2 Broke Girls: TV Review

"2 Broke Girls" (CBS)
Richard Cartwright/CBS

Kat Dennings (left) and Beth Behrs

When the jokes work, they're funny, so there's hope.

The Whitney Cummings/Michael Patrick King-created sitcom about two New York waitresses generates some laughs but there's room for improvement.

This fall is full of shows just like this -- shows with potential but uncertain futures.

CBS' promising 2 Broke Girls, which stars the wonderful Kat Dennings as divey-restaurant waitress Max Black, who tolerates no nonsense, and Beth Behrs, who plays Caroline Channing, daughter of a Bernie Madoff-type father whose arrest and frozen assets have put Upper East Sider Beth into the workforce as a waitress and eventual roommate to the diametrically opposed Max.

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Broke Girls, created by Whitney Cummings (who has her own decidedly less funny sitcom, Whitney, over at NBC) and Michael Patrick King, has enough of the kind of jokes that work in the CBS-standard sitcom format, so it's worth endorsing.

But it still has its troubling minuses.

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Chief among them is a racist portrayal of Korean restaurant owner Han Lee, whose pidgin English is an easy crutch that CBS brass should have noted and changed. (He also changes his name to Bryce to appear more American, setting up Bryce Lee/Bruce Lee jokes that make you groan.)

There also are a number of too-easy sex jokes (including a sex-stained waitress outfit that prompts Behrs' character to say, "I hope that's clam chowder").

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It could be that, like a lot of sitcom pilots, Broke Girls is trying too hard. But when the jokes work, they're funny, so there's hope.