2 Broke Girls made great
strides rando horse gallops this week in its depiction of Williamsburg. Instead of seeming like a land of murderous, toothless meth-heads (who make tons of racist/rape jokes), the nabe was portrayed as home to annoying, spoiled hipsters (who make sporadic racist/rape jokes). Let’s take a look! (In case you’ve fallen behind in your prime-time CBS viewing, you can catch up with episode 1, episode 2, episode 3 and episode 4 right here.)
KEEPING IT REAL
Flash forward: The episode opens with Max getting annoyed that none of her diner customers are ordering anything. Then she realizes that they all keep looking at their watches. And are all wearing matching New Balance sneakers. Plus, diner owner Han has just announced that “something very hip” is about to happen. The look of sheer horror on Max and Caroline’s faces when they realize at the exact same time that they are in the middle flash mob and start screaming “Code Red!” is probably the funniest moment of the series so far (and it’s a useful demonstration of effective protocol for defending yourself against synchronized dancing strangers throughout New York).
Debt layaway: Max employs a “methadone clinic banking system” where she pays everyone who she owes money $5 a week, “just enough to keep them from freaking out.” She also keeps all her receipts and records in a messy box under piles of newspapers, and can’t answer her home phone* because she’s avoiding her landlord, who doesn’t know that the original tenant who signed the lease doesn’t live in the apartment anymore. And you know what? Sometimes that’s what works.
I love the 90s: When Max explains to Caroline that hipsters in Williamsburg will pay for anything as long as they think it makes them seem cool and different, it yields two fruitful results. First: This show finally has a take on Williamsburg hipsters that is clear and grounded in contemporary reality … yay! And second: the girls decide to make some cash off of the crazy horse that they have hanging out in their backyard by throwing a “’90s Horse Party.” They successfully charge hipsters $100 for the chance to ride a horse while “Creep” by TLC plays (great song choice!), and they sell Tamagotchi and 90210reo cupcakes for $10 a pop. They make enough money to pay off Max’s student loans, with an extra $50 for the cupcake fund.
Secret identity: It’s also revealed in this episode (via the existence of Max’s unpaid student loans) that not only did Max go to college, but she majored in art and has dreams of being an illustrator of children’s books. Now that sounds like a good background for being a waitress in Brooklyn.
*Home phone?: Max owns a landline, but since I don’t know what that device is because it’s 2011, so I’ll ignore it!
Cupcakes are so 2009: This episode was a huge improvement in terms of Brooklyn consistency, so I really don’t have any major qualms to point out here. Instead, I’ll borrow one from this week’s New York Magazine cover story, which in addition to a lot of other interesting ideas, has a full, long paragraph on the accuracy of 2 Broke Girls! Noreen Malone points out that as opposed to a cupcakery, “a vegan falafel truck would be a much more 2011-appropriate start-up scheme.” Great point!
Next week: Let’s unironically hope that the show stays as fun as a 90s Horse Party.
Follow Ariel: @arielkarlin.