Who cares about Two and a Half Men when you have 2 Broke Girls? The premiere of this gal pal sitcom jumped out of the gate and took off running, led by the rapid-fire tough-girl dialogue from waitress Max (Kat Dennings). I kept waiting for her sardonic wit to get old or to fail at funniness, but it was relevant, biting, and entertaining to watch for the full half hour. One of the highlights included her dressing down a couple of rude hipster customers, including a snap at one of my personal pet peeves:
"I wear knit hats when it's cold out; you wear knit hats 'cause of Coldplay."
2 Broke Girls is promising to be a sweet but smart girl power comedy that pairs Max with rich girl Caroline (a charmingly funny Beth Behrs), whose corrupt father landed in prison and landed her in the poorhouse. The two make a pact in the pilot episode to work as many jobs as possible to save up money to open a bakery--Max apparently has mad skills with cupcakes and Caroline went to Wharton Business School.
It's a nice frame for a series that will be finding humor in the opposite lifestyles of Max and Caroline (though they agree on their love of bad boy Robbie's (Noah Mills) sexy abs), the quirky staff and customers of the Brooklyn diner the girls waitress at, and the crazy rich lady Max babysits for.
The best comedies mix great dialogue and funny situations with physical comedy, and 2 Broke Girls is no exception. One of the best surprise laughs in the pilot episode came when Max rode the subway, and a jarring stop of the train car bumped her into an inadvertent kiss with another female passenger. After a lengthy, awkward pause, Max drawled, "Well, I can knock that off my bucket list." The way the kiss happened, and the look these two women share, made this perfect comedic moment work just the way it should. What made it even better was the immediate follow-up incident with Caroline and a pink taser: "It didn't feel pink!"
So far 2 Broke Girls is off to a promising start. The characters are likable and it will actually make you laugh, unlike many other sitcoms out there. Here's hoping the next episodes can keep up with the brilliantly sharp sarcasm and unexpected subway humor. It's too soon to tell for sure, but I expect this Whitney Cummings' show to do better than the one she actually stars in.
PHOTO: Kat Dennings as Max and Beth Behrs as Caroline in 2 Broke Girls; pilot screencaps c2011 CBS Television Network.