Sunday, November 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

'2 Broke Girls,' from the horse's mouth

This is not your father's CBS.
You wanna make something of it?
That's the message "2 Broke Girls" exec producer Michael Patrick King seemed to be sending Wednesday in an occasionally uncomfortable session in which some reporters expressed concern about some of the show's ethnic stereotyping and sexual banter and King was outspokenly unapolegetic.
How uncomfortable?
Some guy asked a question and King, the Scranton native who's best known for his work on "Sex and the City," asked his name, and after deciding it was Irish, quipped, "so we've identified your sexual problem...I understand [reporter's name omitted] I'm the same way."
Honestly, it was a joke. I think. But it's all about the delivery. Maybe it would've been funnier if it had come from one of King's two charming stars, Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, who weekly get away with stuff that, as another reporter noted, we might not be used to seeing at at 8:30 p.m. Mondays on CBS.
"Can I just correct you for a second?" King replied. "It's 8:30 on Monday on CBS in 2012. It's a very different world than 8:30 on Monday on CBS in 1994. And I ... consider our jokes really classy dirty. I think they're high lowbrow. I think they're fun and sophisticated and naughty, and I think everybody likes a good naughty joke."
As for the lampooning of the show's Asian diner owner, which occurs weekly, King said recent episodes have focused on his lack of height more than his ethnicity.
"I think that our show is a big, ballsy comedy, but it has a bigger heart than it has balls," King said, noting that the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, where the show's set, is a "melting pot" and quoting CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler as saying it's an "equal opportunity offender."
I try to avoid speaking for the room -- it's kind of a Television Critics Association no-no -- but I'm happy to say that no one seems to have any problems with the show's standout character -- the horse -- which, unfortunately, couldn't make it to the press conference.

'2 Broke Girls,' from the horse's mouth

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This is not your father's CBS.

You wanna make something of it?

That's the message "2 Broke Girls" exec producer Michael Patrick King seemed to be sending Wednesday in an occasionally uncomfortable session in which some reporters expressed concern about some of the show's ethnic stereotyping and sexual banter and King was outspokenly unapolegetic. 

How uncomfortable?

Some guy asked a question and King, the Scranton native who's best known for his work on "Sex and the City," asked his name, and after deciding it was Irish, quipped, "so we've identified your sexual problem…I understand [reporter's name omitted] I'm the same way."

Honestly, it was a joke. I think. But it's all about the delivery. Maybe it would've been funnier if it had come from one of King's two charming stars, Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, who weekly get away with stuff that, as another reporter noted, we might not be used to seeing at at 8:30 p.m. Mondays on CBS.

"Can I just correct you for a second?" King replied. "It's 8:30 on Monday on CBS in 2012. It's a very different world than 8:30 on Monday on CBS in 1994. And I … consider our jokes really classy dirty. I think they're high lowbrow. I think they're fun and sophisticated and naughty, and I think everybody likes a good naughty joke."

As for the lampooning of the show's Asian diner owner, which occurs weekly, King said recent episodes have focused on his lack of height more than his ethnicity.

"I think that our show is a big, ballsy comedy, but it has a bigger heart than it has balls," King said, noting that the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, where the show's set, is a "melting pot" and quoting CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler as saying it's an "equal opportunity offender."

I try to avoid speaking for the room -- it's kind of a Television Critics Association no-no -- but I'm happy to say that no one seems to have any problems with the show's standout character -- the horse --  which, unfortunately, couldn't make it to the press conference.

 Dennings and Behrs also love the horse, which when it's not playing Chestnut, goes by the name Rocky.

"I've had a few monologues to Chestnut," Dennings said, recalling a time when she said, "'Right, Chestnut?' And he turned his head and made a noise. And you can't teach -- I mean, you could, but he did that on his own. That wasn't even supposed to happen…He's like our pet."

He's become protective of his co-stars, according to Behrs.

"If there's a guest star in the scene who gets, like, a little bit too close, you know, Rocky will kind of step in like, 'These are my girls. Step away,'" she said.

"I wish he were here right now," added King, finally getting a genuine laugh.

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
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About this blog
As the TV critic for the Philadelphia Daily News, I've always believed my job is less about thumbs -- up or down -- and more about the conversation. Because the more choices we have, the fewer people in our lives know what we're talking about when we say, "Did you see that?" And that's when television really starts to get interesting. Reach Ellen at graye@phillynews.com.

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
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