I like “2 Broke Girls,” more than I probably should. More than its lame horsecrap gag from last week. More than the sometimes stilted delivery by Kat Dennings. I like “2 Broke Girls” because it is about two “girls,” and has real potential to be a smart – edgy even – female buddy sitcom. Also, well, there’s the subtext. I mean, seriously, there are already shipper vids.
Last week I wondered out loud if “2 Broke Girls” could become the new “Rizzoli & Isles” over at AfterEllen. Don’t get me wrong, the chemistry is nowhere as crackly and sexy as between Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. That’s just magic. But there is chemistry there, between Kat and Beth Behrs, and with a little polishing of the edges it could be something quite fun. Kind of like the show.
And there have already been a distinctly lesbianish moments. Kat’s waitress Max tells Beth’s Caroline when she asks her to open the back door, “We’ve known each other for 2 days and you’re already asking for back door?” And, then, there’s the requisite sleeping in the same bed scenes, complete with boob touching. Heck, Max even accidentally kisses another woman on the subway. If this subtext trend holds, I am totally going to start calling this show “2 Brokeback Girls.”
Granted, the “If I were gonna go lesbian, she’d be the last lez I’d be in” joke from last week was a groaner. And not the good kind of groaner. But there’s just something to be said about a show that centers itself entirely around the interactions of two women. Nothing against family comedies (I love you, “Modern Family,” I do). Nothing against ensemble comedies (you’re growing on me, “Happy Endings, you are). But a female buddy comedy is something different. Something that is guaranteed to pass the Bechdel Test week after week. And when compared to that other much-hyped female-fronted sitcom that debuted this, you can see why it makes all the difference.
“New Girl” is watchable because of Zooey Deschanel and only because of Zooey Deschanel. It’s about her adorable dorkiness (no, I will not use “adorkable,” I will not… dammit). She is the draw and she is hard to resist. But it is also told entirely from the male gaze. Look at this clueless cutie – let’s laugh at her while trying to make her more dateable to us menfolk. We see her through the lens of her three male roommates, not the other way around. I think that’s also why it’s such a hit – guys can watch a show with a female lead as long as the guys are really ruling the narrative. (No offense, guys, but you do like to rule things – like take, for instance, the world.) Whereas in “2 Broke Girls,” it’s told from a female perspective with occasional glimpses of how unwanted (i.e. the cook) the male gaze on them can be. That, for me, makes all the difference.
Look, I’m not saying this show is perfect. It isn’t. (Ugh, laugh track, ugh.) And tonight’s third new episode will go a long way to tell us whether this show will end up be truly having the charm or not. But I’m willing to make the investment right now because it’s funny enough while being all about the ladies. Also, sweet fancy Moses, is Kat’s waitress uniform tight or what? Hey, it can’t all be rocket science.
p.s. I am going to start SnapCapping the show for AfterEllen. We will see how it goes. Read them Tuesdays on AE.