CBS’s hit series 2 Broke Girls has just been released in a three disc set. In it’s sophomore year, cash-strapped gals Max (Kat Dennings) and Carolina (Beth Behrs) make some progress on their cupcake business dream after getting an endorsement from Martha Stewart. This leads them to open their own storefront, though it’s a good thing they don’t give up their night jobs waitressing at the diner, because it isn’t long before they need them again.
This is an entrepreneurial tale of two ladies trying to claw their way up the ladder of success. Max has had a rough life, but has a real talent for baking. Caroline was rich, but fell from grace when her father was arrested for financial crimes. Working together, though, they stand a chance, pairing their strengths and offering much-needed emotional support.
Behrs and Dennings are great at the comic delivery. Every time Max opens her mouth, it feels like co-creator Whitney Cumming’s stand up coming out, delightfully delivered with Dennings’ charming lack of charm. Behrs is the queen of physical comedy, in the tradition of Lucille Ball and Laverne & Shirley. While the writing at times lacks cleverness or risk taking, none of the show’s faults can be pinned on its stars, working hard to find the laughs, and often succeeding, always with a terrific chemistry.
They aren’t alone in their efforts, as the second year really sees the supporting cast step up as a help to the main women. There’s: Sophie (Jennifer Coolidge), an independent, business-minded, sex-obsessed neighbor and frequent customer; Oleg (Jonatha Kite), Sophie’s love and the chef at the diner; Han (Matthew Moy), the diner owner who lets the girls push their cupcakes on his customers, usually with good humor; and Earl (Garrett Morris), the kind, flirtatious cash register worker, who is protective of the waitresses. Plus, somehow the girls find the resources to take care of Caroline’s horse, Chestnut, whom they build a barn for off of their apartment.
During The Complete Second Season, the diner is robbed, revealing true character, the ladies audition for the reality show Cupcake Wars, they get a credit card and overuse it, and Carolina begins dating Candy Andy (Ryan Hansen, Veronica Mars), the owner of a candy shop across from their cupcake shop. Then they meet some Amish boys on Rumspringa, develop a pot-based cupcake, vacation in a cabin in the woods, talk to a psychic, ride on a jet with 2 Chainz (himself), fight with a puppeteer (Andy Dick), try out temp work, beg Sophie and Caroline’s Aunt Charity (Missi Pyle) for money, worry about STDs, become extras in Law & Order: SVU, and clean both Oleg’s apartment and the diner.
Yes, that sounds like a lot, and not all of it is realistic for people in their position, especially flying with a famous rapper, being on TV, caring for the horse, and competing on a reality show. It’s these type of touches that makes some viewers and critics scoff and dismiss the series. Well, that and the absolutely filthy language and vagina jokes. Yet, there’s something magnetic about the humor, which is edgier than the typical broadcast network fare, and it is amusing in a cartoonish, classic-sitcom-style-updated-to-modern-sensibilities, kind of way.
There are quite a few extras, spread across all three discs. The deleted scenes are paired with the episodes they belong to, a move more shows ought to do. There are highlights from their PaleyFest 2013 panel, and I really enjoyed the half hour featurette “Max’s Homemade Cupcakes: Go Big or Go Broke!” in which the various actors are interviewed about the show and discuss character development. A gag reel and a light, fluff piece on Sophie are also included.
My biggest complaint about 2 Broke Girls – The Complete Second Season is actually the DVD menus. They look incredibly simple, like they were developed back in 2000, in the early days of the DVD. Some series have gotten too fancy with their releases, but 2 Broke Girls does the opposite, with apparently little effort put into a decent release. It doesn’t affect the content, but presentation matters, and this one sucks. I hope they improve it before next year’s set.
2 Broke Girls – The Complete Second Season is available now.