Too sweet to handle

Telly review...

Too sweet to handle

Sitcoms come and sitcoms go. The ones that stick around are those that can entertain all audiences.

And ‘all’ doesn’t necessarily mean people from every age bracket; it also takes into account people of varying sensibilities, each with a different understanding of what humour is and how it works.

That’s where 2 Broke Girls gets things right.

Not always, but most of the time.  On the surface, creators Michael Patrick King and Whitney Cummings are presenting a story about the daily travails of the eponymous couple of girls, who always seem to have little to go by.

Dig a little deeper, and you see a lot of things going for a sitcom that may appear like an all-chicks show from the surface, but have a lot of undercurrents about what life is beyond the ‘American Dream’, and how that dream differs from person to person.  

It all begins when waitress and babysitter-for-billionaires Max Black (Kat Dennings) lets Caroline Channing (Beth Behrs), newly impoverished after her billionaire father is jailed for a Ponzi scheme, into her home, and also gets her work in the nondescript diner she works at.

Adding to the colour are the diner’s ‘fun-sized’ Korean owner Han Lee (Matthew Moy), elderly ‘cool cat’ cashier Earl (Garrett Morris) and Oleg (Jonathon Kite), a walking sexual-harassment machine of a Ukrainian cook. 

Joining the cast in the later episodes, and thereby sending the audience into peals of “ooooooooh” every time she enters the frame is Polish cleaning-service owner and Max and Caroline’s neighbour Sophie (Jennifer Coolidge).

Another recent addition is dumpster-dwelling millionaire-scion Deke (Eric Andre), also Max’s love interest.  

The premise of 2 Broke Girls is further highlighted with how each episode runs, and ends.

Max and Caroline are trying to build a cupcake business, a dream made relevant by Max’s proficiency in making that particular dessert item.

The third season of the show is underway now, and the girls have already had at least one good crack at it, but failed, and yet are going for it a second time.

It’s this kind of relatable stuff that has kept the show going, despite some really irrelevant but interesting subplots. 

Take for example the story arc about Chestnut, Caroline’s horse from her ‘rich’ days.

The struggle they go through to provide a home for this equine acquaintance is not only endearing, but also reinforces the ‘broke’ status of the girls.

But how exactly does that figure in the girls’ cupcake dreams? Only by postponing it a little further, as is evident at the end of the episodes, where the girls’ savings from each outing is highlighted. 

Also, as with almost all sitcoms that live from one episode to another, often with little or no connectivity in-between, 2 Broke Girls has on quite a few occasions sprung the trap of problems at its protagonists in an episode, only to make no reference to it in any further episode!

It’s as if as soon as the weekly airing ends, the accountability for the actions of Max, Caroline or anyone else ends too. But, despite all these, we keep coming back for more.

The primary reason for that is the intelligent dialogues that the people at the diner deliver each time, and on a varied index of contexts!

Sure, there are overt and sometimes forced sexual and racist innuendos, but look past them, and you have some sparkling dialogue delivered with great timing.  Now, most of these jokes are usually directed at Han, and mostly for his short stature.

Delivering them with gay abandon is Max, who also doesn’t have any compunction in letting her ‘assets’ do the talking once in a while.
Every so often, Caroline too pitches in to roast Han. And then comes Oleg with offers that could even put a sailor to shame.

The only person out-Olegi-ing him in ribald oeuvres is Sophie. Clearly, these two are a match for each other, and their match was almost made, too, but for indiscretion on Oleg’s part. 

And that’s what encapsulates the show’s USP!

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