2 Broke Girls

Season 1 Episode 10

And the Very Christmas Thanksgiving

10
Aired Monday 8:00 PM Nov 21, 2011 on CBS
AIRED:
7.9
out of 10
User Rating
124 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

When Caroline breaks Max's mixer, they have to get jobs at Santa World in order to pay for a new one. Meanwhile, the girls convince Han to open the restaurant on Thanksgiving to feed the needy.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • 2 Broke Girls isn't so much acknowledging its problems and trying to fix them as it is navigating around them.

    8.0
    It remains weirdly dedicated to having the diner characters be stereotypes and having Max make as many crude sexual puns as possible. I have a kind of weird respect for this, even if I think these elements are holding the show back, because I kind of like being irritated by things, I guess. At the same time, though, the show's doing whatever it can to minimize these elements. The diner characters were just as terrible as ever in tonight's episode, but they all appeared for maybe… a minute of screentime total. It's like the show is just playing out the string with them until it can ditch them all at the end of season one and retool to be about the girls hanging out with Jay Thomas and Gina Hecht at a deli Mork And Mindy style. Like that show, this is a big, breakout hit. Like that show, it seems like it could randomly retool itself at the drop of a hat for no real reason, simply because the supporting cast leaves something to be desired.

    At the same time, the show keeps doing interesting things with its central relationship. Tonight, it tried a role reversal, with Caroline being the one who utterly fell apart and lost all confidence and Max had to build her back up again. The show's been on long enough that it can do this sort of thing, and even if it lost confidence somewhere in the middle there and just returned to having Caroline repeat the premise of the show—"I used to be rich!" she screeched in a variety of ways—it was fun to see the two actresses playing different parts while still playing the same characters. Role reversals can be entertaining on a show like this one, where two characters are fairly set in stone, and if they're done well, they can reveal new things about both characters. I don't know that this episode achieved that goal, exactly, but it was still fun to watch.

    I'm kind of beating around the bush here by foregrounding all of the stuff about how this episode had problems because I don't entirely know how else to say this: I thought all of the department store stuff was really funny. I don't think it's just my long-standing pro-Christmas bias talking either. I liked the idea of the two having to work at a Santaland as elves. I liked Max's weird glee at getting to be Mrs. Santa. I liked the pro-Christmas woman they met named Mary. I liked the cranky woman who ran the place. And though it was predictable that Caroline would share her disillusionment with the holidays in front of all of the kids, it was still funny to watch Beth Behrs launch into that material.

    What's more, the show dug again into its strongest element, which is its class-based humor, as Max suggested that Christmas is only fun if you have money. It was a sentiment in keeping with her usual positions on things, and Caroline's attempts to say that, no, Christmas and the holidays were all about togetherness and the usual bullcrap were an amusing reaction to Max's views. I'm not going to claim this was horribly profound or anything, but I like the show better when it has this sort of underpinning, and it gives Behrs and Kat Dennings something to play other than, "Gee, we're two wacky single girls in the big city! What scrapes will we get into next?" The material with Caroline's dad was also predictable but gave everything some real emotional stuff for the two actresses to play off of, emotions that rang true for what the episode was going for.

    Anyway, I think this show is going away for a while now, so it's as good a time as any to figure out where it stands overall. I'm giving this episode an 8, and, realistically, that's probably the show's ceiling. It has the potential to be much more—in its ability to introduce stakes that make the storytelling heightened and in its two central actresses—but it mostly seems content to rest on those laurels and coast. When it actively downplays the show's awful elements—the supporting cast and the puns—as it did tonight, then it can be an enjoyable half-hour, particularly now that the storytelling is much better than it was in the first five or six episodes. I like the world the show is building, but it doesn't seem particularly interested in deepening it so much as continuously expanding it.

    In a review of both this show and Whitney over at the New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum called Max a sort of "Roseanne, Jr.," and I agree that's something the show's going for. In its ideal version—a version that could still exist if the writers really decide to make it happen—the show balances sitcom hijinks with a look at barely scraping by in recession-era America. But every time the show gets at all close to that, it backs away and retreats into something that's largely a latter-day version of Laverne And Shirley. That's fine, as these things go. Laverne And Shirley wasn't a very good show, but it had two fun performances at the center, and the show's love of physical comedy could be fun at a time when few other shows were indulging in slapstick.

    When Idecided to watch this show, however, I wasn't hoping for a slightly better Laverne And Shirley. I wasn't hoping for a show that would top out at an 8. And this isn't to say that the show can't get better—many comedies take the entirety of their first seasons to figure out what works and some take even longer than that. I'm still in for a season or so. And it is encouraging to see that the series is slowly correcting some of its faults, like how its inability to tell coherent stories has mostly gone away in recent weeks. But the show is too often content to settle for easy jokes and too often unable to do anything with its entire supporting cast to wholeheartedly recommend it right now, especially with all of the great comedies on the air. The show Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs are starring in is a show with potential to be a 10. The rest of the show surrounding them keeps dragging them down. It's perhaps not surprising, but it's still disappointing, to see something with potential mostly be content with doing the minimum to avoid too much attention.moreless
  • This show is still holding up and being funnier episode after episode. The gang organizes a free Thanksgiving dinner for homeless people.

