Friday, September 16, 2011

CBS Fall Pilot Review: 2 Broke Girls - Premieres September 19; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 19, 2011)

2 Broke Girls

2 Broke Girls - Mondays 8:30PM ET/PT on CBS
Premieres Monday, September 19, 2011 at 9:30PM ET/PT


2 BROKE GIRLS is a comedy about two young women waitressing at a greasy spoon diner who strike up an unlikely friendship in the hopes of launching a successful business - if only they can raise the cash. Sassy, streetwise Max Black works two jobs just to get by, one of which is waiting tables during the night shift at the retro-hip Williamsburg Diner. Sophisticated Caroline Channing is an uptown trust fund princess who's having a run of bad luck that forces her to reluctantly give waitressing a shot. At first, Max sees Caroline as yet another in a long line of inept servers she must cover for, but she's surprised to find that Caroline has as much substance as she does style. When Caroline discovers Max's knack for baking amazing cupcakes, she sees a lucrative future for them, but they first need to raise the start-up money. While they save their tips, they'll stay at the restaurant, working with Oleg, an overly flirtatious Russian cook; Earl, a 75-year-old kool-kat cashier; and Han Lee, the new, eager-to-please owner of the diner. Working together, these two broke girls living in one expensive city might just find the perfect recipe for their big break.

Cast Details:

Kat Dennings as Max Black
Beth Behrs as Caroline Channing
Jonathan Kite as Oleg
Matthew Moy as Han Lee
Garrett Morris as Earl

Kat Dennings (Max Black) became known to audiences following her roles in the feature films The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, the latter of which she was nominated by the International Press Academy for a SATELLITE Award. Most recently, she starred in the movie adaptation of the comic book series Thor.

Her additional film credits include Daydream Nation, Defendor, Shorts, The Answer Man, The House Bunny, Charlie Bartlett, Raise Your Voice, Down in the Valley, London and Big Momma's House 2. In 2005, she was selected to participate in the prestigious Sundance Filmmaker's Lab, where she worked with Robert Redford on director Dante Harper's Dreamland. Dennings' television credits include CSI: Miami CSI: New York and Without a Trace, on the Network, as well as ER and Raising Dad.

Beth Behrs (Caroline Channing) began performing theater at age 5. When she was 15, her family relocated to Marin County near San Francisco, where Behrs began studying and performing at the Tony Award-winning American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.). While at A.C.T., she performed in the world premiere of the musical Dangling Conversations: The Music of Simon and Garfunkel as well as the West Coast premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher's play, Korczak's Children. She also acted in television commercials and modeled in print ads.

Behrs was named a 2002 California Arts Scholar in Acting by Governor Gray Davis. As part of this honor, she spent the summer studying with Academy Award winner Helen Hunt at Cal Arts in Valencia, Calif. Subsequently, Behrs was accepted into UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television in 2004. After graduating from UCLA in 2008, Behrs won the coveted Young Musician's Foundation Vocal Scholarship. Behrs' training paid off when she scored television appearances on NCIS: Los Angeles on the Network, as well as Castle. Her feature film credits include American Pie: Book of Love and the upcoming indie comedy, Serial Buddies.

Jonathan Kite (Oleg) was immersed in the world of comedy theater at a young age. He obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Acting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, while concurrently studying with the improv group, Second City. In 2003, Kite moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. Kite's television credits include Raising Hope and the upcoming series, In the Flow with Affion Crockett. In 2010, Kite was a part of the Cage Match Competition with iO West Theater, performing head-to-head long-form improv. His team set the national cage match record, winning 52 weeks in a row.

Matthew Moy (Han Lee) followed his love of animation and began studying voice over. His video game voice over credits include G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Blur and the White Knight Chronicles saga. Moy's television credits include Scrubs and The Middle. He also appeared in the feature film, No Strings Attached. Currently, he studies acting at the Atwater Playhouse and Gray Studios.

­Garrett Morris (Earl) is a writer, actor, singer, composer and comedian with more than 50 years in the entertainment industry. His credits include more than 50 Broadway and Off-Broadway shows and 70 motion picture and television performances. He has also written two Off-Broadway plays. Morris' Broadway credits include Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death and Porgie & Bess. He was the collaborating director for the award-winning short film, Lying Right Here.

Morris was an original cast member on Saturday Night Live. His many television credits include The Jamie Foxx Show, Martin, Hunter, The Jeffersons and most recently, Shameless. His feature film credits include Cooley High, Car Wash and Jackpot, for which he was nominated for a Spirit Award.

