Thanks CBS for making it hard for others to watch ’2 Broke Girls’

As you may know from some of my recent posts, I’ve become quite the sitcom addict since deciding my ultimate goal is to pen TV comedies. Unfortunately, I don’t personally own a television (I’ll get on that when I move into Manhattan), so I inevitably see my favorite programs at least a day late. The Internet and season DVDs have made it possible for me to keep up with good shows sans television, but CBS is now making it harder for me and many others to stay updated on what’s going on in “2 Broke Girls.”

CBS.com used to upload full episodes of “2 Broke Girls” after each airing, so imagine the disappointment of loyal viewers when the network began substituting entire episodes for clips. I know I can be a cheapskate about TVs, but I’m not the only one who was let down by this change. Here are some complaints people wrote on the show’s Facebook fanpage:

“Some people work nights and cant watch your show…so we watch it online and even help in voting for you for People’s Choice Awards so what do we get in return…YOU NOT ALLOWING US TO WATCH ONLINE! Typical CBS so lets try and fix this so I can continue to watch a show I love and you can be the #1 network that I love!”

“Why can’t I watch full episodes? I’m sad”

“Where did the full episode go? Come on CBS..you did the same thing with Mike and Molly last year. I’m ready to give up on you.”

“You mean to tell me they are not doing full episodes any more? What gives? I know they have never done The Mentalist; now, 2 broke girls? I guess CBS doesn’t want us watching their shows.”

“Here we go again CBS shows about 1/2 season of something in full episodes then after everyone begins to like it suddenly there is only clips. This won’t make me go out and buy a television service. In fact it makes me determine never to watch a new show from you again.”

“Don’t be like this CBS, Let us watch full episodes online! Some day soon people will only stream shows, no more expensive cable. Get with the program make your stuff available here so people don’t go to a bootleg site.”

Many of these folks put it better than I ever could. I know CBS has to profit from “2 Broke Girls,” so why not sell the episodes on iTunes? With the decrease in TV set ownership in U.S. households, CBS can’t expect all its viewers to have boob tubes. Help us out here, CBS.

Until I can live in an apartment that can actually support a TV set (the cable in my bedroom is faulty and we have no living room, gotta love Bed Stuy rent!), I have no choice but to stop watching “2 Broke Girls.” It’s kind of a letdown. Where else am I going to find a sitcom about two broke twenty-something women residing and working in a sketchy area of Brooklyn?

When I first relocated to New York in October, “2 Broke Girls” was the only thing keeping me sane because it reminded me that I wasn’t the only young lady living in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods of Brooklyn to save on apartment expenses. It even helped me laugh off my nerves and eventually feel comfortable and safe in Bed Stuy (knock on wood!). Thanks for taking that away from me, CBS. At least it was fun while it lasted.

This week in ’2 Broke Girls’: Max shows her softer side

Anytime I get hung up on living without a microwave, dishwasher, TV, set of drawers, closet, or bed (until Saturday morning, thank you Sleepy’s!), I watch “2 Broke Girls” on CBS.com and instantly feel like less of a failure for lacking basic amenities. As Mindy Kaling states in her memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, pretty much everyone in New York City is miserable and constantly striving for the unattainable, and the gals on “2 Broke Girls” take that to a new level.

(From left) Max, Chestnut, and Caroline

In Monday’s episode, Max and Caroline do some research of lodging for the horse Chestnut, who has been residing illegally in Max’s Brooklyn apartment for several months. Now that winter is about to strike New York (snow is supposed to sweep across the city on Wednesday), the girls realize they need to find the animal a cozy place to live immediately.

Though perpetually sarcastic and snarky, Max exhibits more vulnerability than we’ve ever seen this week. Throughout the season, we’ve watched her talk to Chestnut, take him to the bathroom, and express concerns about his well-being to others, so it makes sense that she’d cry whilst saying farewell to him. After Chestnut gets settled into his new home, Max says something along the lines of, “Not a lot has gone well for me in life and it doesn’t look like that’s changing anytime soon. You were the only good thing.” It’s wonderful to see a different side of Max, who spends much of her time making fun of her dorky coworker, Han and former rich girl, Caroline. It seems sitcoms are required to bring out the softie in everyone during the holidays, but I didn’t expect to see Max tear up like that.

Max

Of course, she has been through quite a ride this season: Her new coworker Caroline moved in with her, the guy she liked ended up being a cad, and she’s not quite ready to put herself out there to start a cupcake business. There’s also her depressing backstory, which we get bits and pieces of every week. Only now is it clear that her unlucky lot in life makes her feel hopeless no matter how often she tries to laugh off her misfortune.

