by Katie Monigan
It might be because we’re nearing the midseason break making it feel like the writers are attempting to go out with a bang, but for the first time “2 Broke Girls” has delivered two great episodes in a row. Last week, “And the Hoarder Culture” made up for some of the mistakes of recent episodes, and this week’s “And the Really Petty Cash” propelled the show even further.
It may be personal taste, but I thought the pop-culture references this week were spectacularly funny. First, Johnny explains to Max that because of his relationship with Cashandra (Marsha Thomason), his situation with Max is complicated. She quickly retorts, “What are we, on Facebook?” It’s not great on its own, but it sets up for several more references later on, the best of which involved the singer Adele.
At the gallery opening the girls are hired to cupcake-cater, Max gets drunk and finds out that Cashandra was “chums” with Adele. She continues making jokes about it for the rest of the episode, and each quip was funny. There has been a trend throughout the season, where the writers find one thing that is funny, then continuously employ it during an episode until it barely induces the crack of a smile. One horrible example of this is Caroline’s “vagina bed,” which started out amusing, but by the end of its episode had lost any hint of hilarity. In “Cash,” however, they took a simple fact that isn’t innately funny – that Cashandra knows Adele, which made her incredibly cool by association in Max’s eyes – and they spun it a number of ways into great jokes. This slight change in strategy was absolutely crucial to the episode’s elevated humor.
In addition to the writers throwing in what might be some of their best jokes of the season, the usual heartwarming moments really made me love the characters this week, but did so by using a different strategy than they have in the past. The morning after Johnny asks Max if it’s okay that they’re just friends, Caroline asks her what she thinks of an email advertisement for their cupcake business, and Max says “the font is cute” – a remark which convinces Caroline that Max is depressed and needs help. It’s a loving moment between the two of them that shows the depth of understanding that Caroline has for Max’s quirky personality, but did so in an amusing way.
This combination of drama and comedy was the key to the tense moments this week, of which there were plenty. While Max and Johnny’s sexual tension-filled friendship is certainly dramatic, every serious moment incorporated the show’s improved comedy. The comedic pace was never lost, so the show felt more fluid and less jerky. In most episodes, there were dramatic moments that were then broken by a comment, usually by Max, that brought the tone back to comedy. Now that the characters are more well-rounded and developed, there are no segments of drama and comedy. They’re all rolled into one, and it’s a refreshing take on the sitcom genre.
Katie Monigan is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com