Pilot Plot:

"Pilot" - Experienced waitress Max Black meets her new co-worker, former rich-girl Caroline Channing, and puts her skills to the test at an old but re-emerging Brooklyn diner. Despite her initial distaste for Caroline, Max eventually softens and the two team up for a new business venture.

Written by Michael King and Whitney Cummings
Directed by James Burrows
Recurring Cast: Brooke Lyons as Peach
Guest Stars: Noah Mills as Robbie, Shoshana Bush as Nikki, Cale Hartmann as Hipster #1, Adam Korson as Hipster #2, Alex Enriquez as Hipster #3, Matt Cook as Band Member, Bill Parks as Band Member, Eugene Shaw as Band Member, Sergey Brusilovsky as Oscar, Greg Lewis as Customer, Cocoa Brown as woman, Nick Jameson as MTA Announcer

Analysis:

The show has a definite sitcomy feel to it. It's a traditional multi-camera sitcom that is filmed in front of a studio audience. There are many jokes and one liners, pop culture references and fast-paced scenes. The show is a bit spicy and has a contempory edge with some adult and politically incorrect jokes. Some have called it a modern day Laverne & Shirley and there are also similarities to Alice, with the two leads being waitresses at a diner.

In the pilot episode, we are introduced to the characters and the basic premise of the show is set up. Max works as a waitress and waits on some annoying customers. She brings in some cupcakes the next day and talks to the 75-year-old cashier, Earl. The owner of the diner, Han Lee, changes his name and tells Max that he is planning on hiring a new waitress. The new waitress, Caroline, is not happy with the condition of the uniform. Oleg, the cook, hits on Max and she warns Caroline about him. At the end of the day, Caroline tells Max that they can sell cupcakes for a profit. Max's boyfriend, Robbie, and his band are at her apartment. While on the subway, she meets Caroline and invites her to her place. Max goes to her second job as a nanny and talks to Peach. Caroline washes her uniform and meets Robbie. At the diner, Max walks out on Caroline as a huge group of customers walk in. Max tells Caroline that she needs a roommate. While on Caroline's horse, they talk about their business venture of making cupcakes. A total of their profit is displayed on the screen.

This is one of the better pilots I've seen in recent years. They have a good premise to work with and the characters are very likable and will be relatable to many viewers. Another good thing about the pilot is that while there are many scenes at the diner, there are a number of scene shot elsewhere, such as Max's apartment. I liked the cramped look of the diner. The supporting characters who work at the diner are not given many lines in the pilot other than some quick one liners. It will be interesting to see if they are given more material in future episodes. One of the great things about similar sitcoms like Laverne & Shirley and Alice is that they had great supporting casts. It was only a pilot, but I've not seen any potentially great secondary cast members. Perhaps they will bring in some additional people for major recurring roles.

Conclusion:

2 Broke Girls is one of the most promising new sitcoms of the fall season. It was reportedly CBS' best-testing pilot ever. The pilot is tasty and leaves me hungry for more. There's a lot to like about the potential of the show. The writing is fast-paced, edgy and loaded with pop culture references. The two leads are very appealing and funny together. I've watched Kat Dennings in a few movies and she plays a similar tough chick who brings the sarcasm. Beth Behrs is a bit of an unknown and lacks a lot of comedic experience, but I think she will be fine as the show continues to develop. One issue that might come up is that one or both of the leads are in basically every scene. The supporting characters are really only used for some occasional one liners. I think they could use more material for the other workers at the diner. Nick Zano is being brought in as Johnny, a street artist/bartender, who could be a love interest for Max.

The pilot will air at a special time of 9:30pm ET/PT on Monday following Two and a Half Men. It should receive some nice sampling after a big lead-in. It will then move to its regular time slot on Mondays after How I Met Your Mother at 8:30pm ET/PT. CBS has a solid block of sitcoms and this one should fit like a piece of cake on their schedule. Will Max's and Caroline's dreams come true? Tune in on Monday nights to find out.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3.5/5
Funniness: 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 09/16/11

Discuss the show after you watch it on Monday, September 16 on our message board.

Related Links:

  • CBS.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • 2 Broke Girls Photo Gallery



    Preview:







    It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars, so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
    For the week of September 19-23, 2011, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! So get your DVR's (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!

