2 Broke Girls burst on the scene last year like a breath of fresh air, mostly because it was the sort of thing you rarely see anymore: a traditional sitcom, laugh-track and all. Watching it was like stepping back in time…they still make this stuff? Certainly, no one was re-inventing the wheel here, but even in its first season 2 Broke Girls felt like a show that had already been on forever, in a good way.
A large part of this comes from the perfectly-cast ensemble. Kat Dennings was born to play a wise-cracking sidekick, as she ably proved already in “Thor.” Meanwhile, newcomer Beth Behrs looked and acted the part of the poor little rich girl wonderfully.
Add in old pro Garrett Morris, formerly of “SNL”- who could do this in his sleep- as the curmudgeonly owner of the restaurant the titular girls work in; improv-pro Jennifer Coolidge (“American Pie”) as a regular who “dates” the cook; and “Wings”-vet Stephen Weber as Behr’s jailed father, and you have a pretty crack ensemble at hand.
When we last left our girls, they were riding high on a run-in at a party with Martha Stewart, playing herself. Stewart took an interest in the girls’ cupcakes and seemed to get them one step closer to their shared dream of owning a cupcake-driven bakery. However, no mention of Martha is made and the girls seem to still be struggling in the season opener, “And the Hidden Stash.”
The gist of the story revolves around Behrs’ character, Caroline, and her dread of an upcoming auction of her family’s stuff. She pays a visit to her dad, who stresses the importance of her acquiring a particular item, hinting that he might have money stashed away inside. The girls crash the auction, and there are some easy laughs had at Caroline’s brunette-haired disguise, as Max (Dennings) tries to pass her off as Jennifer Love-Hewitt and Katie Holmes. (She actually looks more like Lea Michele (“Glee”), or maybe Alison Becker, last seen on “The Newsroom.”)
They manage to bid successfully for the item, a loving cup Caroline won for horse-riding, which finally explained the meaning of that term to yours truly and made the double-entendre of the Stones song of the same name finally make sense. Ah, 2 Broke Girls – truly the gift that keeps giving.
Interestingly, the show is a bit of an anomaly on my schedule, which may be why I’ve learned to appreciate its oft-easy gags and jokes. I tend to lean towards non-traditional comedies, a la Arrested Development or New Girl or animated shows like The Simpsons or South Park, but that may be why 2 Broke Girls works for me. Sitcoms have become so déclassé, it’s almost refreshing to see one in this day and age. Not that I’ll be rushing to watch Two and a Half Men again in this lifetime, mind you, but in small doses, I don’t mind the occasional sitcom.
Definitely a large part of why 2 Broke Girls works for me is the two main leads. Behrs is an appealing find, and I’ve liked Dennings since the moment I saw her in “The 40-Year Old Virgin” and I’m not above watching something solely on the strength of her presence, especially. (Loved her in “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist” and the criminally under-seen “Daydream Nation,” in particular.)
You never doubt these two for a second in the roles, and I definitely mean that as a compliment. They’re people you want to spend a half-hour or so with every week, and that’s why I think the show does well. I’m sure 2 Broke Girls also strikes a nerve with an audience still in the throes of a poor economy to see a set-up like this as well. Who can’t relate to being broke?
Only the 1% and who cares what they think? Me, I’m sticking with the girls.