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'2 Broke Girls' Kudos or Catcalls?
January 13, 2012  | By Bill Brioux


If it ain't 2 Broke Girls, don't fix it.

That seemed to be Michael Patrick King's take away from Wednesday's surprisingly combative CBS press tour session. The Sex and the City creator's hit show was hammered over what some critics see as the depiction of ethnic stereotypes.

Hitfix critic Alan Sepinwall, who challenged King during the session and got all but horsewhipped for it, has his detailed take on the brouhaha here.

2 Broke Girls is the top-rated new comedy, and King was probably expecting kudos, not catcalls. Yet the critical unease about Matthew Moy's character Han, the cafe owner, among other characters, has been building for months.


King suggested every sitcom starts out with a cast full of stereotypes and dismissed suggestions that characters on his show are one-dimensional. Danny De Vito's character on Taxi was short, he said. His show is fronted by the biggest TV stereotypes of all -- a blonde and a brunette -- he said.

Yeah, but, said critics, awakened by King's defensiveness.
King got all wound up, lashing out at the way questions were being asked, "correcting" reporters by reminding them it is 2012.

He bragged that it had been three episodes since they had made an Asian joke on the show. "We've only made short jokes," he said.

Asked if this meant an end to the Asian jokes, he cried out in exasperation: "I'm gay." So -- ? He knows better than to pick on minorities because of his sexual orientation? "I find it comic to take everybody down," he said by way of explanation.

He then said all the conversation about "edge" in the room "is based on extreme wit."

He also took exception to charges his show was too raunchy, declaring "I consider our jokes really classy dirty."

There were a few questions about the horse on the show for stars Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs.




tina said:

Brooklyn as a cultural meme has been tired for so long, I cringe more at this show's "hipsters" than I do the ethnic stereotypes.

Comment posted on January 12, 2012 4:08 PM

Graham said:

I'm certainly not going to compare 2 Broke Girls to All in the Family, but at it's core, the stereotypes addressed in 2BG aren't all that different. Both shows mine the (mis)perceptions for cheap laughs while covertly undermining biases. I would argue that the social movements of the 60s and 70s created an atmosphere in which the humor could thrive and be accepted while pushing the envelop of permission. I think that, in its own way, 2BG adheres to the same principle. The difference being that, today, the overall intra-social dialogue has been dumbed down to such a degree that said commentary can be mistaken.
And also... it's just a 22 minute TV show. Maybe people should get over it.

Comment posted on January 12, 2012 11:06 PM

Rich said:

Here's why 'some' people in the elite critics circle don't like the show - "It Can't be Tamed!" and it's not P.C.

Do these critics really find the stereo-types offensive? Or are they just jealous this show is so clever and raunchy at the same time. I've read numerous accounts & blogs from other critics on this same panel and one thing shocked me most about the naysayers of "2 Broke Girls" - They hate the Diner scenes to begin with. They feel it brings the show to a halt- what show are they watching? I personally love the Diner scenes because it's the "spice" & flavor of the show, otherwise why else would these two girls even be pals? Isn't the humor watching them click and clash against a carnival one-note stereo-types?

Everyone gets goofed on! No One is safe. The "feelings police" needs to take a hike on this one. Have the Asians complained? Have the Russians complained? Are blacks complaining? Are the society swells balking? Are the Hipsters (who get goofed weekly) crying? I avoided the show till late November, until enough unrelated diversely opinionated people I trust all agreed there hasn't been a show this clever & witty in a long time.

Comment posted on January 13, 2012 2:58 AM

mike said:

this is one of the worst shows i have ever seen. the jokes are so bad it feels like listening to my eleven year old nephew tell jokes. the endless one liners are embarrassing. The show has far more problems than the Asian diner owner. The two main characters have unbearable dialogue.

I loved her in the 40 Year Old Virgin. But this could and probably should end her career.

Comment posted on January 13, 2012 10:25 PM

Hasan said:

I haven't seen Fairly Legal before, but it looks great. Another one to add to my list! The other show which always makes me laugh is Newsradio, but only Seasons 1-3.

Comment posted on February 18, 2012 1:26 PM
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