    Monday, September 19, 2011
    • Ted Danson (Cheers/Becker) - Watch Ted on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS. He makes his debut on CSI on September 21 at 10pm ET/PT on CBS.
    • Natasha Leggero (Free Agents) - Catch Natasha on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place) - Selena is a musical guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men) - The Wendy Williams Show has an exclusive daytime interview with Charlie, so check local listings or watch it at 12am on BET.
    • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Teen sensation Demi visits Good Morning America between 7-9am on ABC.
    • Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs (2 Broke Girls) - The stars of 2 Broke Girls are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. 2 Broke Girls premieres on CBS on September 19 at 9:30pm ET/PT.
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011
    • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Catch Whitney on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC. Whitney premieres on NBC on September 22 at 9:30pm ET/PT.
    • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings and later she will be on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
    • Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch) - Florence discusses her book, Life Is Not a Stage: From Broadway Baby to a Lovely Lady and Beyond, on Today on NBC between 7-9am. She later chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT and finally she will be on The Joy Behar Show on HLN at 10pm.
    • Christina Applegate (Up All Night/Samantha Who?/Married with Children) - Christina stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
    • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia drops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. The one-hour season premiere of The Middle is on September 21 at 8pm ET/PT on ABC.
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011
    • Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) - Watch Amy on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC. The season premiere of Parks and Recreation is on September 22 at 8:30pm ET/PT on NBC.
    • Elisha Cuthbert (Happy Endings) - The lovely Elisha drops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12am on ABC. Happy Endings returns to ABC on September 28.
    • James Spader (The Office) - Tune in to see James on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS. James joins the cast of The Office as a regular on September 22 at 9:00pm ET/PT on NBC.
    • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney continues to make the rounds on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
    • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Jim visits Conan at 11pm on TBS. The season premiere of The Big Bang Theory is on September 22 at 8:00pm ET/PT on ABC.
    • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/Hot Properties/The Knights of Prosperity) - Sofia appears on Good Morning America between 7-9am ET/PT on ABC and later talks with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. The one-hour season premiere of Modern Family is on September 21 on ABC.
    • Roseanne Barr (Roseanne) - Roseanne chats on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
    • Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster/Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) - Soleil drops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    Thursday, September 22, 2011
    • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/Hot Properties/The Knights of Prosperity) - Sofia continues to make the rounds on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Catch Jamie on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly) - Billy drops by Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS. The season premiere of Mike & Molly is on September 26 on CBS.
    • Cheryl Hines (Suburgatory/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Cheryl appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings. Suburgatory debuts on ABC on September 28 at 8:30pm ET/PT.
    • Fran Drescher (Happily Divorced/The Nanny) - Fran is a guest on a repeat of The Gayle King Show at 10am on OWN.
    • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney talks about her new show, Whitney, on Today on NBC.
    Friday, September 23, 2011
    • Maya Rudolph (Up All Night) - Watch Maya on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls) - Kat drops by Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch) - Florence is a guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
    • Kathryn Hahn (Free Agents) - Catch Kathryn on a repeat of Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
    • Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
    • Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle) - Jane appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this Friday feature! We do listen!

  • Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Sunday, October 20

    The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXX" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    Milhouse is trapped in another dimension; dead Homer's spirit tries some new bodies on for size; Selma finds love in an unlikely place.

    Bless the Harts - "Cremains of the Day" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    Violet, David and Leonard take Wayne on a ghost hunt to cure his fear of ghosts; Jenny and Betty honor Jenny's late father on his favorite holiday.

    Bob's Burgers - "Big Trouble in Little Tina" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
    Things get spooky when Tina dissects a pig in science class; Bob and Linda battle a giant ball of ear wax.

    Family Guy - "Disney's The Reboot" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
    After the network decides it is time to reboot the series, three versions of the reboot are shown to a focus group, which produces some surprising feedback.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 14)

    Friday, October 18

    • Chris O'Dowd (Family Tree/The IT Crowd) - Watch Chris on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Kal Penn (Sunnyside/Deadbeat/We Are Men) - Kal appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • America Ferrera (Superstore) - America is a guest on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
    • Regina King (227) - Regina visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Julie Andrews (Julie) - Julie speaks about her book Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
    • Sean Hayes (Will & Grace/The Millers/Sean Saves the World) - Sean guest hosts The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • Pam Grier (Bless This Mess) - Pam drops by The Real, so check your local listings.
    • Sara Gilbert (The Conners/Roseanne/Living Biblically/Bad Teacher) - Sara appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
    • Angela Kinsey (The Office/Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine) and Jenna Fischer (Splitting Up Together/The Office) - Angela and Jenna talk about the Office Ladies Podcast on ABC's GMA 3: Strahan, Sara & Keke at 1pm.
    • Kal Penn (Sunnyside/Deadbeat/We Are Men) - Kal visits Access Live, so check your local listings.
    • Marcus Scribner (black-ish) - Marcus appears on Access Live, so check your local listings.
    • William Jackson Harper (The Good Place) - William can be heard on The Morning Mashup on SiriusXM.
    • Billy Bob Thornton (Hearts Afire) - Billy Bob talks about Goliath on Couch Surfing at 8am.


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