Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' '2 Broke Girls'
Kat Dennings/Beth Behrs pilot improves after a weak first impression
[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]
Show: "2 Broke Girls," CBS
The Pitch: A Manhattan-based "Laverne & Shirley" for the 21st Century?
Quick Response: I went through a weird roller-coaster on "2 Broke Girls," all within 22 minutes. I hated the way all of the main characters were introduced, so the first five or 10 minutes were excruciating. Kat Dennings' Max is too stereotypically brassy and sassy and every joke seems to involve her breasts. Beth Behrs' Caroline is too stereotypically blonde and bubble-brained. I could find no way to work with the fairly racist portrayal of the owner of the diner where they work and the sleazy Russian chef and wise old black doorman were really more than I could handle. I found myself getting increasingly pissed off about CBS' claims that this was the highest testing comedy pilot in network history and what that meant about both the development and testing process. Then? "2 Broke Girls" got better. Past the "Let's introduce our characters in the broadest way possible" cliches of the opening, Caroline and Max both became much more appealing. I'm strongly predisposed to liking Kat Dennings and her expertly deadpan sensibilities are put to far better use as the pilot goes along. There's absolutely no reason why this show shouldn't be a huge launching pad for her. I didn't know Beth Behrs before and none of her initial choices were all that interesting, but Whitney Cummings' script eventually decides that it wants to disprove all of our expectations about the character. Granted that this desire undermines the performance decisions in those opening scenes, but it works to Behrs' favor to have Caroline as more than just a stupid Paris Hilton clone. By the end, when the show's ongoing conceit is finally introduced -- these two very different women set a business goal together and episodes will build towards that goal -- what "2 Broke Girls" was doing was finally rather charming. For this reason, I'm really hoping to get a second "2 Broke Girls" episode to watch before reviewing. If the second half is a reflection of the show's sensibility, this could be a decent little show, but I still need assurances that the first half was just clumsy foundation-laying. A side concern, and one you'd think would be bigger, is that I didn't laugh out loud a single time at "2 Broke Girls." When I was enjoying the show, I was smiling and even taking pleasure in some of the writing, but I wasn't laughing. [This is similar to the problem I had with the vaguely similar "Apartment 23," though I liked the totality of the ABC comedy somewhat more.] I wonder how much of my not-laughing came from the icky taste left in my mouth by the beginning, where the punchlines rely far too heavily on tone-deaf raunch, rather than writing quality and the appeal of its leading ladies. We'll see. We'll also see if the ethnic/racial caricatures in their primary place of employment either become more nuanced or get pushed away entirely. I'd hope for the former, but root for the latter.
- Check out everything there is including photos, reviews, videos.
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Up All Night'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Revenge'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Once Upon a Time'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Awake'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'I Hate My Teenage Daughter'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'The Secret Circle'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Unforgettable'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'The Playboy Club'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Charlie's Angels'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Grimm'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'New Girl'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'
Take Me To The Pilots ' 11: ABC's 'Apartment 23'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'A Gifted Man'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots installments.
News From Our Partners
- What to Watch Tonight: The Season Premiere of Rookie Blue and the Series Premieres of Save Me, Showville, and Does Someone Have to Go? What to Watch Tonight: The Season Finales of SVU, The Middle, Modern Family, Chicago Fire, Nashville, and Criminal Minds The Critics Choice Awards Nominations Choose Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad
- 'Man Of Steel': Is Zod Superman's Khan? New 'Man of Steel' Trailer: Watch Now! 'The Hangover': Retracing The Success Of A Few Crazy Nights
- Total Recall: Bradley Cooper's Best Movies Parental Guidance: Epic and Beautiful Creatures Comic Book Movies You Can Watch Online
- Rihanna Bares Butt on Instagram [Pic] Kid Ink to Release 'Almost Home' EP on May 28, Tour With Kendrick Lamar Justin Bieber's 'Baby' Is Highest-Certified Single in History, But His Monkey Is No Longer His
- Interview: Arrested Development’s Jeffrey Tambor on the show’s return and inevitable movie Gateways To Geekery: An initiation into the psychedelic sci-fi rock of Hawkwind Hear This: You don’t have to know the words to have fun with this Stone Temple Pilots single
- Netflix's 'Hemlock Grove': Is Season 2 in the Cards? 'Arrow' Season 2: What Major Scene Was Cut From the Finale? J.J. Abrams Adresses 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Underwear Scene by Showing Benedict Cumberbatch Showering
- The Telefile - Modern Family: Goodnight, Gracie. Hello, Series Highlight. The Telefile - Critics' Choice Television Awards 2013: Nominees Announced The Telefile - TV on DVD: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
- 'The World's End' Trailer: Pints, Pals, and Killer Robots! Francis Ford Coppola Directing New Italian-American Saga 'Don Jon' Trailer: Joseph-Gordon Levitt and Scarlett Johansson Go Jersey
Something seems to be wrong with Norman BatesTuesday, May 21, 2013
Dan and Alan talk 'Goodwin Games,' 'Motive,' 'Behind the Candelabra' and moreMonday, May 20, 2013
Would Nikita kill the President or not?Saturday, May 18, 2013
Dan and Alan talk upfronts, reality and 'The Office' finaleFriday, May 17, 2013