The stars of CBS's new comedy 2 Broke Girls, Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, showed up at TCA today to talk about their Brooklyn-set sitcom about two waitresses from extremely different backgrounds (Dennings's character, Max, has always struggled, where Behrs's Caroline is a former heiress who has just lost all her money). Series creators Michael Patrick King (of Sex and the City) and Whitney Cummings (who was just at TCA on Monday for her new NBC show, Whitney) also chatted about the genesis of the series and the edginess of the humor. Here are highlights:
- Dennings, best known for movies like Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and this Summer's Thor, was asked why she was making the transition to TV. She mentioned that although things were "actually picking up," she was frustrated about doing smaller films that no one ever saw. She wanted "to do something where people will definitely see it . . . because I'm a hard worker." While Dennings said she hadn't thought about TV, the fact that Cummings and King were behind the show made it seem "like a gift" and that she felt "just really lucky this came along."
- King's goal for the series is for it to be "as contemporary and as edgy as two broke girls would be today if they were living in Williamsburg," while also striving for authenticity. That's why he wanted Dennings, calling her "a legitimate outsider girl" who makes the comedy real. In her costar Behrs, King said they "discovered this beautiful character," but Dennings is their "amazing, authentic outsider."
Keep reading to find out more about 2 Broke Girls, including how it's in sharp contrast to King's prior project Sex and the City.
- Sex and the City was a hot topic, because as Dennings pointed out herself, King got her career started when she guest-starred on the show as precocious teen Jenny Brier (or as Dennings referred to her, "the bl*w job Bar Mitzvah girl"). Behrs also said she loved SATC, as did Cummings, who admits that she's such a big fan that she still gets butterflies in her stomach when she sees emails from King. As to what 2 Broke Girls and Sex and the City have in common, King amplified their differences, saying that in "Sex and the City, the girls had relationship checklists; these girls barely have checks."
- King said the show got moving because he had really wanted to do a sitcom, and then decided he wanted it to be a show "where people can go to see their friends," and have it revolve around funny women, which he said he loves writing for. King then needed a cowriter, so he looked for "a really smart, funny writer with a hard comedy edge," which he found in Cummings. He also cited Cummings's stand-up background as a necessity, because the show is recorded in front of a live audience, so they needed jokes that make an audience laugh.
- "Edgy" was a buzzword for the series because of the tone of its jokes. Cummings is "happy network TV is embracing edgier comedies," but she and King think the place they're really being edgy is by being so upfront about money. Cummings mentioned that we often see characters playing waitresses and then living "in gorgeous brownstones," but 2 Broke Girls is frank about rent, finances, and being short on cash: "You never see that."