Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Why are 2 Broke Girls being held to a different standard that The Big Bang Theory boys?
There have been several articles recently about a press tour panel for 2 Broke Girls that went extremely awry. While the show has become a hit for CBS,it's also the target of strong criticism regarding it's content.
The show's creator,Michael Patrick King,and the leading ladies of this new sitcom(Kat Demmings and Beth Behr)were given a stream of accusing questions from the audience of reporters and critics about the racial and sexual humor on the show.
Things turned ugly,with heated remarks being exchanged by MPK and a few of the reporters. Some of those comments went on a personal level,which wasn't cool for either party to engage in.
What appears to be the main bones of contention between the 2BG crew and the critics was the supporting characters on the series who are mostly defined by stereotypes(the socially awkward Han and Oleg's constant sexual overtures)and that too many risque references are slipped into the dialogue on a regular basis.
Also,many people wish that the diner portions of the show were reduced and more focus placed on the growing relationship between the two leads,Max and Caroline. While some of this criticism may be valid,it might have gone over better had the folks presenting their opinions had used a little more tact and a touch less aggression. More flies with honey,as they say:
As a fan of 2BG,I do agree that not every joke,whether it's about sex,ethnicity or social status,hits the mark and it would be nice to see more character development amongst the rest of the cast. However,this is season one and as with other television series,it does take time for the kinks to be worked out.
What puzzles me,through,is the level of outrage. For example,I've been watching The Big Bang Theory in syndication and noticed that they get away with a lot of the same behavior that 2 Broke Girls are being put on the spot for. There are stereotypical characters(socially awkward Raj and Howard's persistence in hitting on every attractive female he sees)and humor that pushes those boundaries quite a bit:
There's also plenty of off color sexual humor and granted,2BG is more openly raunchy in that department,both shows are still going beyond the wink and nudge approach here. Why is there no problem with a subplot on TBBT where Howard used a robot arm as a sex aid and had to be taken to the hospital but people freak out when Max insists that Caroline has bought herself a "vagina bed"?
Why is it upsetting when Max makes a double entendre about "rear deliveries" and okay for Sheldon to use the term coitus frequently? This isn't a slam against The Big Bang Theory(which I like) but I'm starting to wonder if the critics would be as sensitive to these troublesome elements on 2BG if the title was instead 2 Broke Boys:
After all,both shows are on the same network and I'm reasonably sure that many of the other comedies on CBS such as How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men skirt similar issues. Crude jokes,on the whole,seem to be more acceptable on TV and film when they're coming from men than women. It's also a matter of taste yet what's gross for the goose should be gross for the gander as well.
I just find it a little bit disturbing that a sitcom that features a pair of independent females who are more interested in creating a better life for themselves than finding the perfect man(although romance is not out of the question)is getting hassled for the same material that just about every other friendship based sitcom starring guys gets away with.
Also wondering if some of this nitpicking has to do with class;maybe some people have no trouble with this type of humor when it comes from upper middle class males than working class women:
Eventually,this tempest in a TV teapot will blow over and if folks are willing to give 2 Broke Girls another season or two,some of these problems may solve themselves over time. Listening to suggestions on improving the show would be in the best interest of all concerned but that doesn't mean 2BG should take any crap off anybody either. If you want a bitch pass from these girls,you're looking at the wrong menu:
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