Last night saw the premiere of Channel 4’s latest US comedy import, 2 Broke Girls, a mere week after it originally premiered on E4: a move we here at TVJam have dubbed the ‘New Girl’ effect.
2 Broke Girls is the last of the 4 major US acquisitions that Channel 4 made in 2011 to see the light of day. Even the Napoleon Dynamite cartoon got aired ahead of it, which doesn’t bode well for a series that’s getting such a loud launch.
The premise is simple enough: a sassy, streetwise waitress/nanny earning just enough to get by is forced to work alongside a billionaire princess whose family have fallen from grace and lost everything along the way.
And that’s about it, really. The show feels very one dimensional. We’re effectively just presented with a selection of sitcom stereotypes that had previously been confined to one of the drawers in Chuck Lorre’s bureau, then expected to empathise with the hardships these characters are going through.
This is tough, as neither of our broke protagonists are particularly likeable. Max (Kat Dennings) is so world weary that every other line she spouts sounds like it came from the cutting room floor of the film Juno, whereas Caroline (Beth Behr) prances around like a mythical forgotten Hilton sister.
About half way into the show, Max is accidentally tazered by Caroline as they bump into each other on the subway. This did raise a smile, but that was only because someone finally managed to shut her up.
One possible explanation for the characters seeming a little bit thin in the personality department is the script. The writing in 2 Broke Girls isn’t the strongest; it lies somewhere just north of TOWIE and south of New Girl. There’s a genuine feeling that this show attempted to emulate Diablo Cody’s use of buzz words and hip youth slang, but fell short of the mark and ended up sounding like that annoying Facebook friend you have who still types all their status updates in text speak and feels the need to punctuate everything with ‘LOL!’
Incidentally, if you are the sort of person who constantly has ‘WELL RANDUM’ nights out and thinks that text speak saves time, then you will probably enjoy 2 Broke Girls because it’s totally like they took your lives and, like, totes put it on TV!
In addition to the vapid dialogue is the reliance on lowest common denominator humour. We’re subjected to a couple of boob jokes and more gags about spunk than you would have thought could be fit into a 30 minute sitcom.
It doesn’t help that the laughter track is plastered on thick that it hits you like a wall with its soulless, repetitive drone. At some points it almost feels as if you’re watching Stewie and Brian from Family Guy in their ill-fated TV show, ‘Cheeky Bastard.’
It’s almost as if the production team didn’t want to give you time to actually think about what you just heard or saw, for fear you might realise that the show appears to have been written by the team from UniLad.
But there was one saving grace: Earl the cashier, a somewhat stereotyped older African American who dishes out comedic words of wisdom to our two titular broke girls. However, it could be argued that the only reason he’s so likeable is because he’s only afforded roughly 20 seconds of screen time. Any more and you get the feeling he’d be just as flat as the rest of the cast.
2 Broke Girls is very much a by the numbers sitcom, however it strays outside the lines too much, resulting in a colourful mess. This is a real shame as the premiere managed to pull in roughly 1.1million viewers on E4, which is double the slot average, but then again, even ITV’s Daybreak managed to pull in decent numbers when it launched and look how that turned out.
For more information about 2 Broke Girls, and to catch up online, go to the Broke Girls 4od page.