, at least until the show jumps the shark and the network gets desperate.  It’s a mildly pleasant half-hour that’s served its purpose filling in the night on Mondays, but it may be jumping out of its pay grade with the 8PM move.  If it fails there, it’s more likely to be shifted back to an ancillary slot than to be in real trouble.  It’s the comedy version of the crime procedurals that keep CBS afloat.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."