Do you hear that? It's the sound of Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten" playing in the wind. After all, CBS' monster hit 2 Broke Girls ended the season with a nice "girl power" theme. Granted, that girl power still came at the stroke of midnight via a series of Cinderella moments, but hey, you can't win them all.
In their final outing of the season — a double episode landing our two main characters at a faux Met Gala, the same night the actual Met Gala was going on in New York — Max (Kat Dennings) and Caroline (Beth Behrs) finally took a big step towards their dreams: They shoved a cupcake in Martha Stewart's face. Sigh. That's the moment every little girl dreams of, isn't it?
Of course, before they can waltz off to the gala riding the coattails of Caroline's sullied name, her Bernie Madoff knockoff of a father stirs up the press when he is moved to a high-security prison in North Carolina. To cheer up Caroline, Max makes a deal to get their horse, Chestnut, back, but when she bumps into her old heartbreaker Johnny (Nick Zano), she throws out a seriously ridiculous lie. (And here comes the totally zany conflict, you guys!) He says he's getting married and moving to Manhattan and, in a panic, she says she and Caroline are meeting with Martha Stewart at the (faux Met) Gala to talk about her cupcake business. Through a series of semi-magical happenstances, they make it into the gala in designer dresses (which is what every girl really wants, whether she admits it or not), where Max gets to show off "all of this" (insert shimmy here) to Johnny, and she and Caroline finally have their glorious Martha meeting... in the bathroom. Despite the aura of softsoap and toilet paper in the atmosphere, Martha loves the cupcake and just like that, the two broke girls have their Season 1 happy ending.
And that I-am-business-woman-hear-me-roar moment is exactly why I actually watched this season finale. It's a pleasant antidote for some of the painful moments from the series. 2 Broke Girls have toned down the borderline racist quips aimed at the girls' diner boss, Han (Matthew Moy), but the majority of the series' jokes are still some of the most cringe-worthy on television. (The lines are so groan-worthy sometimes, I find myself DVR'ing the show and waiting until my roommates aren't home to watch it in guilty pleasure shame. I still get the feeling that if my neighbor across the way spies me watching 2 Broke Girls from her living room, she'll spend her evening secretly judging me.) But despite those hazards, I sat down (with my curtains open) and watched the hour-long season finale, because I truly want this show to be good.
Granted, 2 Broke Girls has its moments. The show is winning in the simple fact that a top-rated sitcom managed to give its two pretty young things a season-ending triumph that wasn't coupled with a romantic victory. True, it's certainly not the first series to do so (so put down your revolutionary flag, Whitney Cummings), but considering its seat among the mainstream-iest of mainstream shows like How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men, it's a conclusion that at least lives up to the series' promise of two down-on-their-luck ladies trying to make it in the big city — er, Brooklyn.
Of course, now that we've seen the series can show growth in a few areas, we could come to the conclusion that we can look forward to Max and Caroline seeing some character depth of their own in Season 2. But then again, when the series is averaging about 11 million viewers an episode, perhaps showrunner Michael Patrick King will go with the old adage: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Did you tune in to the finale? What's kept you hanging on all season? What do you want to see change in Season 2?
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler.
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2 Broke Girls
It isn’t until later on in The Departed that you realize how important and well-crafted its beginning is: Two Bostonians Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) nearly cross paths when they’re interviewed in succession by Sgt. Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) and Capt. Queenan (Martin Sheen). Costigan is chosen to infiltrate the mob in order to get to Boston’s most feared boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) and he’ll have to put in some time in the slammer and on the streets before gaining a shred of cred; meanwhile Sullivan clean-cut and articulate is pulling the ultimate job for Costello by infiltrating the state police department and alerting the mob boss of their every move. As the two moles become more involved in their undercover operations the groups they’re infiltrating begin to smell something fishy. And so commences the chess match between Costigan and Sullivan to reveal each other before their respective pseudo-colleagues do. For any actor who truly enjoys the art of his job more so than the sexy periphery of it all something as collaborative as The Departed must seem like the proverbial “candy store.” Maybe that explains why DiCaprio Damon Nicholson and Wahlberg all signed up instead of carrying their own separate blockbusters for likely a much bigger payday. DiCaprio and Damon do what they do in every movie: give their best performances to date. Each plays completely against type flaunting the fact that genuine movie superstardom isn’t born out of good looks alone. For Nicholson his career nearing the half-century mark it’s no longer easy to qualify and rank his performances but Costello is one of his high points in a career pretty much devoid of anything but. As likely the lone Oscar contender (amongst the cast) Nicholson is equal parts monstrous and wry--or better yet equal parts Jack Torrance and The Joker. Wahlberg steals the funniest lines especially with his inborn Boston accent but Sheen often catches them before they’re allowed too much laughter. It doesn’t end there though: Alec Baldwin (as a fellow officer) soon-to-be breakout star Vera Farmiga (as a police shrink who ends up playing a central role) Ray Winstone (as Costello’s right-hand man) and Anthony Anderson (as a young cop familiar with both Costigan and Sullivan) all shine. Unprecedented chemistry amongst an unprecedented cast is as much a theme here as revenge! It is a privilege to watch a legend who is still so relevant: Martin Scorsese. The iconic director is responsible for some of film’s all-time masterpieces (Taxi Driver Raging Bull Goodfellas) but perhaps never has he seemed so vigorous. The Departed is a return to form for him in its vulgarity and casual-as-waking-up violence--the man makes exploding brain bits look like masterful spin art but somehow never gratuitous; however the film is not a return to straight-ahead mob flicks which would be a copout. His mere aura commands actors’ best-ever performances and does he ever get them here. But it’s Scorsese’s party thanks to his trademark grit and urban storytelling for no one makes the bad look so damn good! His prowess is indubitable but it’s hard to imagine him doing it without a superb script rewrite of Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs from Boston’s own William Monahan (Kingdom of Heaven). His story is not flawless all the time--for one thing Farmiga’s character is the story’s thinly veiled crutch--and it could be argued that the gunshots are exploitatively deafening but this is no time to nitpick. It’s time to sit back feel tense and enjoy the show!