The title 2 Broke Girls seems like a missed opportunity. After all, it launched after Two and a Half Men and its regular slot will be right before Two and a Half Men; had they simply titled it Two Broke Girls it would show up right next to its companion show in every alphabetical listing, which would seem convenient… at least to those of us with a sense of organization.
The show itself could use some improvement. It’s nominally a two-character-centered show, but the pilot suggests that one’s the “story” character, and one’s the “flavor” character – like on The Big Bang Theory, where Jim Parsons does an excellent job playing Sheldon, but he’s not a character that can have a real running plotline, because that would require change or at least the envisioned possibility of change, and the character’s immune to it. In this case, of the two titular characters, one is the daughter of a Bernie Madoff stand-in (interestingly, not the only such figure on the tube this season), and it looks like her role will be to be uncertain how to deal with the lower-class world she now inhabits. She’s the flavor character. The plot character is the smart-mouthed career waitress with bad taste in men and a second job doing child care…. in other words, Opportunities For Things To Happen. The show sticks with her at home, work, and other work; it’s her tale, even if the diner is the main set.
Surrounding the gals at the diner are three other workers – the owner, who is played in an affable but funny method; the chef, who is played as a not-amusing shmuck, whom I’d rather not watch; and… hey, that’s Garrett Morris over by the cash register! The character says he’s 75; that’s got to be tough to be cast as someone much older than you are…. and then it hits me. Garrett was a relative oldster in the original SNL cast (not the oldest; that award goes to George Coe, although he wasn’t aboard long), and SNL launched a fair while ago…. [sounds of Wikipedia]… he’s 74! Egads! Still has his timing, though.
James Burrows is in the directing chair, at least for the pilot; I assume he’s sill the regular on Mike & Molly, and this is just his usual effort getting things launched.
It’s a workable concept, an okay cast, but the script needs work. There were a couple of genuine laughs to be found, but there were also more things that were simply gross without achieving humor. So will they polish it down. I certainly won’t bet against this one being a financial success; it’s time slot is good, in between two strong hits, one which is managing to carry a lesser series. So if it survives, will it be polished into quality, find its own quirky charm, or will it just be generic filler comedy? Time will tell. Or maybe width, or some other dimension.