2 Broke Girls is in reruns for a week or two which means we won’t have our usual episode recaps. So let’s take a moment to reflect on the first 10 episodes and think about two things: 1) why is the show’s seemingly anachronistic style of sitcomy, ba-dum-bump joke delivery and ghoulishly tired racial/ethnic/hipster jokes a mega hit across America (pulling in 11 million viewers for last-night’s rerun)?; and 2) why does it burrow under the skin of so many of us living the actual broke in Brooklyn lifestyle like so much laugh-tracked scabies? I mean, it’s just a primetime sitcom on the same station that gave Charlie Sheen all that drug money, and they would never sell ads if it were actually a mumblecore vérité depiction of people living ten-to-a-loft in Bushwick or something, right? So why act so disappointed?
The opinions we’ve heard range from thinking Kat Dennings could do better with her career (she’s so good in 40 Year Old Virgin!) to feeling that it’s a wasted opportunity with a topic that’s funny enough without the Asian jokes; to the idea that the show is just propagating lazy tropes about being young and living in New York City that makes Middle America see us, as Jim Behrle of The Awl put it, as “unicorns in knit hats.”
My one thought: the characters just don’t seem to like Brooklyn very much, as seen in that clip above. Max lives in Williamsburg and slags it off all the time, never once thinking about how Brooklyn is one of the only places you could try to open an artisanal cupcake business and be met with eager supporters. It’s like they got sentenced here in some sort of Bake for America program in the inner city but would rather be living in suburban Maryland. Max seems so caught up in her hatred for fellow ‘burgers, she can’t focus on getting her life together. Which then makes her the worst kind of hipster: the kind that’s so devoid of sincerity she can’t realize all those “posers” around her in the coffee shop are all probably working instead of snarking the day away. (Side note to the writers of that scene: While I do know a girl named Sammar, I don’t know anyone who would still appreciate a Battlefield Earth joke).
While you think about that, catch up with what you’ve missed so far this season with recaps of the first 10 episodes from Ariel Karlin and Meghan Doherty, and take a read on Meghan Lewitt’s story in The Atlantic about what television writers don’t get about Brooklyn.