First Look: New Girl v. 2 Broke Girls

Of the two female-led half hour comedies starting this season, I thought I’d hate the latter and love the former.

The first stars Zooey Deschanel, who did kooky funny so well in the excellent (500) Days of Summer. It’s about a girl who is dumped, and in her search for new roomies ends up in a flat of three men. A good, not majorly overdone premise, a solid lead actress and an ok-ish title to boot.

With Kat Dennings (who gives the best scornful eye roll of any actress out there) in the lead in the second show, that was a plus, but pretty much the only one. Hello, the title, for a start.

Anything with text speak as its name is automatically deducted points in my book, because it sounds as if its been thought up by some 40-something writers team trying desperately to be “down with the kids”.

The premise – poor girl meets rich brat, unlikely friendship ensues – doesn’t exactly reek of originality.

And then there’s the whole “we want to open a cupcake shop” thing; because duh, that’s the life ambition of any young woman with half a morsel of talent in the kitchen. Okkk.

But the thing is, despite the surface flaws, 2 Broke Girls was funny. Yes, the plot is ridiculous, yes there is canned laughter and there are far too many “look how risque we are” jokes.

Still. Dennings and co-star Beth Behrs have excellent screen chemistry and, despite the stereotypes, aren’t entirely devoid of normal human charcteristics. Like, they go to Starbucks, and the “crummy” apartment is just that.

In contrast, New Girl was old hat. The main character is every writer’s indie trademark rolled into one – she sings ALL the time, she wears large black dork glasses, she cries at Dirty Dancing and has no common sense – but more than that she’s actually offensive.

Crying for a solid week after her break-up (while the man just goes out and parties), woefully clueless (she texts her date a gazillion times) and horrendously ditzy (is that dirty laundry stuck to her leg?).

She’s supposed to be alternative, not the prom queen type. Fine. But most girls aren’t prom queens.

Why not make her intelligent and naturally quirky rather than a running joke? The only thing that redeems it is that her male roommates also bear no resemblance to reality.

I had high hopes for the show, and maybe it will improve. But on 2 Broke Girls it was nice to see two female characters who weren’t defined by the men (or lack thereof) in their lives, and who had personalities that moved beyond the page. Long may it continue.

More about new TV shows to watch this Autumn here



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