Two Broke Girls is the first of two new shows from a previously unknown to me comedienne named Whitney Cummings, the other being the imaginatively titled Whitney on NBC. Perhaps it might have been better for everyone involved it Whitney Cummings has remained unknown to just about everyone.
Two Broke Girls is about the 1,000th iteration of The Odd Couple formula (Neil Simon, you have a lot to answer for), putting a mismatched pair together for comedic effect. In this case, its hard-boiled waitress Max (cutesy name is always a bad sign) who takes a now-bankrupt heiress, Caroline, under her wing at a down-market café. Naturally, the two clash, and just as naturally, the two become fast friends 23 minutes later. This is a CBS sitcom, after all.
Max, of course, says she is “dead inside” but is actually kinda sweet. Caroline is ditzy at first, but a whole lot smarter than she first appears, which is a nice touch. In keeping with a lot of CBS shows, there is a lot of double-entendre and surprisingly smutty dialogue that somehow passes as prime time comedy. The episode ends with the Two Broke Girls on a horse, the only thing that Caroline wanted to salvage from her home. The horse, I suspect, will be a running gag. Whoopee.
I suspect that Two Broke Girls will be around for a long time. It’s just the kind apparently edgy but entirely formulaic comedy that seems to find long happy runs at CBS. As for me, well, I’ve got better things to do with any random half-hour of my life than to waste it on this mediocrity.
And speaking of wasting time, don’t bother to pay a visit to The Playboy Club, NBC’s much-hyped, way too late Mad Men clone. Based in the first Playboy Club in Chicago in the 1960s, The Playboy Club begins so stupidly that it becomes immediately beyond redemption. Here’s the situation: the newest Bunny at the club (the “cigarette bunny”) is attacked in the club by a fat goon with something other than cigarettes on his mind. During the attack, she accidentally kills him when her razor sharp stiletto heel punctures his jugular vein. He dies a rapid and nearly bloodless death (this is network TV, after all). Fortunately, attorney Nick, the Don Draper wannabe of The Playboy Club, is there to help out, and they wrap up the guy’s body and get it out of a packed nightclub without anyone noticing. Of course, there’s a complication: he’s a mob boss.
NBC apparently has high hopes for The Playboy Club. They dropped a bundle on a six-page fold out ad in Esquire, apparently believing that Esquire readers would be the prime targets for this soap opera tripe. The overnight ratings show only 5 million people tuned into the premiere, and that number dropped at the halfway point. The viewing public apparently feels, and I agree, that there’s really no reason to watch a cut-rate Mad Men wannabe when the real thing is still out there going strong. And with no chance of nudity, sex or graphic violence, what’s the point? You can count on The Playboy Club to close its doors very quickly.