2 Broke Girls Beth
January 9, 2012 by staff
2 Broke Girls Beth, 2 Broke Girls cooks up its latest “And the Pop-Up Sale” from its freshman season, which sees Max (Kat Dennings) and Caroline (Beth Behrs) losing themselves in extreme couponing during an attempt to visit their adopted horse Chestnut. “And the Secret Ingredient” doesn’t work any wonders for the troubled series, but might provide a chuckle or two depending on your pop culture awareness.
So apparently, extreme couponing is a thing. Once again 2 Broke Girls seems to venture into parody territory for that which I’m unfamiliar, leaving me to question both my sanity and awareness of the outside world, but I digress. I’m the kind of person who glosses over coupons, even sets aside seemingly valuable ones, only to promptly forget they ever existed, or at best, actively decide not to use them when talking to the cashier an extra second doesn’t seem worth 35 cents. I’ve never seen anyone take to coupon use so strategically and obsessively, but apparently this is a well-documented subculture.
Looking back on my last few 2 Broke Girls reviews, this appeared to be something of a trend, parodying trashier elements of reality TV series and common shopping practices; both topics ripe with humor but escaping the demographic of my understanding and appreciation. Before I go talking myself out of a job however, I recall a recent conversation with friends that justified looking for deeper humanity within such exaggerated parody, and that for all its flaws 2 Broke Girls still requires an honest evaluation.
To that end, 2 Broke Girls’ biggest strength lies in its ability to develop characters beyond their stereotype impressions, something “And the Secret Ingredient” scores with hits on both sides. We want more to Kat Dennings’ Max than the snarker with a quip for every occasion, much as we want to see Beth Behrs’ Caroline as more than a rich airhead easily sucked into mania. On rare occasions we see the deeper development to these personas, something “And the Secret Ingredient” manages to approachâ€¦before sharply veering into the bizarre.
For all her cynicism and sarcasm, we’re meant to root for Max and sympathize with the notion that her cool exterior comes from a deep history of neglect, something best revealed when the show draws parallels between her faithful visit to Chestnut against Caroline’s distraction with couponing. That’s all very well and good, but “And the Secret Ingredient” manages to take away one of the fundamentally likeable traits about Max, her baking expertise. By revealing her cupcakes’ secret ingredient as nothing more than ordinary baking mix, Max loses credibility as the plucky protagonist of her own series. It’d be the How I Met Your Mother equivalent of diagnosing Ted with marriage addiction.
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