Saturday, October 26, 2013

2 BROKE GIRLS Cash In on "Cronuts" Fad

Article first published as 2 BROKE GIRLS Cash In on "Cronuts" Fad on TheTVKing.

CBS's 2 Broke Girls is not the highest-brow comedy out there, but it has a certain kind of everyman charm to it. With Kat Denning's mastery of delivering witty dialogue and Beth Behr's amazing physical humor, it's an enjoyable half hour, even when it falls a little short in the originality category. It's rare an episode is particularly special, which means it's hard to figure out which weeks should be reviewed. Having already missed covering the season premiere, I guess the most recent is as good as any.

In keeping with the mass appeal style, it's no surprise that 2 Broke Girls takes advantage of fads, albeit a few months late, given production lag time and summer hiatus. This week's installment, "And the Cronuts," finds Max (Denning) and Caroline (Beth) losing customers to the cronut craze in New York City. They try to figure out exactly what makes the sweet so popular and apply it to their own business.

This begins with them trying to sell cronuts bought on the black market out of their cupcake window, then do a bait-and-switch, unloading cupcakes. As one might expect, the ploy fails, and it's back to the drawing board. Luckily, a new idea combining fries and frosting falls right into their laps, and they're right back in business! Never mind that me and my friends have been dipping french fries in Frostys forever, and this concept is quite similar.

The girls have friends, too. The supporting characters on the show add a few one-liners, but little else. Sophie (Jennifer Coolidge) predictably will eat anything, cronut, cupcake, or cakefry. Oleg (Jonathan Kite) continues to pine over her. Han (Matthew Moy) is trying out a new fad, and everyone else blows him off. Earl (Garrett Morris) is supportive and present.

It's all a little cheesy, but it comes together, only to pretty much reset itself for the following episode. "And the Cronuts" feels like 2 Broke Girls is working off an established formula, filling in the blanks of a set pattern. The series has about five of these standards they rotate through, and rarely do they have an installment that breaks the mold. There is growth and development, but it's very slow, taking months to actually go anywhere. And most the time, threads are started, then quickly dropped without followup, such as Sophie's toe-dip into bisexuality likes is this week.

 The storytelling is lazy (the girls arrive at the bakery door just in time to learn they're sold out) and crass (both gay and black jokes are used with little effect, and a male prostitute somehow misunderstands them enough to almost whip out his junk). But overall, it's a pretty typical episode, not really any better or worse than the rest, which is the usual way this show goes.

Then again, that's not why people watch the 2 Broke Girls. It's all about the chemistry between the two lead actresses, and that is fully intact in "And the Cronuts." Max gets loud and angry, then down on herself. Caroline is overly enthusiastic and willing to go big on any idea. Things rarely pan out for them, but the affection between them is appreciated and real. Behrs and Dennings are obviously having fun, and so by extension, we do, too.

2 Broke Girls airs Mondays at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

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