Friday, December 30, 2011

Okay, I Was Wrong

'Two Broke Girls' is very funny with great leads, hilarious writing and fantastic supporting characters like Han (Matthew Moy) and the lusty chef Oleg (Jonathan Kite). This is a great example of using your cast to enhance the funny. I feel that there are no egos on the show and that everyone is working overtime to produce something entertaining.

I am six episodes in and am totally sold on the whole concept of the show which is hilarious to me because the pilot was something I watched back in September and hated. There's a lesson in that for all you TV loving mutants out there. Don't just write off a show because you had one bad experience with it.

Both Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs are really talented comedians and their odd couple relationship works in so many rewarding ways. The characters are sympathetic and unique.

I am especially impressed with Behrs who could have done a Paris Hilton imitation but her Caroline has so much more substance to her than we would ever attribute to Hilton. I found myself loving her performance more than Kat's (who let's admit can never ever let me down). The 'five dollar dance' Behr did in the Good Will store is going to become a comedy classic. I couldn't embedded the clip but do yourself a favor and go watch the dance HERE.

The show is also really filthy which is something I never expected to see from CBS.

Nice to watch SNL veteran Garrett Morris get some good lines like "That woman just gave me her phone number. That's all I need. Another menopausal white woman scratching at my window like a cat in heat."

Plus any show that makes a horse named Chestnut part of an already stellar cast is always going to win here at the Cave of Cool. I can't talk enough about how much I love performing horse like Chestnut and Comet the Wonder Horse from The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.

This show is very funny and very 'cleavagie'. If you miss it you can't catch it in syndication in about five years. I have high hopes it will be around that long.

BONUS - I hope that women, especially, watch this show. I hope that it gives you some insight into the male psyche. I hope you understand (on a purely biological level) why Kat Dennings is irresistible to the male of the species.

She is almost 'Shatneresque' in her ability to 'get the joke'. She understands on a larger pop culture level what it MEANS to BE a Kat Dennings. That attitude is what makes her remarkable.

I am fortunate to know many women like that - I don't want to say their names for fear I would miss one. Know that you are ALL magnificent in your own ways. The mere fact that I follow you so obsessively should attest to the truth that you are a remarkable, talented, funny, strong and crazy group of bitches. I live in a pride of lionesses and I wouldn't have it any other way.


mercurius said...

I've warmed to the show quite a lot, too, esp. w/ the episode where Max says a tearful goodbye to Chestnut after they've secured her a stable for the winter. Kate Dennings really deserves better material than this, something like a JJ Abrams CW dramedy for her to really flex her range.

I still can't believe the abhorrently racist portrayal of Han as the emasculated, ingratiating Asian stereotype.

Even if the actor is Asian, I feel like the writers of this show has ve set us back several decades, as far as Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I never thought of Han being a bad stereotype because I just enjoyed his performance.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have watched a couple episodes and you're right - it is funny.

mercurius said...

The cartoonish Han feels incredibly insulting and discomfiting to a lot of us who grow up being teased with singsong gibberish and pulled back slanty eyes by our schoolmates who don't know any better b/c mass media portrays Asians as comical caricatures. The post-Eighties proliferation of Asian pop culture has elevated Asian women to the dubious distinction of Docile Sex Objects du Jour, a far cry from Sean Connery declaring to have found Japanese women not sexy while filming You Only Live Twice. Meanwhile, Asian men were still primarily relegated to supporting roles as villains or henchmen. Some have really become recognizable faces in the mainstream such as the ubiquitous and lovable James Wong (Kung Fu Panda, Blade Runner) or the effortlessly sinister Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa (Mortal Kombat) but dramatically versatile roles cast against this type are few and far inbetween.

It's only been in the past decade or so that TV shows have realized they can cast strong/heroic headlining roles with Asian leading men like BD Wong, Daniel Dae Kim, Ian Anthony Dale. But even an Asian-American filmmaker like M. Night Shyamalan didn't bat an eye when they cast white actors to play all the protagonists in "The Last Airbender."

I'll throw a bone to Ken Jeong and the writers of Community for making his Senor Chang character both psychotically funny and orthogonal to stereotype. Now, Jeong is not exactly a trained actor-- he's a licensed doctor who made an amazing left turn in career choice, and plays one character type to the hilt. But Community's writers wrote amazing material so that his energy is played into a role that doesn't feel reductive or stereotyped. He's a character of incongruities and untempered insanity and THAT is what makes him funny. Not b/c he is a wacky Asian, but b/c he inhabits a psychosis that makes no sense even in the world of Community where zany things happen. Contrast that with his grating appearances in Transformers 3 and The Hangover movies where Jeong is set loose to play out his raw energy as unbridled obscenity. It's funny only for the shock value of the torrent of obscenities issuing from this slight, unprepossessing Asian man. They are only barely redeemed by when you recognize how committed this guy is to his job. He's arguably the most educated man on any production he inhabits (albeit in medicine) so I'm sure he realizes when his material is crap. But if I were him, I'd be thankful every day I come into work on Community and get my material from writers who understand how to deliver comedy beyond the superficial stereotyped expectations of the least common denominator audience. I guess at the end of this ramble, my point is Community shows how it's possible make an Asian comic relief funny without belaboring his image as an Asian.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Wow, that comment was terrific. It does seem like such a fine line to cross. I thing the same about black actors in a show like 'Hell on Wheels' having to play the characters with their slave pasts fully on view for everyone to see. I can only imagine how that show will handle the Asian railway workers that worked from the Pacific east to complete the trancontinental railroad. Thanks for giving me something to think about again.