2 BROKE GIRLS: SEASON 2 (DVD)
Warner Home Video / 2012 / 576 mins / NR
In a sitcom world where it seems like every character no matter their status or career lives in an upscale urban apartment, it's refreshing to have a concept like 2 Broke Girls. Two financially-struggling ladies Max (Kat Dennings) and Caroline (Beth Behrs) working at a diner while aspiring to develop their own cupcake shop has great potential as a sitcom. It's a great idea, but ideas are only effective in their execution and this show falls apart in the one crucial department for sitcoms: the jokes.
To be fair, 2 Broke Girls is much more daring in its humor than other sitcoms as it aims for a much cruder level. No gag seems off limits ranging from masturbation to bloody crime scenes. It sounds like real counter-programming to the usual sitcom affair, but it doesn't quite go that extra mile to be the standout show it must be aspiring towards. There is nothing wrong with cracking jokes about poverty, death, sex and the grotesque as long as its clever. But 2 Broke Girls just seems to crowbar in these moments and appear to be riding on the Sarah Silverman principle of comedy; gross humor out of the mouths of good-looking women.
That's incredibly sad given that the actual plot of 2 Broke Girls would be strong enough to work without the edge. There is a real unique arc to Max and Caroline's struggle for their cupcake business as they go through channels such as Martha Stewart and Cupcake Wars. Even the whole angle of the girls trying to stretch every penny holds loads of potential. And yet the show seems far more occupied on making references (ranging from the Kardashians to internet memes) and peppering in gross one-liners just for the heck of it. If it weren't for the fact that the actors to a fantastic job these bits would be unbearable.
I understand that sitcoms come with certain rules, but the series just seems to have so many advantages that are not taken advantage of. The series has a great supporting cast that includes Garrett Morris and Jennifer Coolidge that feels painfully underused. The humor has on-and-off brilliant bits of risque lines, but they're too few and far between that they completely lose their edge after a few episodes. In fact, there are moments where it just goes the completely juvenile route as characters pee themselves in public. There are some great ideas here, but you really have to wade through the sophomoric dialogue to see it for the gem that it could've been.
This is another stellar TV release from Warner Brothers. The widescreen transfer and 5.1 audio is just as crisp and detailed as previous TV releases. No major errors on either end, but the 5.1 track doesn't seem quite as suitable for a sitcom of this nature.
"Max's Homemade Cupcakes: Go Big or Go Broke" is an all-inclusive featurette on the season that focuses on everything from the characters to the writers.
There is an additional featurette on the character of Sophie with maybe a little too much information considering how interesting she really is in the show.
"2 Broke Girls at PaleyFest 2013" is a live discussion with the cast and creative team where they discuss the show and relatable topics including worst jobs.
Deleted scenes from select episodes and a gag reel finishes off the extras.
The more I think about 2 Broke Girls, the one word that comes to mind is "almost". This is a show that almost broke the mold of typical sitcom setups. It almost had a real edge to its choice in humor. And it almost had the potential to be a great female-centric sitcom with alternative characters. But a series can't get by on mere "almosts". It seems as though this is a show better suited for cable with its colorful language and filthy bits. Instead of being at home next to the likes of The League and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, 2 Broke Girls seems trapped in the typical sitcom tropes of lackluster comedy. It has a slightly original concept over the competition, but the fact that it doesn't quite live up to its goals makes it a mild disappointment I just can't recommend.