PRESS TOUR: Loaded questions, testy answers about '2 Broke Girls'

Wednesday, 11 January 2012 06:26 PM Written by 

For a link to recent posts from the 2012 winter Television Critics Association press tour, click here.

2brokePASADENA, Calif. -- I've heard from a few viewers who are offended by CBS's "2 Broke Girls," most of them older. They dislike the show for its crude humor ("vagina" is a favorite word).

Others object to the stereotyping of the show's ethnic characters in the diner.

I wanted to like "2 Broke Girls" -- and I genuinely do like the work of stars Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs -- but I gave up on the show after a few episodes because crude does not automatically equal clever or funny in my book.

Clearly I'm not alone, even among TV critics, who peppered series creator Michael Patrick King ("Sex and the City") with questions in a tense exchange this morning.

Read more after the jump. ...

CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler defended the content of "2 Broke Girls."

"Everything is still within the restrains of our standards and practices, and so it's important that we function within our environment, but we push it," she acknowledged. "It's landing audiences who respond to it, but we are respectful and, again, operate within our parameters."

That "people are watching" defense is not a great justification for some of the content on "2 Broke Girls" and "Two and a Half Men," the two programs I hear the most complaints about.

"Girls" executive producer Michael Patrick King also offered a terrible excuse for stereotyping gags.

"I"m gay," he said. "I'm putting in gay stereotypes every week.  I don't find it offensive, any of this. I find it comic to take everybody down.  That's what we're doing.

"I mean, this show started with two stereotypes ‑‑ a blonde and a brunette," King said earlier. "And that implies certain stigmas as well, which we immediately tried to diffuse and grow."

Seems like it can be argued that there are different degrees of stereotypes and relative power.

King also dimisses any talk that 8:30 p.m. is too early for crass humor.

"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," he said. "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. I also think if the show existed only in naughty jokes without pathos, I would not be happy. So I feel no need to pull away from the brand of '2 Broke Girls,' which is basically in‑your‑face girls. It is ballsy. It is right in your face and hopefully funny."

I'll have to take his word for it. I've already given up on "2 Broke Girls."
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