There was a scene in last night’s ’2 Broke Girls’ where Max stays up super late trying to craft the perfect icing flower atop a cupcake. It reminded me of a similar scene in Bridesmaids. Then I wished I was watching Bridesmaids, because that’s a fun movie, and then I could write all about Bridesmaids right now and we could all have a laugh and a moment of female empowerment. But we’re here to talk about CBS’ latest effort to portray broke life in Williamsburg.
This week, Max and Caroline attend a cupcake decorating class after a coffee shop owner declines to sell the girls’ treats because “they’re not pretty enough.” After a dreadful class and many labored attempts to make frosting flowers, Max finds her new niche: insult cupcakes (that say things like “Bite Me,” but I don’t even think it was meant to be an eating pun?). There was something in all of this about how society is too concerned with other people’s ideas of what’s pretty, but it kind of got lost in the fray of racism.
KEEPING IT REAL
The Suits: Max labels a party of pretentious gentrifiers at the diner as “trendy blood-sucking locusts” until they compliment the “flavor palette” of her cupcakes. If we ignore for a sec that the offenders are for some reason wearing business suits in a diner, we can appreciate Max’s realistic contempt for their entitlement, as well as the BK quirkiness of Max’s cupcake flavors: coconut coffee, chocolate curry and blueberry something else weird.
That’s a Place: Caroline buys a basic cake decorating kit from a cheap bakery supply store in Greenpoint. I’m not sure if cheap bakery supply stores exist, but Greenpoint is totally a place in Brooklyn. So let’s go with it.
What Is Happening: Johnny (Max’s bartender/street artist crush) brings his buddy Carlos into the diner so he can try to get with Caroline. But Carlos, who happens to be Puerto Rican, gets so flustered every time he sees her that all he can do is say “What’s happening?” in an over-the-top accent. In response, Johnny reminds Carlos that he has a literature degree from NYU (okay?), and we hear that he doesn’t even have an accent … but then he keeps doing it. Sigh. Afterward, Max accuses Caroline of not being into Carlos because of his race. Caroline adamantly denies this, and it seems like it’s being set up that by the end of the episode she’ll have proved that she’s not completely racist. But then nothing else ever happens with this! So I guess she does just turn out to be racist? Or I don’t know, maybe it’s a cliffhanger?
Poor Decor: The girls go to a “family-owned Italian bakery” for their cupcake decorating class, which turns out to be run by Stephanie and Serena, two characters out of a (racist) SNL sketch who constantly high five each other, talk about what’s hot and say “God bless” (yup, they have a catchphrase). And when they turn out to be completely mean to Max and Caroline, students who are paying to take their class, the whole thing just becomes sad and unbearable.
I know it’s getting kind of old to harp on this show’s weird race stuff. But it’s also getting old that this show has so much weird race stuff? I hope they just do more things from Bridesmaids. Maybe next week we’ll get the airplane scene.
Follow Ariel: @ArielKarlin.