Cummings Cometh

Whitney Cummings as ‘Whitney’ in “Whitney”I doubt many comedy fans this side of the Atlantic (myself included) would be able to pick American comedian Whitney Cummings out of a line-up… but apparently she’s so highly regarded in her homeland that she has two shiny new sitcoms debuting this week! Obviously from an ideological perspective, I am gladdened to see a female showrunner rising to such prominence… it’s just a shame I didn’t actually find either of her shows particularly funny. Of course, I’ve been picking holes in a lot of pilots recently, so it’s worth noting that there are plenty of hugely successful shows that took a while to warm up. I mean, the first episode of Seinfeld is dreadfully dull, ‘Kramer’ has the wrong name, and ‘Elaine’ is nowhere to be seen! I guess sometimes you just have to wait for the writers and cast to find their groove. And we can’t overlook the fact that I’m a wannabe sitcom writer myself, so there’s probably a bit of envy coming into play here too! Therefore, the following snark should be taken with a hefty pinch of salt…

2 Broke Girls was co-created by Cummings, and is set around a cheap-but-cheerful Brooklyn restaurant, staffed almost exclusively by heavily-accented ethnic stereotypes. Kat Dennings plays ‘Max’, a streetwise career-waitress, who belittles rude customers with esoteric pop-culture put-downs. Beth Behrs plays ‘Caroline’, a “poor little rich girl” reduced to waiting tables when her family’s assets are frozen. At first they do not get along, but by the end of the episode they’re bestest friends, scheming to start a business together… because… um… that’s the premise of the show, so there! The schmaltzy catalyst that brings this odd couple together was a little too sudden and contrived for my liking… but they are quite endearing characters, played by capable actresses, so hopefully we’re over the hump and can just settle back and enjoy their company now. The “USP” of this show is that we’ll get to see Max and Caroline slowly progress towards their (pulled-out-of-thin-air) life goal of raising $250,000 to open a cupcake shop… and every episode will Kat Dennings as ‘Max Black’ and Beth Behrs as ‘Caroline Channing’ in “2 Broke Girls”supposedly end with a tally of how much money they’ve earned that week. It’s an intriguing idea, and if they can keep it up then it might make for a very rewarding long-term story arc… but, equally, if they fudge the running total too much one way of the other, then it might just end up annoying more viewers than it intrigues.

Meanwhile, Whitney is a fairly standard-issue domestic sitcom, based on the eponymous-star-and-sole-creator’s real-life experiences and comedy routines. The first episode sees her attempting to break the monotony of her long-term, monogamous relationship by dressing as a sexy nurse to seduce her live-in boyfriend. Meh. I’m not really the best audience for “relationship” humour right now, so most of the jokes were wasted on me. I found the couple’s respective best-friends quite amusing though, because they both get to crack much raunchier and/or crazier jokes than the more mundane main characters… I guess you could call it “The Jack & Karen Effect”! And I still don’t understand why a couple who’ve been in a faithful relationship for three years would balk at the idea of (gasp!) getting married and making it legal, even after the events of the episode appear to prove quite conclusively that their lives would be a lot less stressful if they were both wearing wedding rings… but, yeah… whatever. I can’t see any compelling reason to want a second (or twenty-second) helping of this show.

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
This entry was posted in Rants about TV and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Cummings Cometh

  1. Pingback: Dispiriting Sitcom Cameo Of The Week… | Thalia's Garden

  2. Pingback: Botch? | Thalia's Garden

  3. Pingback: Still Broken | Thalia's Garden

Comments are closed.