When CBS says 2 Broke Girls, they mean it.
Unlike other shows — where the characters have superficial money troubles, but still possess the trappings of wealth — 2 Broke Girls plans to base its two leading ladies' economic troubles in realism. "In most sitcoms, someone works in a coffee shop and they live in a huge, gorgeous New York brownstone and they're wearing Versace clothes, and it's never acknowledged, so that's something that really interested us," executive producer Whitney Cummings said at CBS' fall TV previews Wednesday.
The New York-set sitcom pits Max (Kat Dennings), a cynical diner waitress, against former rich girl Caroline (Beth Behrs), who lost her fortune when her Bernie Madoff-like dad bilked his clients of millions. Their conflicting backgrounds fuel the comedy. "When you're thinking of ideas, hopefully you're affected by what's going on in the world," executive producer Michael Patrick King said. Added Cummings: "I feel like a lot of times, television doesn't really represent reality clearly in a lot of ways. The economy has really obviously taken a hit and even if you didn't have hundreds of millions of dollars in the last five or so years, a lot of people have lost some."
As a result, 2 Broke Girls won't pull any punches when it comes to showing the girls' struggles. "We really liked the scary dynamic of actually talking about money on TV because there are rarely any sitcoms when they actually say how much something costs," King said. "The artifice of doing a show in front of an audience is already false enough because you never even turn around."
King shied away from comparisons to his earlier show, Sex and the City. "That show and this show are a completely different DNA," he said. "2 Broke Girls is like the evil twin of chick lit... Carrie and her closet was Narnia...On Sex and the City, the girls had relationship checklists; these girls barely have checks."
King says you won't see the edgy, outlandish stories once seen on Sex. "All the comedy that is standing on top of 2 Broke Girls will be resting on the hearts and souls of these two girls," he said. "Max, who's never had a moment of luxury to dream anything except going to go to work the next day, and Caroline, who's had only the luxury of all her dreams coming true. Those two hearts coming together, with the irreverent, spicy, outrageous, contemporary edge that girls who are 23 can have, is what we're trying to do."
2 Broke Girls premieres Monday, Sept. 19 at 9:30/8:30c on CBS.