Thursday, 19 April 2012

2 Broke Girls: 'We wanted to actually try to do a show where people deal with rent'

It sounds a bit familiar - two girls from different backgrounds thrown together in an unfamiliar situation with hi-larious consequences (probably) - but 2 Broke Girls (here on E4 on Thursdays at 9) has an additional 'plot' 'strand' centring on a need for the main characters, broke Max and once-rich-but-now broke Caroline, both of whom work as waitresses, to raise $250,000 for a super new business idea they have (it's to do with making cup-cakes or something), which could mean the show is, how you say, one to watch.

Especially as it's so full of cute one-liners its almost exhausting, and the fact that it's created by a writer for Sex and the City, Michael Patrick King, along with a standup comedienne called Whitney Cummings, which is a name that college jocks might have had some fun with, perhaps, back at 'high school'. We've seen Glee, we know what goes on.

But this here Michael, he's won an Emmy for his work. But will there be scenes of anyone typing on a laptop while in their PJs on their bed as we hear a winsome voiceover piped in from the ether?

We just don't know (we do: it's unlikely). But let's read about what he and Whitney has to say about the programme anyway (which early indications suggest will be quite good, by the way):

'I wanted it to be contemporary and edgy'

MICHAEL: When I thought of doing a show called 2 Broke Girls, I wanted it to be as contemporary and as edgy as I believe two broke girls would be today if they were living in Williamsburg [an area of Brooklyn, New York City]. So the first person I was looking for was a really smart, funny writer with a really hard comedy edge.

A lot of great writers were there, but really no one had everything that Whitney has, which is she's smart, she's incredibly ambitious, has great discipline, thinks like a writer and writes really hard jokes like a standup.

Also, because the aim was to film it in front of a live audience, it was really important to both Whitney and I that we had jokes that made an audience laugh.

The idea of money, having it then losing it, was 'interesting'

MICHAEL: You know, when you're thinking of ideas, as a writer you're affected by what's going on in the world. And I thought the captivating thing about somebody with a lot of money and losing all their money was interesting. And somebody whose life was supposed to go a certain way and then suddenly implodes in also interesting.

WHITNEY: I feel often television doesn't represent reality in a lot of ways. I think the economy taking a hit, even if you haven't lost hundreds of millions of dollars within the past five or so years, a lot of people have lost some. So I think that's something that's really relatable about Caroline, because we've all sort of been going through that.
The main characters Max and Caroline talk about waitressing, and paying the rent, possibly
'We wanted to actually try to do a show where people deal with rent'

MICHAEL: And we also really liked the scary dynamic of actually talking about money on TV because there's rarely any sitcoms where they actually say how much something costs, including their rent. We wanted to actually try to do a show where people deal with rent.

WHITNEY: You never see that. In most sitcoms it's like someone works at a coffee shop and they live in a huge, gorgeous New York brownstone and are wearing Versace clothes. How they've achieved this is never acknowledged.

MICHAEL: The two girls in 2 Broke Girls come together with the irreverent sort of spicy, outrageous, contemporary edge that girls who are 23 living in Williamsburg have. Max, who has never had the moment of luxury to dream anything except going to work the next day, and Caroline, who has had only the luxury of all her dreams coming true.

Inevitable reference to Sex and the City coming now

MICHAEL: Carrie Bradshaw [from Sex in the City] was a very unique character [but] this show has a completely different DNA.

I mean, that was a show that had a romantic comedy edge. We played with reality, fantasy because it was about emotions and style and girls in their thirties. And I know a lot of girls in their thirties in New York who are very clever, who have no money and are suddenly always someplace, dressed nice. So that was the little bit of a cheat on that show. Carrie Bradshaw and her closet were Narnia, the "Sex and the City" girls had relationship checklists. These girls barely have checks  [we think he means 'cheques'].

In summary

So that's the creators of 2 Broke Girls talking about the 'creative process' of the show, then: a comedy programme about two broke girls, one who is poor, the other who was once rich but is now poor (hence the name), and who struggle to pay the rent and work as waitresses but (fortunately, otherwise it could have all been quite grim) it has jokes that are - oh! - really 'quite hard', and with a DNA that's 'completely different' from Sex and the City.

And the pictures are quite nice too, aren't they.

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