Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Are They Retooling 2 Broke Girls?

Just wondering. It's been off for a couple of weeks, but they left it with Max and Caroline mulling (accepting?) a job offer from Jennifer Coolidge to become maids. So, are they giving up their waitressing jobs, then? When it comes back, will there be no more scenes at the restaurant?

I just wonder because, of course, ever since the show started, there have been a lot of (not unjustified) criticisms leveled at the show for the racist caricatures they work with at the diner. Han Lee in particular is a character a lot of people are pissed about; I don't blame them, the guy's a character from an 80s movie for chrissake. So I just wonder if they're ditching a) Peach, the woman Max nannies for, because Peach is a pointless and unfunny character, and b) the diner, because if they just ankled that whole thing, they lop off the three biggest offenders right there (although I quite enjoyed Garrett Morris, who is always cool in everything ever).

Here's the thing, though; not to defend racist stereotyping as some kind of storytelling shorthand, but it's a certain kind of sitcom. All the characters are broad. There are a lot of stereotypes. So what's the alternative? What are they going to leave behind, exactly? I know when sitcoms are single-camera and there's no laugh track that apparently makes stereotypes fresh and original storytelling. Trad sitcoms that play to a studio audience are generally louder and play bigger. I just wonder what they're going to do that's, basically, less racist?

Certainly leaving the cartoony diner with the cartoony black guy and the cartoony Asian caricature and the cartoony horny Eastern European swinger and the overplayed vapid rich girl behind in order to instead have the girls involved with Jennifer Coolidge and that one cartoony Polish accent that's the only accent she ever does in anything is really just a lateral move. Jennifer Coolidge's character had all the subtlety of Miss Piggy.

So, are they really countering cartoonish racism by replacing it with different cartoonish racism?

It's always car-wreck-fascinating when shows try to retool themselves.

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