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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?
Filed under: 2 Broke Girls, 2 Broke Girls CBS, Beth Behrs, Bryce Lee, Butt of Jokes, CBS, Do Better, Engrish Is Played, Ethnic Stereotypes, Funny Girls, Hacky Writing, Han Lee, Kat Dennings, Mr. Yunioshi, Network Television, Sitcoms, TV Stereotypes