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Throwback Thursday - 2 Broke Girls - Pilot

With it's recent (outrageous) cancellation, I wanted to take the time to look back on the first episode of one of my favorite sitcoms of all time, 2 Broke Girls!

Quick recap! At the start of the Pilot, Max Black is an overworked, broke waitress working in a Williamsburg diner. After the Russian waitress is fired, diner boss Han Lee hires Caroline Channing, a former rich girl who's fortune was taken away after her father was involved in a Ponzi scheme. Max eventually lets Caroline stay at her apartment, where her boyfriend hits on Caroline and when Caroline tells Max what happened, Max gets mad at Caroline. They make up and become permanent roommates, however, after Max walks in on her boyfriend with another girl. The girls also rescue Caroline's horse and decide to pursue opening a cupcake business.

Wow, what a strong first episode. I think the reason the Pilot works so well is the instant chemistry between Max and Caroline. I was reading in Beth Behr's new book that apparently after she and Kat Dennings did their chemistry test for the CBS Studio Execs, Kat told Beth something along the lines of "if they don't cast you, call me because then I'm pulling out of the project." Clearly from the moment they met in real life they had an instant connection, which I think can be felt in this episode from the first moment their characters meet. Moreover, their characters bring such different skills to table, so when coupled with their chemistry, I was completely hooked to their upcoming cupcake business journey.

It's crazy to look back on where these characters started and compare them to where they ended up 6 years later. In retrospect, the writers developed Max and Caroline flawlessly:
Max: It was really interesting watching this episode because she is so stressed, running around trying to actually be a good waitress rather than cracking jokes left and right about Han's height. Although she's extremely funny in this episode, I feel like her relationship with Caroline helped her destress and be that sassy, witty, outrageous girl we know and love. In the same way that she helps Caroline get on her feet and become a better version of herself, I think Caroline's drive helps Max believe in herself and go after her dream. Moreover, I think the writers and Kat Dennings do a great job of showing the audience Max's trust issues, which over 6 years she makes huge strides in getting over between her relationship with Caroline and then later Randy. Watching this episode, you would not think that Max would end up engaged to a rich movie exec. Now that's strong character development!
Caroline: She's so Paris Hilton. Like the epitome of Paris Hilton. She is so out of place, trying to marry ketchup and talking about her Chanel dress. The writers and Beth Behrs really did an incredible job taking an elitist, rich girl stereotype and turning her into a girl who still has those moments, but ultimately is self aware and even makes jokes that poke fun at who she used to be.

The only less-than-stellar part of the episode is the supporting cast. Early in the shows' run, the writers were criticized for how stereotypical and offensive the supporting cast was and I can definitely see that in this episode. Han is kind of a caricature of a real person, changing his name to "Bryce Lee" for his immigration test and Oleg is too much creepy and not enough endearing. Earl is a little more layered, but still pretty one dimensional. I do think the writers did a solid job in season 1 developing them, but it definitely wasn't a strong first episode for the supporting cast. I think that's excusable, though, because there was so much set up needed in the first episode that the writers couldn't do everything flawlessly. As we know, the supporting cast goes on to be the best part of many episodes and an integral part of the girl's lives. On a similar note, it is so strange not to see Sophie in an episode. She always adds so much to each episode that I forget that she didn't even come in until the middle of season 1.

Overall Grade:
A-. Overall, this episode was an exceptionally strong pilot and covered a lot of ground: Max and Caroline meet, the two girls fight, Max has a break up, Max and Caroline make up, and then decide to live together and start a business. Considering the writers were able to fit all of that in 22 minutes AND make it funny is a real testament to their skill and the casts' instant chemistry.

Favorite Quotes:
Max: We have nothing in common. I wear knit hands when it's cold out, you wear knit hands because of Coldplay.

Caroline: Also, this mustard color doesn't really go with my skin tone. Neither do the mustard stains. And these various other stains and smells...I hope that's clam chowder...

Caroline: (Caroline tases Max) I am so sorry! I didn't think it would hurt so much, it's pink!
Max: It didn't feel pink!

Caroline: Oh my god, you've been robbed!
Max: This is how it always looks...
Caroline: Oh my god, totally cute!

Not a quote but when Max accidentally kisses the woman on the subway, I laughed so hard I actually cried.

A Final Thank You...
Thank you 2 Broke Girls for always making me laugh. In a world of online streaming and next day viewing, you were the one show I watched live because I just couldn't wait to watch the infectious chemistry between Kat, Beth, and the rest of the cast. I had the privilege of seeing 4 different episodes taped live (1.22 "And the Big Buttercream Breakthrough", 2.22 "And the Extra Work", 4.06 "And the Model Apartment" and 4.10 "And the Move-In Meltdown") and they remain the most fun, memorable, incredible nights of my life. I will always look back on you as the incredible story of two girls with nothing in common except a lack of money, eventually becoming sisters, finding love, and opening a successful business together. Thank you for an AMAZING 6 years!

What were your favorite moments from the Pilot? Let me know in the comments!


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