Now that I’ve recapped “2 Broke Girls” for you, I guess I should have a totally self-indulgent moment and compare my own experience to the show. I do this only because a friend asked me today whether “Sex and the City” is an accurate portrayal of New York City writing life. She already knew the answer to that loaded question: Hell no. Unless pampered by a billionaire husband, no journalist can afford to buy Manolos or a $300 pillow on a whim. “2 Broke Girls” may not be the most realistic depiction of NYC youth either, but at least it recognizes that everyone is struggling financially and constantly stressed about saving money in their twenties. What “2 Broke Girls” does not cover, however, is the way strangers react to NYC newbies.

I have enjoyed my time here the past few weeks, but become a little insulted by the condescending tone in which many random people address me. Three weeks ago, I attended a networking event and a woman in her thirties scoffed at me for introducing myself to everyone in sight. When I told her I’m 23, she laughed and said, “Oh, that’s so cute. You’re a baby.” I have had this conversation a few times since then and don’t really know what to make of people speaking to me as if I’m a toddler who is trying to fully grasp the English language.

I get it, folks: You find it adorable and perhaps even inspiring that I’m so young, fresh, and new to this place, but that doesn’t mean I’m incapable of thriving here. If anything, it should indicate that I’m totally able to succeed, but unfortunately my youth and “winsome spirit” (as a former colleague put it) give people the OK to raise eyebrows at me and say I’m a silly dreamer. Here’s my response to that: “You, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

’2 Broke Girls’ review, 11/7/11, player hater edition

Many “2 Broke Girls” critics complain that the series doesn’t know what it wants to be. Is it a comedy about poor Brooklyn waitresses or a reality check about living in the New York City area as a struggling twenty-something in debt? Luckily, tonight’s show was short on humor and more about the uncertainties of young relationships.

For the last few episodes, we’ve seen guarded Max develop a strong infatuation for frequent customer Johnny. He stops by often, corners her in the freezer room, visits her apartment unannounced, and invites her to paint a billboard with him.

They make a late night trip up to the billboard, where Max complains about the ridiculously pricey concrete jungle across the body of water.

“Manhattan is such a bitch. Always putting her stuff in your face, but you can’t have any of it,” Max gripes.

Just as Johnny says the city is beautiful and gazes at Max, she leans in. Like a tool, he resists and runs away. Max, who doesn’t open up to people anyway, is embarrassed and upset. This sort of thing happens and you begin to wonder if you were nuts to think the other person may have been drawn to you. As we find out at the end of the episode, Johnny does like Max, but he has a girlfriend, whom he never mentioned in all the months he’s known Max.

Tease!

Don’t ya hate when that happens? No, I’m not referring to the above photo. It’s mortifying and offensive when you spend endless amounts of time getting to know guys and they go out of their way to avoid telling you they’re taken. They know they’re withholding information but think they’re doing nothing wrong. After all, it’s just talking. Though you’re angry, you go on to breathe a sigh of relief that you’re not with a young man who can’t even tell women that he’s off the market until they come onto him. When push comes to shove, you’re more wounded than frustrated.

Anyway, this review has gone beyond “2 Broke Girls.” In a nutshell, I’m glad the sitcom isn’t all jokes, all the time anymore. Max’s aloof character has finally demonstrated vulnerability. We’re all capable of it, and she’s slightly more likable now that she shows her soft side and that she can get hurt.

As much as I enjoy “2 Broke Girls,” I’m disturbed by its excessive amount of politically incorrect jokes. I’m not the first to express discomfort about the sitcom’s racist wisecracks. It’s meant to be somewhat irreverent, but racism is not an appealing approach. Hopefully they ax the swipes soon.

With that, tonight is my last night at my buddy’s Manhattan pad. Goodbye Chelsea, hello Brooklyn and bedroom with view of a junkyard (hey, it’s getting cleared out as we speak. By the time I move out in January, it could be completely clean!). I’m going to miss feigning life as a Manhattanite who hangs out in Chelsea Market and only has to walk a few blocks to get to Union Square. I won’t miss the loneliness of studio life, but boy will I long for all things-Manhattan as I reside in Brooklyn.

Though I love my new neighborhood, which is not nearly as sketchy as I anticipated, I look forward to relocating to Manhattan with Hillary and Emily early next year. We’d love to migrate over to the east village. Hillary actually likes looking around for places to live, so I trust her judgment more than my own! Fingers crossed I’ll be in Manhattan in no time.

“2 Broke Girls” is right, though: Manhattan sure is deceptive. You see her all day, spend most of your time with her, and desperately want to move forward, but she just won’t have you. You’re not made of money, therefore she’s just not that into you. When you’re ready to take a huge risk, however, she will probably have you, but at a high price. I’ll let you in on a new New Yorker secret: The cost is worth it.

