Monday, October 03, 2011

2 Brokeback Girls

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.


Anonymous said...

Hoorah for snap caps of this show. I really enjoy this show, mainly because the two leads have great chemistry (friendship wise or subtext, I don't really mind.) As long as they keep the premise about their money issues, their living arrangements, the future and stuff like that I'll continue to enjoy it. Just as long as it doesn't focus on the girls trying to find love interests unless it's with each other then I'm fine with it.

JJ said...

You know, I find as I get older, I'm much less willing to translate shows into a relevant narrative for myself. Which sounds all fancy, I guess, but what I mean is that I find myself getting irritated with shows that are all about dudes... or straight couples. Not that there is anything wrong with dudes -- I love dudes (just not in my pants), or straight couples (some of my best friends are straight... heh), but I've spent most of my life watching their stories and well, I've realized that I'm kind of tired of it. And honestly, I didn't realize that until the beginning of this television season, when picking new shows to begin watching (yes, it's pathetic, but this is a big decision for me... my TV plate is always so full!). I've tried them all (well, mostly) and realized that the only ones that seemed to interest me were the shows that were about women (plural) and/or had a gay factor. (well... Terra Nova too... but I'm a massive nerd, and that one has dinosaurs so... I can't help it). Anyway, it was an interesting realization... which is relevant to this post because... yeah... 2 Broke Girls interests me, where none of the other new sitcoms do, and I think it is because of the fact that it is about women. And does not seem to be about women trying to get men. I'm along for the ride.

LizC said...

The writing (and acting) is going to have go get a lot better than last week's episode for me to continue watching.

Niki said...

1. I LOVE 2 Broke Girls. I don't know why... I just do.

2. Kat Dennings could wear a snow suit and still... well, you know.

3. I HATE the New Girl. I'm so sick of the current wave of "adorkable" actresses and Zoey Douchenel is the worst offender. It was cute at first, now it's just annoying.

Still... Kat Dennings. Enough said.

Norma Desmond said...

I find New Girl to be unwatchable. Period. End of story. I suffered through two episodes, and that is all I'll be seeing of that show.

Honestly, overall, so far I've found nothing new of interest this season (except Playboy Club, and I'm literally watching that only for the pretty girls... like you said, not all rocket science), which is kind of sad. Because I will do almost anything to procrastinate. On the short list of things I won't do, however, is watch almost anything that's come out this year.

danamitey said...

I have to say I am with you...I was convinced the show was bad...but find myself watching...and laughing...and confused by that

my favorite comedy is Raising Hope

Leigh said...

I have tried to watch this show because Liz Feldman is a producer. It is simply not funny!!

Anonymous said...

I had high hopes for this one, but the "Just relax; it's not a big deal" line followed by "Wait, why am I quoting a rapist?" turned me off, big time. I'm pretty sure a progressive feminist - or any kind of feminist - didn't pen that one. I'll take re-runs of Xena and Gabrielle instead, thanks.

Anonymous said...

I kinda like the show too. It's quite strange, the show doesn't seem.. ugh..let's say.. very smart. But I like the chemistry. It even goes off-screen:
I think, the best chemistry on-screen is always supported by off-screen one.