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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

2 Broke Girls: “And The New Boss”

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We’re nine episodes into the second season, and 2 Broke Girls still continues to frustrate the hell out of me with its inconsistency. It’s not even just the way the show’s quality varies from episode to episode, but it’s also within the episodes itself. Funny lines are immediately followed up by the worst wordplay you can imagine, and character development is paired with yet another unfunny sex joke. Once in a while, and especially during this season, there are glimpses of the show’s potential (which is the main reason why I continue to watch) but even then, I know that it’s only matter of time before it reverts back to the cheap and easy.

There are moments in “And The New Boss” that I genuinely enjoyed—more on that later—but it was one of those episodes that relied too heavily on checking off everything on 2 Broke Girls’ list of boring, repetitive jokes. Max calls Han “Shortluck Holmes,” Oleg jokes about his large his penis is, there’s a rape joke, and someone actually utters the phrase “Condé Nasty.” And so on. We’ve heard variations of all of these jokes throughout the show’s run and most of them—like any joke about Han’s height—have never been funny to begin with, so it’s strange the show keeps trotting them out week after week. I suppose there are some people out there who laughed uproariously the second time Caroline said “All you big boobed people stick together” but I just can’t imagine why.

In “And The New Boss,” Max and Caroline realize they don’t have enough time to work at the diner and get their cupcake shop running so they decide to hire an intern, Ruth (played by Saturday Night Live alumna Abby Elliott) to help them out. Max is reluctant at first because she’s against the idea of interns, but she gives in because she doesn’t want to do all the dirty work herself. When Caroline and Max learn that Ruth is flaky and uninterested in the job, the girls butt heads over how to deal with her. Caroline takes the stern approach by having Ruth handle tasks such as delivering enemas to their apartment in the middle of the night (yeah, I don’t get it either), whereas Max is more lax about the entire situation.

It’s actually strange to watch Ruth get away with all of her antics. Sure, I can see how it fits with Max’s character that she’d feel guilty about making someone work hard for no pay and therefore let Ruth show up a little late or slip away to a concert once in a while. But the extent that Max covers for Ruth is ridiculous. Instead of being a little sympathetic, Max basically becomes a total pushover to this stranger who makes no apologies for bailing on work day after day. Like I’ve said before, it’s nice to see Max occasionally drop the “tough girl” act and show some actual feelings, but it only works in small doses or else it seems wildly inconsistent with her personality. When Max explains that she can’t fire Ruth because Max is not a person who fires people but instead a person who gets fired, it makes sense, but it doesn’t seem believable or have any impact. In fact, most of the episode seems shallower than usual. There is often a scene at the end of most 2 Broke Girls episodes where Caroline and Max stop squabbling and have some sweet, feel-good moments just to remind us that they’re still friends. Tonight had one of the weirdest displays of friendship—Max’s super-strength while saving Caroline from rats—and it was just a little too silly.

But the episode wasn’t terrible. Andy is still a welcome delight whenever he’s on screen, though I’m still of the belief that he has more effortless chemistry with Max, so I’m also still crossing my fingers for the show to create a necessary, deeper rift in the girls’ friendship. Beth Behrs continues to showcase her knack for physical humor; the scenes with the rats weren’t exactly the pinnacles of comedy (especially the second one), but I always enjoy her crazy facial expressions. It’s just a shame she’s not on a better show.

Stray observations:

  • There was very little of the side characters tonight, and I honestly can’t tell if that helped or hurt the episode. Sophie is still getting some cheers from the audience whenever she appears, and I still think that’s odd.
  • I’m really curious to see how the show is going to handle balancing the cupcake shop with the diner because the girls definitely can’t do both, but the series can’t get rid of the diner.
  • I really, really hate it when characters manage to somehow screw up technology and send the wrong text or e-mail to someone else. It’s incredibly overdone, and it especially doesn’t work when said character is a young college student who is most definitely tech savvy.