I can’t call myself a New Yorker yet, though, and I’m not sure I’ll ever earn that title. Everyone I meet has been here for years. My colleague Elizabeth, 24, moved here at 17 to attend Columbia. She and several others jokingly laugh about me being an NYC newbie. None of them even remember the kind of feelings I’m experiencing right now. Hillary had to explain the acronyms LWS, UWS, LES, and UES. From what I’ve read, people tend to move to NYC at a much younger age than 23, so it’s no wonder I’m such a space case. Even so, who would have thought I reached NYC spinster age at 23? It’s all good. I’d rather be a crotchety old lady in NYC than a young soul in California, at least until I’m ready to settle down and have children. Someday.

Becoming dependent on ’2 Broke Girls’, babysitting again!

It’s Monday night. You know what that means: I got to see the latest episode of “2 Broke Girls”, of which I’ve been a fan since the show’s debut. The first time I watched it, I wasn’t a huge fan of Caroline, the formerly wealthy character whose dad lost the family fortune in a Madoff-esque ponzi scheme, but she has become much more likable, proactive, and responsible in recent weeks. Now, I love more than just Kat Dennings.

In case you don’t obsessively keep up with the sitcom as I do, “2 Broke Girls” follows a pair of New York waitresses struggling to make ends meet. Kat Dennings plays Max, an irreverent, self-deprecating lower middle class server who befriends new waitress Caroline, an ex-Manhattanite who has to start working in food service as a result of her dad’s scandal. The two seemingly have nothing in common but become good friends and roommates in Brooklyn.

Riches to rags

Michael Patrick King, the guy behind “Sex and the City”, is the creator of this new program, which shows the less-than-glamorous reality of residing in the NYC area. Many girls watch “SATC” and hope to someday emulate Carrie Bradshaw. Well, the transition is unrealistic, especially if you’re young.

As Dennings’s’ character says on the show, “Everyone is broke in their twenties.” That’s especially true for New York City, so maybe Michael Patrick King is atoning for his sin of giving millions of ladies unrealistic expectations and false hopes of NYC affordability by exposing the truth of Big Apple living in “2 Broke Girls”.

I have loved “2 Broke Girls” from the start, but have a new appreciation for it now that I’m:

A. Relocating to Brooklyn

B. Watching my finances like a hawk

C. Fighting off creepers in the bad areas of NYC

A recent episode of “2 Broke Girls” features Caroline complaining that she just got cat called a million times on her three block journey to work. As I quickly learned, that’s not such an absurd claim given the heightened Brooklyn rape watch and city’s countless creepshows and muggers. Laugh if you will, but there are some rough parts to lookout for.

Once I get settled into my new digs, I’m going to start posting babysitting ads, as I’d like to pick up some cash on the weekends. Let me get one thing straight: I am in love with everything about New York City, particularly the fact that it never, ever sleeps. Really. Lyzi and I stayed out until 4 a.m. on Saturday and tons of people were still roaming the streets when the cabbie dropped me off home. There were enough folks out and about that I felt comfortable stumbling into McDonald’s for some post-drinking food. Okay, I know there is a lot wrong with what I just typed, especially since I’d only had two beers that night, but it was nice to consume some greasy food soggy fries on a whim. No matter what time of day or night, NYC will never let you down, unlike DC’s pathetic excuse for public transportation. I’m so relieved that I never have to deal with awful WMATA again.

Oh dear, I’ve gone off on a tangent, per usual. Now that we’re past that, I’ll explain more about my babysitting endeavors. I have an extensive babysitting background and would love to have some extra spending money for trips to Atlas Cafe, lunches at Pastis, bar adventures, and shows (Who wants to accompany me to “The Book of Mormon”?!), so hopefully babysitting will help do the trick.

As I wrote in the last paragraph, I have ample babysitting experience (10+ years!) and can take care of kids of all ages. I’ve done everything from diaper changes to meltdown soothing, so I’m well versed in watching younguns’. I haven’t babysat on a regular basis since high school, but always take out my nephews when I visit California. I’m going to put out some ads for babysitting, but ping me if you know of anyone who could use an extra hand.

If this helps, I also have a high tolerance for wild children, as I once babysat two little boys who chased my best buddy Lauren with butcher knives and waved dead snake skin in my face, so there’s pretty much nothing I can’t handle. That’s another blog post entirely, so stay tuned.

Creepers gonna creep

As noted in today’s earlier blog post, my friend Lisa and I crossed paths with some serious creeps last night. During a walk to the bar, a pack of young men swarmed and chucked rocks at us after we ignored their persistent catcalls. I felt like I was in junior high school again, only this time I wasn’t being bullied senselessly. We were bothered for declining the advances of violent, pushy young men.

Thankfully, we caught the attention of a taxi driver and were out of the weird area within seconds. Of course, the night was still young at that point and we had plenty more oddballs to meet.

