CBS comedies stagger on

How I Met Your Mother tries to conjure up Barney brilliance while 2 Broke Girls fails to earn interest.

How I Met Your Mother has been in a slump for some time. For me things started declining when Barney started liking Robin. It was a good idea for the writers to explore. Don’t get me wrong, but the character has never really recovered. Sadly, Barney has always been my favorite part of the show.

Monday, Barney finally got a chance to be like the Barney of old, finally executing a plot that had been in the making for almost a decade. Part of Barney’s appeal has always been his tenacious pursuit of the opposite sex and his inexplicable access to cash to fund it. His trap to see Lily’s boobs was well done.

Speaking of Marshall and Lily, they remain deadweight for the show. The worst mistake the writers have made was getting those two back together after their break up. Sure, they’re a great couple, but great couples are boring (especially as side characters on a show about being single).

Robin also remains deadweight, though Monday there was foreshadowing about the upcoming trials and tribulations of the Robin-Barney-Ted cluster. Yet do we really care? We know Barney gets married. I don’t really care if it’s Nora or Robin. In fact, I’d rather Barney didn’t get married at all.

So it seems like we’ll spend the year rehashing pregnancy/infant humor with Marshall and Lily, while the Barney-Robin thing gets milked into oblivion. Weeeeee. There are enough bright spots to keep me interested in the show, but I won’t lose sleep over the plot.

2 Broke Girls

I really want to like this show. But so far every single element seems designed to keep me from watching.

Let’s consider the basic premise. A rich girl is forced to live in a poor section of the city with her new, bitchy co-worker. The twist? The rich girl is friendly and supportive virtually eliminating half of the tension of the group. All we’re really left with is a bitchy friend who is begrudgingly helpful.

The goal is to raise $250,000 to start a bakery. Every episode we get a running total of the current cash available. Yawn. Why not just sell the “champion” horse Catherine brought with her or at least breed it? How are they even affording to feed that horse anyway?

If you spend five minutes, you can poke enough holes in the premise to wonder why more of the issues with it haven’t been addressed.

Still, I could live with a flimsy premise if the jokes were good. They aren’t. Herd’s a gem from the pilot…

“I thought you were trying to rape me.”
“That’s not what rape feels like.”

Nothing livens the mood like forcing the entire audience to imagine what rape feels like. Then you start to wonder, is Max referring to a specific event? How horrible is her past? When you watch the first two episodes, write down all of her personality clues. More and more it seems like this is an episode of Law and Order: SVU than a sitcom.

It would help if there was a good supporting cast. It’s impossible not to like Garrett Morris as Earl, but the others are cringe worthy. They’re not even developed enough to qualify as stereotypes.

Even with the nitpicking the basic issue is chemistry. There is none. Is it acting? Is it writing? Is it directing? Is it all of them? The show needs to find an emotional core that consists of more than wanting to open a cupcake business, and it needs to find it fast.

 

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