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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

2 Broke Girls: “And The Candy Manwich”

Illustration for article titled 2 Broke Girls: “And The Candy Manwich”
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Well, at least “And The Candy Manwich” wasn’t as bad as the episode title led me to believe it would be! The cold open was fairly standard for the show, as it centered on Caroline and Max complaining about working in the diner. This time, understandably, it was because of the customers who don’t tip and only hang out to use the internet. It’s an overdone joke that’s usually in reference to Starbucks (Max even mentions that the diner isn’t Starbucks because they don’t sell Norah Jones CDs or bananas), but I did like that the two nail down the three common types: the woman writing a sad e-mail to an ex-boyfriend, the man downloading vaguely pornographic anime, and, of course, the aspiring screenwriter.

From there, the rest of the episode was uneven. It helped that it was Caroline heavy because I generally find myself enjoying 2 Broke Girls more when the episodes focus on Caroline than I do when they focus on Max, mostly because I love when the writers showcase Beth Behrs’ comedic timing and knack for physical humor, rather than relying on Kat Dennings’ sarcastic and vulgar tough girl shtick, which usually becomes annoying by the second act of every episode. It also helped that the meat of the titular “manwich” (ugh, sorry) was Ryan Hansen! It always warms my heart to see an alumnus from Neptune High show up on my television

Ryan Hansen plays Andy, a man who used to work on Wall Street until he lost his job and decided to use his life savings to open a candy store. He and Caroline are instantly attracted to each other, and Max is instantly attracted to the candy in his store that she keeps sampling and pickpocketing. It could be due to Hansen’s charm but this attraction is already 10 times more believable and enjoyable than any of the boring Johnny/Max relationship drama that occurred in the first season. However, Caroline is drunk and full of sloppy joes, so things go comically awry when she throws up in the candy store while flirting with Andy. 2 Broke Girls always has fun knocking Caroline down a few pegs and with good reason. Caroline may not be as stuck-up and naïve as she was when the series began, but it’s clear that she’s still very stuck on her classy upbringing. Max may shrug off vomiting in front of a cute guy, but Caroline’s the type to bury her head in the sand for months. Despite Max’s prodding (and Andy’s prodding via Max), Caroline refuses to see him again.

Max takes matters into her own hands and invites Andy to the apartment to surprise Caroline only to find that Caroline is, well, also taking matters into her own hands. She digs herself further into humiliation when the two catch her masturbating in the bathtub. Regardless, the persistent and charming Andy is still into Caroline and shows up at the diner in a crop-top and does gymnastics to prove that he’s willing to embarrass himself in public just so they’re even. It was a surprisingly cute scene that I’m not used to seeing on 2 Broke Girls, and it helped improve the entire episode.

As for the stuff that didn’t work? The storyline revolving around Sophie and Han battling each other because Sophie wanted to sit at a booth was completely pointless and humorless. And then there was the fact that Max and Caroline were eating lunch at a soup kitchen. Sure, I get the joke (if you can even call it that, which honestly I can’t) that these two are so broke that they can’t afford to eat anywhere else, but there was something so weird and uncomfortable about the whole thing. Though I guess it’s possible they spend all their food money taking care of the horse in their backyard.

Stray observations:

  • Did the studio audience reactions seem especially heightened tonight, especially following just about everything Jennifer Coolidge said or did? I can’t tell if it was that or if I had just managed to somehow tune it out during the last few episodes.
  • Oleg only showed up once or twice, which immediately made me enjoy the episode more.
  • I’m a little embarrassed by how much I laughed at Ryan Hansen’s delivery of “Come back to my house and watch me masturbate.” I definitely wouldn’t mind if he stuck around the show for a little while.