by Katie Monigan
I have to take back my comments from last week; “2 Broke Girls” doesn’t have a predictability problem. I don’t know about other viewers, but when Max’s attractive bartender friend Johnny (Nick Zano) was introduced, I thought he was securely in the friend zone. It was revealed in “And the Disappearing Bed,” though, that Max has been keeping Johnny’s napkin drawings on her walls, insinuating much more than a “just friends” situation.
The beauty of their flirtation is how incredibly awkward their interactions are. Johnny is a little strange, and Max is totally unable to function around him, making it so awfully painful to watch that it actually becomes amusing. And, in schoolgirl-like fashion, which may or may not be a positive thing, she twice during “Bed” describes her encounters with Johnny in anxious conversations with Caroline. These descriptions draw attention to strange moments of biting a piece of celery he held in front of her and a boob-grab situation towards the end of the episode.
I have faith in this relationship, however long it may last, for two reasons: Johnny and Max, when we first saw him a few weeks ago, discussed how they both come from broken families. So, although Johnny is good-looking, their relationship seems to be built on more than physical attraction and they will have other things to talk about than his appearance and the nervous feelings it causes Max. Once again, the writers manage to throw shallow, dirty jokes at us but also weave in a little substance.
The second reason I enjoy their chemistry is that at this point, there is a serious gender segregation on the show – the girls live together with Chestnut the horse, and they talk to Han, Oleg, and Earl at work, but a male has yet to disrupt their dynamic at home. Now that the girls’ personalities have been sufficiently developed, the insertion of a new character has already brought out the girlish side of the usually snide Max character, and has further developed the helpful and organized characteristics of Caroline. This intrusion will certainly help to develop them more in the future, and the well-timed character introduction has a lot of potential to improve the show in future episodes.
In addition to a budding romance, there were still the snarky remarks from Max toward Caroline, this time in response to her “vision board.” What she says isn’t totally surprising and is nowhere near hitting the mark of good taste, but it’s nonetheless entertaining. That has all become a fairly regular part of the show. What was thankfully new was the scenario in which Max attempts to sell her cupcakes to Peaches (Brooke Lyons) for the twins’ birthday party. She is so nervous she is actually unable to speak English, and the word “mabley” pops out unintentionally. The breakdown of Max’s strong, sarcastic character into a bumbling fool in the presence of both Johnny and Peaches deflates her character into something that makes her seem all the more like a real person. It’s nice to see so much character development in a sitcom without losing any of the quick, raunchy humor the writers have incorporated from the beginning.
Katie Monigan is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.