by Katie Monigan
After last week’s surprisingly romantic episode, I had high hopes for this week’s installment of “2 Broke Girls,” but “And the Pretty Problem” disappointed me.
The plot only slightly advanced forward. Max and Caroline attempted to sell their cupcakes to a shop, failed, and tried instead a cupcake decorating business, only to realize that Max isn’t the type of person who decorates cupcakes. This revelation, I have to admit, is really something audiences knew all along.
One cute moment between Max and Johnny the bartender, in which he sat in Caroline’s section at the diner instead of his usual spot in Max’s section, hoped to capture last week’s romantic highs. We find out that, of course he wanted Max as his waitress, but he was simply trying to set up his friend with Caroline. It makes sense to include at least one scene involving Max and Johnny’s budding romance, but “Problem’s” scene was a little dull and very predictable.
In addition to the fairly boring central plot this week, the laughs fell a little flat as well. The joke with some of the most promise was that Caroline hasn’t had any male contact since the start of the show, and when she re-decorates her Murphy bed, Max says she’s compensating by making it look like a vagina. It’s not the greatest joke, but it worked in the show’s often lewd context. What didn’t work, though, was Max’s constant revisiting of this joke by Max throughout the episode. Sometimes repeating funny gags translates to more laughs, but this was not the case in “Problem.”
In general, the episode felt empty. The Italian ladies who ran the cupcake class were a nice chance for some Italian cooking jokes, as well as some cracks at gay men, of which the entire class was comprised of, but none of the jokes stood out as hilarious. Max’s ridiculous comment about the previous function of the coffee shop where the class was held, where an Irish man would show her his freckled penis and then comp her a lottery ticket was actually funny. Rather than there being four or five absolutely ridiculous comments like that in the episode, however, this was sadly the only one.
In their defense, the writers included plenty of the usual quick jabs that almost always involve something sexual or generally offensive. The issue with this technique, which “Problem” makes perfectly clear, is that although these little jokes are amusing, a decent episode can’t be built solely out of them. “Girls” needs substance in either plot or more complicated humor, and this week had neither. They’ve accomplished this in most of the other episodes so far, and obviously every episode can’t be perfect. So we can hopefully write this off as a fluke, but I certainly hope that next week’s episode brings a little more depth in either comedy or narrative.
Katie Monigan is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.