By Matt Ern, Columnist
2 Broke Girls- "And The Disappearing Bed"
2 Broke Girls is the most consistently disappointing and blatantly unfunny new show this season. There are about a million things wrong with this show and I don't think I can fit them all into the few hundred words I get to write each week. But here goes.
First things first: the plot is almost non-existent. This week's episode did have a plot, but I've seen episodes that can really best be described as a series of unrelated events strung together randomly while Kat Dennings makes pithy one-liners.
While we're on the subject of one-liners, I think that's the only form of joke the writers have ever heard of before. Most of the dialogue is either a set up for a one-liner, or is one. It would be one thing if they were at least funny but most are double entendres a 12 year old boy would come up with. Kat Dennings laughs after many of her own jokes, but my issue isn't that she's breaking. My issue is that she would actually think any of the lines she's been fed are funny.
"And The Disappearing Bed" also contains a really bizarre date rape joke that comes out of nowhere and falls kind of flat. Date rape is obviously a sensitive issue and if you're going to joke about it you should try and do it in a creative way that hasn't been done before, or at the very least make it funny. Certainly don't make the joke at the expense of a victim. This joke comes up completely inorganically; it's just forced in there because the writes felt like making a joke about rape.
"Somebody date raped me and I didn't think I'd live through it but I did and now I'm stronger. And still needy.'" There for no discernable reason for this joke other than the eerie fact that the writers think rape is humorous. 2 Broke Girls averages about one rape joke an episode, which is starting to creep me out a little.
I can't imagine who in their right mind would think this show is watchable, let alone entertaining.
Once Upon A Time- "Pilot"
The show Once Upon A Time has a premise so outlandish as soon as you start explaining it to someone you catch yourself going "I can't believe I'm saying these words out loud right now. I can't believe this was an idea someone had for a television show."
Essentially all of the characters from public domain fairy tales are transported to our world by the Evil Queen form Snow White. They don't remember their past selves and time has stopped in the town they all live in.
Snow White's daughter, who was put in a magical wardrobe, is the only one who can save all the fairy tale characters. On her 28th birthday she is supposed to return to the town and defeat the Queen. This premise is so insanely dumb I can't imagine how it was ever picked up. Yet the pilot is surprisingly watchable.
The action cuts between the present, where Snow White's daughter Emma is brought to the town of Storybrooke by her estranged son, and flashback to the characters as fairy tales preparing for the Queen's curse to trap them all in time. The fairy tale storyline is just so silly but the show takes itself very seriously.
Emma's storyline is actually mildly interesting and it could be fun to see which fairy tale characters everyone in the town turn out to be (although the ones they've shown so far have been pretty obvious).
Really the most important thing you need to know about this show is that Giancarlo Esposito is going to play the Queen's Magic Mirror. While he wasn't in the pilot, he's billed as one of the show's stars, which is good news for Breaking Bad fans already having withdrawals now that Esposito is off that show.
Person of Interest- "Judgment"
Have you been keeping up with Person of Interest all season? Yeah, me neither. But when I saw that David Costabile (who up until recently played Gale on Breaking Bad) was going to be in last week's episode I thought I'd check it out. Plus it has Michael Emerson who was always my favorite part of Lost.
The premise is a little out there: Emerson's character built a machine for the government that's capable of spying on everyone at any time. Its original use was to stop terrorist attacks, but Emerson uses it to stop other crimes deemed too irrelevant for the U.S. government to deal with.
The machine predicts who will be involved in violent crimes but is (for the sake of keeping the plot interesting) unable to tell if the person will be the victim or the perpetrator. This little gimmick seems highly unnecessary.
Emerson gives this information to his partner (James Caviezel), an ex-CIA officer presumed dead. If this sounds like a lot to swallow, it is. Everything about this show is farfetched and over the top.
This week a gang kidnaps the son of a judge (Costabile) to force him to throw a case. The woman responsible for laundering the gang's money is on trial for drunk driving and faces charges of vehicular manslaughter.
Cue Caviezel throws bad guys through windows and hits every spy movie trope imaginable. He spends the episode planting bugs and talking condescendingly to his cop buddy while Emerson traces phone lines and hacks bank accounts. Everything about this show is typical and predictable. We've seen it all before (even the machine itself is reminiscent of the one built at the end of The Dark Knight).
Person of Interest falls into the broad and not particularly fulfilling category of network cop shows. While it's not particularly good, if you really love CSI or Hawaii 5-0, you may find a liking in Person of Interest.