DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! 2 Broke Girls’ Han “Bryce” Lee

September 23rd, 2011 | 10 comments | Posted by Jen

I watched the pilot episode of 2 Broke Girls this week, even though multi-camera sitcoms really aren’t my thing. (Give me one hour dramas with teens or monsters or, even better, teens and monsters, any night of the week.) The CBS sitcom is about two women who form an unlikely friendship waitressing together at a greasy spoon in a not-cool neighborhood in Brooklyn.

And I liked it. Mostly. Beth Behrs is appealing as Caroline, the suddenly broke daughter of a disgraced Madoff-like figure, and Kat Dennings, who plays snarky Max, is infinitely watchable.

The same can’t be said for the show’s other characters, who are little more than a collection of broad, hacky, outmoded–even for network television–stereotypes, like Oleg, the pervy Russian Ukrainian cook who hits on the girls all day long, or Earl, the old, black wisecracking cashier who appears to be bound to his chair in the corner, or, worst of all, Han “Bryce” Lee, the Korean immigrant owner of the diner.

Han, who changes his name to “Bryce,” so that, as Dennings’ Max puts it, “people [can] take him even less seriously” than they already do, is a clueless, little man who spreaks Engrish and has no grasp of American culture. In an earlier draft of the pilot, he was actually named “Rice Lee,” so I guess that’s progress?

No. Not really.

It being 2011 and all, shouldn’t “ethnic” characters be more by now than just the butt of jokes made by pretty girls?

[CBS.com: 2 Broke Girls]

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10 Responses to “DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! 2 Broke Girls’ Han “Bryce” Lee”

  1. farleyk says:

    With all the technology available, perhaps it’s time George Lucas and his people digitally replaced Mickey Rooney with George Takei. Imagine George admonishing Holly in his dulcet tones. That would be awesome.

    Sad that this is juxtaposed with my favorite rendering of “Moon River”.

  2. Tristan says:

    Most of the glowing reviews seem to have omitted such criticisms.

    I can’t bring myself to watch this. Part of my aversion is rooted in the fact that the guy who gave the world Sex and the City 2 is the cocreator.

  3. Jen says:

    I really liked this Racialicious post on the show (before it aired) by our gal Latoya that addressed the difficulty of evaluating 2 Broke Girls. On the one hand, YAY FUNNY WOMEN. On the other, UGH RACIAL STEREOTYPES.

  4. Tristan says:

    I read somewhere (probably on Racialicious) about the Incredible Shrinking POC in Hollywood. It was something about how there are fewer POC in writing and producing roles now than there used to be, which surprised and disappointed me.

    I’ll admit that I love Harold and Kumar, but I definitely see how the non-progressive portrayal of women is really problematic and, in similar fashion, makes it and media like it difficult to evaluate.

    It’s great that strong, funny women are finally in vogue. We sort of know what that’s like because all that Orientalist shit was literally in Vogue. It’d be great if Asians and women and YAY, ASIAN WOMEN could get ahead to mutual advantage for just a little while, or at least until the next shitty-ass Hangover comes out.

  5. Jen says:

    I love the Harold and Kumar movies. And I can’t wait for the next one. But, you know, I’m a little bit sexist, too.

  6. DMan says:

    Really Jen???

    What is the low down on this Matthew Moy dude?
    Is this guy born in 1994 (on Wikipedia) so that makes him about 17 years old??? C’mon and he almost looks feminine. I am better looking than him. Lol!

  7. Jen says:

    Huh. Wikipedia does say Matthew Moy is 17. Which means he’s got the rest of his life to regret this role.

  8. cash4acres says:

    I like the blond in this “series”… reminds me of my X-girlfriends!

  9. fennarama says:

    The side characters are the main reason I stopped watching the show. I made it through three episodes and realized it was a washed up load of shit with Team Whitey as the winners and any other ethnicity or race stereotyped as a joke. The ONLY thing I think it has going is that Kat is kind of chubby. But that’s not enough. Fuck that bullshit.

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