Shaken up, Lisa and I huddled together in the back of the bar and discussed what had just happened to us. Moments later, a random guy came up to us and asked for our names.

Lisa and Laura

“Laura and Lisa,” I said.

“Wow, no way. I grew up with a Laura and a Lisa,” he said, his eyes glazed over. “Only you two are way prettier than they were.”

“I’m sure you tell that to all the girls,” Lisa said.

“No,” he went on. “I loved Laura and Lisa. They were like, the hot older girls you always want to date. But they were cougars. Are you guys cougars?”

“No,” I replied, laughing. “I can imagine it’s pretty hard to be a cougar at age 23.”

“Yeah, unless you date a 15-year-old,” he continued, “but I’m sure you wouldn’t do that.”

The conversation was going nowhere, but he kept going.

“So you’re from DC?” he asked.

“Nope,” I responded.

“If you’re not FROM DC, why are you HERE?”

“For jobs,” I said. “DC is full of transplants, you know.”

The concept of relocation made no sense to him, and he continued with the long-winded small talk, so Lisa and I ran to the bathroom a few minutes later.

As Derek Dye would say, I can spot creepers from a mile away. It brings me back to a recent episode of “2 Broke Girls” in which pampered Manhattanite Caroline expresses astonishment and disbelief about the streets of Brooklyn.

“I was catcalled ninety times!” she says of her three-block stroll to work. My Brooklyn buddy Hillary says this sort of thing happens to her on a daily basis, so I guess I’d better get used to this then, right?

IHOP blues, cereal dinners, ’2 Broke Girls’

Monique and I are happy we splurged for cable. We initially just wanted Internet, but basic channels keep us company and informed on television pop culture (for the record, I’ve never owned a TV set. Several former Daily Caller interns said such isolation from the outside world makes me a prime candidate for mass murder, so thankfully this category no longer applies to me).

We just watched “2 Broke Girls,” which quite frankly underwhelmed me. The laughtrack should go, as it takes away from the sitcom experience. It worked for “Friends” but is downright distracting for this particular program, which survives on the multifaceted acting skills, brains, beauty, and comedic timing of Kat Dennings.

Most people will only tune in for “2 Broke Girls” because it stars the self-deprecating 25-year-old brunette, who has held memorable cameo roles in comedies like, “40 Year Old Virgin” and “The House Bunny.” A few years ago, she played the lead female in “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” another example of her versatile performing abilities. She has potential to save “2 Broke Girls,” but unfortunately, her co-star Beth Behrs weakens the plot. Couldn’t the show writers have come up with a more original sidekick than the spoiled, dim-witted, screechy blonde? Nevertheless, she has a decent dynamic with Dennings’s character, who is recovering from a break-up in episode two.

“I heard you crying in your room the other night,” says the blonde.

“I was masturbating,” Dennings’s character says.

No matter what, I still adore Kat Dennings.

This evening, I revisited one of my favorite college dinners: cereal. I’d just finished up a 2.5 mile run (so proud of myself for getting back into the habit of jogging!) and wanted to avoid a heavy meal, so Special K (thanks Monique!) seemed like the best option. During my UA dorm days, I often had Kix, Rice Krispies, and Cheerios late at night, so I felt like a student again consuming a bowl of cereal in front of the boob tube.

Unfortunately, not everything from college transferred over to pseudo-adulthood. Last night, Monique and her grad school buddy made a 10:45 trip to IHOP, our new favorite eatery. I declined the invitation because shut eye was more important. Back in school, I stayed up as late as I desired all nights of the week regardless of my Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. classes. I just needed to coast through those hour-long early morning courses before rushing back to my apartment for my beloved coma naps, which energized me for evening outings with friends. Those days are long gone, and I can’t even venture to IHOP after dark without feeling guilty, stressed out, and sleep-deprived.

For one, when did an IHOP trip become a full-fledged adventure? Am I reasonable or pathetic to wish I could feast on the restaurant’s famous chocolate chip pancakes at midnight alongside intelligent, well-rounded folks like Monique and Kenneth? I always enjoy our religious debates, family story exchanges, work discussions, and conversations, but lack the stamina to keep such dialogue going past 11 p.m., at least on weeknights.

This isn’t really about IHOP, which I haven’t really frequented since living in L.A. in the early nineties. Back then, I nursed the diner’s incomparable hot chocolate, which to this day remains the best in the business IMO (Monique seconds that). All drinks aside, I’m still mourning the loss of late night conversations with good friends. Back at UA, I had the luxury of being exhausted on a school day. If you want to perform well at work, late night talks are nothing more than productivity killers for the following morning.

Rather than complain for another 300 words, I pose a question to readers: What do you most miss about youth (i.e. high school, college, flexible summers)? Did you engage in late night chats with university friends? If so, what sort of topics did you cover? What came up?