by Bill Taylor
Following on from the fairly well received Pilot, episode two of 2 Broke Girls picks up right from where we left Max and Caroline, a more unlikely dynamic duo found only in Justin Bieber and Floyd Mayweather perhaps; juggling the mixed emotions of Robbie (Max’s soon to be ex-boyfriend) having cheated on her and the initial success of $387.25 towards their cupcake business fund.
Caroline meets Max at work and explains that she has been trying to branch out her contacts and potential investors in the cupcake dream and has taken money from ‘Bob by the Bridge’ as a first investor. Max doesn’t see the funny side, a view shared by myself till a lot later on in the episode. The humour, along with the volume of investors at this point, runs woefully dry with almost every attempted joke again appearing to try far too hard, falling flat on it’s face in the process. Maybe this comes down to that age old sitcom dilemma of being lost in cultural translation, references not quite ‘got’ here, observations not quite accurate on a transatlantic scale and stereotypes not so well recognised on these shores.
However, and it is a big however, there is a major shift in the lack of humour’s fortunes during a set piece in which Caroline slips on a freshly laid batch of Horse shit, produced by her own ‘Champion’ Horse Chestnut. The jokes begin to have a greater relevance, a real purpose within the dialogue that really does drive its main characters along nicely and they most importantly seem natural.
Something that is painfully obvious though so far is that some of the ‘lesser’ roles are barely fleshed out enough to feed a vegetarian; a particular example being Earl, a 75-year-old former musician who works in the diner with the girls. The fact in which I am not able to tell you what he actually ‘does’ shows how lacking in depth as a character he is.
Max and Caroline, importantly, though, begin to show signs of having real character depth later on in the episode, falling out in the process and subsequently making up, albeit rather timid and tamely, after Caroline has one too many cocktails out of the Cupcake fund. Caroline’s actions, in going backwards to come forwards, interestingly reflects that of the series itself.
The 2nd episode has done no real harm or good to it’s reputation but it does however furthermore highlight the real underlying issue we have been exposed to so far; that 2 Broke Girls is trying far too hard to be funny when it really doesn’t need to.