Why I Love 2 Broke Girls, Despite Its Terrible Stereotypes

2 Broke Girls S01E19: "And the Spring Break"

In Monday's "And the Spring Break," Caroline implored Max to take advantage of a housesitting opportunity from an upscale gay couple (and yes, the stereotype was painful to behold) as a sort of vacation. “Spring break,“ she said, “...a break from the depressing.”

Max insisted that they couldn’t afford to take the time off from the diner, but Caroline convinced her to do it anyway and they reveled in the portable spas before Caroline decided she was hungry—and bummer, there was no food in the apartment and they’re poor. She found a discarded invite to a cookbook launch party that boasted free food and Max reluctantly tagged along because Caroline gave her permission to take the couple’s poodle, Barbra Streisand (I told you the stereotype was atrocious) so she could pretend to be one of “those dog ladies.”

Caroline adopted a persona named “Ashley” because she never uses “Caroline Channing” while on vacation “for security reasons,” which unleashed a latent spoiled-rich-girl persona who flirted with a Greek shipping tycoon and secured a “real” Spring Break for herself and Max somewhere warm, sunny, and sandy. Max was content to keep housesitting and abusing the porta-spa, and Caroline from the Black Lagoon accused her of not understanding what a good vacation is because she’s never had one. The episode concluded with a discussion about appreciating the things that you have—and how, maybe, sometimes, it’s a good thing not to know better so that the nice things you have aren’t diminished by want.

Yeah, this really wasn’t my favorite 2 Broke Girls adventure. But there’s a but! I didn’t love this particular episode, but I love the show as a whole, so let’s take this opportunity to talk about why it’s an awesome show.

While it certainly has its weak points (oh god, the stereotypes), I proudly consider myself a 2 Broke Girls fan. I think it’s one of the funniest shows on television, partially because I’m a bad person who is completely irreverent about most things, but more so because I find it to be very empowering. I’m a broke girl. I hate my job. My mother is crazy in a we-the-people-find-the-defendant kind of way and I myself have been known to make vagina jokes. Excessively. Often at inappropriate times.

Girls rarely get to make dirty jokes on network primetime and I love that Max does it and no one in her sitcom universe bats an eye at it. It’s just Max. I love that Caroline isn’t a Paris Hilton cutout, that she’s pragmatic and smart, but still prone to flights of fancy. Max and Caroline are two sides of the same coin and it’s a coin that exists outside of TV Land. 2 Broke Girls is a very timely show. While the thick of the economic meltdown occurred in 2008 and things are gradually improving as of 2012, I wouldn’t throw a party just yet.

Blah blah blah the economy sucks blah blah. Times are tough. College doesn’t guarantee you a decent job. Most people never do exactly what they went to school for. To quote my homegirl, Max, “It’s life. Lower your expectations.”

And then there’s Caroline, with all of her “Why not?”s and comedic snobbery that, in a way, is just the girl asserting that she deserves to have nice things. Everyone does. And everyone can have those nice things if they try hard enough and network like crazy.

Now, my inner Max spends a lot of time rolling her eyes at my inner Caroline, but it’s important to have both of them present. To completely ignore the fact that in the real world, scores of educated, hardworking adults are un- and under-employed due to circumstances largely out of their control is irresponsible and willfully nearsighted. However, so is blindly buying into the idea of pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps. Things happen. Plans fall apart. Sometimes you don’t get any bootstraps.

In her memoir, Wishful Drinking, Carrie “Princess Leia” Fisher writes, "Let's say something happens and from a certain slant, maybe it's tragic and even a little bit shocking. And then time passes and you go to the funny slant and now that very same thing can no longer do you any harm."

For me, 2 Broke Girls is like that. And judging by the series' popularity, I’d say I’m not the only viewer who feels that way.

Or maybe you’re just here for the vagina jokes. That’s okay too.

Comments (14)
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I guess I'm sort of a sucker for the low-class(economically speaking) family sitcoms like this show or Raising Hope but especially Malcom in the Middle. They are constantly put in rough situations but they're tough and get through everything with a smile.They have this point of view where they appreciate everything and have a good grasp on what's really important.



This show may have plenty of silly stereotypes (the writers have evidently made their peace with that and seem to be flaunting it now) and sex jokes around every corner but is that such a bad thing? 2 Broke Girls may just be a comedy where you turn off your brain for a half hour but it still manages to have a certain set of values within itself such as the importance of family, friends and loyalty while providing laughs all the while. I can respect that.
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Trying to push that CBS agenda huh? This show sucks out loud. It's all around terrible but I imagine if you have a terrible sense of humor how this could play into your tv show watching lineups. Keep your laugh track and sub-par writing. Now if you don't mind I'm going to go back to performing voodoo rituals to keep Oprah's network from succeeding.
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What agenda?... She likes the show and with good reason. The show is funny, charming and kind of like Laverne and Shirley on crack. Besides, clearly she's not the only one that likes it since it does really well and even won a PCA as best new comedy.... that most mean something
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This show may be full of stereotypes but it's what I like in it. The ukranian guy, the black guy and the chinese guy (cant remember their names after 19 episodes...) have some memorable and hilarious quotes.

"Once you go Ukraine, you'll scream of sex pain!" Come on, you gotta give credit to the writers for this line
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Ukranian is Oleg the cook. Han the chinese owner and earl the black cashier/D.J.



Giving writers the credit i agree because the audience always love at the lines the actors/actress give and also they cheer for them





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This really is what people want at timesa show that just makes you laugh for a half-hour and not have to think too much. Who cares if it trots out some tired stereotypes? For all the "I can't believe they got away with that" jokes they've had in a half season it has my attention as a fan (plus Beth Behrs, owner of perhaps the greatest legs ever)
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I like this show too. Max and Caroline have a definitive yin-yang relationship going on that I can't help but laugh at, despite the constant stereotyping. I just can't help but laugh at most of the things that happen to them or what they say, especially Max. Her sarcasm has me rolling most of the time, mostly because I tend to agree with her.
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I wish shows would stop portraying Gay people as limp handed queens, every show u see a gay character in, in either a talk show,news show or drama or comedy there too gay..THIS IS NOT HOW ALL GAY PEOPLE ARE, i'm a gay guy(and am nothing like that) and this really offends me...please put some straight acting normal gay guys into shows come on 2 broke girls change the stereo typing...I mean Mass Effect 3 did and thats just a game..........i love this show but this has turned me off watching it now......

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Stereotypes suck and are part of our culture. That being said, the gay stereotype is slowly changing for the best. As for 2 Broke Girls, Caroline was constantly pointing them out and the show is known for the over the top stereotypes, just look at Han and Oleg.
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okay it was over the top/overkill/ bad stereo typing but another great episode, on a amazing show Kat and Beth are just plain awesome!!
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While the stereotypes are horrible, at least this episode Caroline was constantly pointing it out.
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I watch it for Kat and it is actually funny. Max's dirty jokes are great. Needs less Sophie though.
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I like the show, but like you, the stereotypes (and sometimes racism) can be unbearable. That being said, I think it's the only funny laugh-track show on TV right now, and I really like Kat and Beth.
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i couldn;t agree more, i love this show. while it does use every stereotype in the book and then some, max and caroline are great characters who are so much fun to watch. max is tough and jaded but grows very fond of caroline's horse and is close to the diner's cashier earl. caroline is more than a poor little rich girl in that she always wants to help max out and doesn't only think of herself. i love this show and am glad it got a season 2!
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