The holiday spirit was in full force in "And the Very Christmas Thanksgiving," and unsurprisingly Caroline played the Whoville enthusiast to Max's Grinch. It didn't top last week's excellent episode, but it was a good effort.
The Good. I must be sounding like a broken record by now, never failing to comment on the chemistry and rapport between Caroline and Max. They have set roles, yes. One is a never-ending bundle of cheer, the other full of doubts and witty sarcasm. When they deviate slightly from those set roles, like they did here, it's a testament to their acting and chemistry that they can pull it off well. Sure, it was slightly predictable that at some point Caroline's high spirits was gonna crash and burn. There were so many good moments between them, though, that I didn't really mind.
First, that big crusted-over heart of Max was cracking with care for Caroline. Even as she delivered zings, they're enveloped in a message of genuine sympathy and worry. The girl talks a big game, but when it comes down to it, I'd want her to by my friend any day. Caroline acknowledged as much when she pointed out just all the things Max has done for her. Max may have a Grinch persona, but underneath all that is someone who is smart (she reads Dave Sedaris, y'all), witty and full of compassion.
What she lacks is confidence. Yes, Max is brash, bold, mouthy. She's confident in areas that require manipulation, and survival, but she lacks the belief that she can be successful. And that is why Caroline is just as good for Max as Max has been for Caroline. I've mentioned it before. Caroline forces growth within Max. She forces her to look at possibilities, to try new things, and to break out of her set persona once in a while.
Caroline broke character tonight, too. She finally accepted that she doesn't always have to be cheerful and positive. It took a while for her to accept, and it required a little push from some Mexican nine-hour energy drink, but she really let her dark side fly its freak flag. In the middle of Santa World and the children, no less. Her situation sucks. No one should have to feel happy just because tradition requires it. At the same time, there's no use wallowing in misery for long periods of time either. I liked that at the end, both acknowledged their blessings too. Life's not perfect, but our 2 Broke Girls are resilient, and it is a Wonderful Life.
The humor wasn't at its finest here, but I did laugh at some parts. The show does what I used to call as "gutter humor" but as some have pointed out, it's class-based humor too ("Christmas is only fun if you have money"). And still more have pointed out that it's real-life humor. I finally got what they meant. Some of their more "real-life" humor are kind of twisted, but the cavity search joke had me guffawing. A variation of Caroline's response to Max about how long since her cavities had been search has been known to fly out of mouths in my circle of friends. This is what they're going with and the viewers can take it or leave it. I am slowly warming up to it, though I'll still call twisted when I see it.
The Bad. I'm not really sure why almost every beginning and ending of Max's dialogue have to be zingers. She's a great character that a lot of women can relate to, but some of that gets lost when she becomes a walking quip machine. It doesn't have to be that way. The writers have proven that they can write everyday dialogue and exchange that sound genuine. A little restraint would go a long way in this case, I think.
And that's my only quibble, aside from the fact that I didn't laugh as much as usual.
- Is it just me or does Mindy Sterling look a lot like Rhea Perlman?
- I was kind of rooting for them to make some money. After all, tis the season that those who have cash, will spend. Disappointed that the cupcake fund went down by two dollars. Yea, I'm invested, so I guess that tally at the end works.
- Who missed Johnny? Why is he a recurring guest when the not-so cute co-stars are always there? *Pout*
- I love Earl's The Help quip.
- Okay, I'll give the three stooges some props: they showed a lot of heart this episode.
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