    7.5
    While we get a greedy Han, there come total different sides of Oleg, being a good businessman, doing dirty business and being sensitive and romantic. That guy doesn't get much space, but with that little space that he has he amazes me. Earl had some great lines too, just to remind that writing for this show is fantastic. Caroline starts to cook and it turns out just what we expected, a MESS! While the episode starts with Max being a Grinch about Christmas and Caroline being in that "festive air" it ends with both of them changing their view about Christmas. I've heard many of the viewers being bored about Max always being negative and playing that angry girl, and this was the perfect chance to see her in a different mood, character. Who imagined that inside that character was a soft and caring heart. On the other hand we witnessed the emotional meltdown of Caroline who finally gives up being caring and socializing type with some help of Max. The last few sentences sound like I'm describing drama series, but you will find many funny moments and those fantastically written line with a dose of sarcasm that actually makes this one of the best shows on TV this season.moreless

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (19)

    • Max: I feel bad, I didn't get you anything.
      Caroline: Max, you got me everything. Before you I was living on a subway, now I'm living near a subway.

    • Caroline: I hope I didn't ruin Christmas for those sweet children.
      Max: Naw, you didn't. All they say was a crotchless elf freaking out, but "Mary Christmas" will never recover! They'll find her in her studio apartment in two weeks, hung from her chimney with care.

    • Caroline: You abandon me on Christmas the day after my father abandons me on thanksgiving, you have balls!
      Max: (To the Children at Santa World as Mrs. Clause) Christmas Balls! Like the ones on Santa's tree or a Hunukkah bush. (To Caroline as herself again) Look, I've got my own problems back there. Santa is kinda handsy.

    • Mary: What's your favorite Christmas song?
      Caroline: Silent Night, get it cuz I want you to be silent!
      Mary: What's wrong with you? Your acting like an Elf-hole!

    • Max: How do I look? Cuz I feel like I look like a North Pole dancer

    • Oleg: Why do you have to be there in the middle of the night?
      Caroline: Because it's Black Friday and the doors open at 5am.
      Max: Yea, and we wanna be there right on time to see the first person trampled to death by uggs.

    • Han: Bye, get home Safely! Oh, maybe I should not have said that to homeless.

    • Max: Great! 3 am, you, me, and defiantly a Virgin Mary.

    • Caroline: You requested to work in Santa's Sex Toy Shop. Max, that's not even a thing.
      Max: Tell that to my candy cane shaped vibrator. I call it Santa's big helper.

    • Max: There is nothing Christmassy about this hallway. It looks like the place Santa sends promiscuous elves to get the results of their STD tests.

    • Caroline: We'd be great elves. I have the holiday spirit, you're great with kids.
      Max: And we're both so desperate for money we'll wear other people's tights.

    • Max: Christmas comes but once a year, and I think it just did.

    • Caroline: When I was little I use to make my father cakes in my Easy Bake Oven.
      Max: My Easy Bake Oven was repossessed.

    • Max: I'm so many types of bitches, I've lost count

    • Caroline: Max, it's time to teach me how to bake.
      Max: Ok, but if were gonna do that, first I'll need to get baked.

    • Oleg: Here, I will pay for turkeys.
      Max: Gees, dude, where did you get that!?
      Oleg: I sell cigarettes from New Hampshire to school kids in New York. It is a good profit, and a beautiful drive, I love the leafs.

    • Caroline: My father and I had a very special Thanksgiving tradition every year.
      Max: Oh, let me guess, you'd fly somewhere like the Bahamas, lay by the pool, and he'd light other people's stolen money on fire?
      Caroline: No, we'd rent out the Waldorf Astoria ballrooms and feed the homeless.
      Max: ...Don't look at me right now.
      Caroline: And after we'd fly to our home in St. Barts for two weeks.
      Max: Ok, you can look at me again.
      Oleg: I stayed at the Waldorf Astoria once, beautiful hotel, but fifty dollars for a hamburger? For that money it should eat me first.

    • Caroline: I've always loved this time of year. Spice pumpkin lattes, bringing the winter furs out, then taking my winter furs to the dry cleaners to get the red P.E.T.A. paint out.

    • Max: Ew, you look pretty sharp tonight Earl. You going somewhere special?
      Earl: Max, I'm free, black and 75. Who knows what the night will bring!
      Max: Well, here's a twenty, can you break this they way you just broke my heart?

  • NOTES (1)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: November 21, 2011 on Citytv
      United Kingdom: June 21, 2012 on E4/E4 HD
      Turkey: April 30, 2013 on CNBC-e

  • ALLUSIONS (5)

    • Max: Listen Bi-Polar Express.


      This is a reference to the hit Christmas movie starring Tom Hanks, Polar Express.

    • Max: Slow down Speed Racer.


      Speed Racer was a cartoon TV series in the late 1960 about a young kid who wants to be the greatest race-car driver in the world.

    • Earl: ...No, hold it, that was from The Help.


      The Help was best selling book turned into a movie, set in the 1960s where African-American maids write a book about the people they work for with the help of a young female journalist.

    • Max: What's up Children of the Corn.


      While she is mostly referencing how hes holding corn husks, and other fall decorations, Children of the Corn is a short horror story by Stephan King, and later turned into a movie.

    • Max: Their wallets snap shut faster than Kim Kardashian's legs after the wedding check cleared.


      This is a reference to reality star Kim Kardashian's 72-day marriage to NBA star, Kris Humphries. Kim reportedly made more than $17 million off the wedding. It was also a four-hour special episode of her show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

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