Within the first few seconds of 2 Broke Girls, down-and-out waitress Max (Kat Dennings) ordered the restaurant's line cook (and the audience) to stop looking at her breasts, thus taking away most of the enjoyment I got out of the show. And this despite the wonderful boob valley her uniform creates and the fact that Dennings has already bared her coconuts as part of the "Young Starlets Taking Self Nudes That Get Leaked on the Internet" program that technology has blessed us with! I don't usually begin sitcom reviews by discussing boobies, but this time I just couldn't help it, because 2 Broke Girls is built on low-hanging naughty humor shipped direct from In-the-Gutter Farms.
Shortly after Dennings' ta-tas made their grand entrance, a slutty Russian waitress get Stolichnaya'd in her Troika in the walk-in cooler and someone made an "I hope that's clam chowder" semen joke. Oh, and of course there was the opening clip, with its reference to Max's vagina going dry. I can't say the same for the humor, which is anything but subtle. If the food at this restaurant is anything like 2 Broke Girls' jokes, patrons will be picking little black curlies out of their teeth all night. Creator Whitney Cummings, who in real-life says "vagina" every other word in her stand-up, has put her tramp stamp all over 2 Broke Girls with lazy sex jokes that share a vein with Two and a Half Men.
There's also a fair amount of unfunny racist humor, courtesy of the Asian restaurant owner whose accent is thicker than the chili, a horny Eastern European cook, and poor Garret Morris, who was one of the first African-American cast members on Saturday Night Live but appears here as an embarrassing caricature of an old-timey black man. I know 2 Broke Grils is set in the cultural wonderland that is New York, but sheesh.
That's not to say all the humor is a bad thing, especially for business. CBS, the most formulaic network in the industry, isn't exactly a risk-taker, and the numbers don't lie. By serving easily digestible fare that isn't too complicated, CBS routinely mops the floor with its competitors when it comes to overall viewers. The network's problem is that audience skews old, and 2 Broke Girls is an attempt to grab eyeballs that aren't plagued by cataracts.
CBS clearly hopes 2 Broke Girls will become the female version of The Big Bang Theory—a hit multi-camera comedy that targets young 'uns—and it very well could be, thanks to its likable leads. Dennings and Beth Behrs (as socialite heiress Caroline, who's newly broke because her dad was indicted on Ponzi scheme charges) work well together and have enough charm to handle the hammy jokes and awkward cuts.
One thing the show definitely has going for it is a clear sense of the future. It's easy to imagine tuning in each week and watching the relationship between Max and Caroline evolve through entertaining ups and downs (they fall for the same guy! They compete with each other for raises! They take down a rival cupcake maker!). As underdogs, they're easy to root for.
Besides, 2 Broke Girls isn't even close to being the worst new comedy of the year, and if you compare the show to its peers, it probably sits somewhere in the middle. True, it doesn't even try to stretch the boundaries of comedy—just the age range of CBS' audience. But given that it can take advantage of this year's weak crop and is tethered to Two and a Half Men, the show will probably become a big hit... just not in my house.
P.S. Coldplay is NOT a hipster band.