Thursday, November 19, 2015

One Broke Show

I'm going to teach a math class today. Or, at least, math as I understand it. And that is in relation to TV.

Tonight I stumbled on the worst show in the history of TV and to prove how bad it is, I'm actually going to use a calculator and try to access that lonely, forgotten part of my brain that once knew basic addition. That's how much I need you to understand how bad this show is.

That show is 2 Broke Girls and it made me want to pull my teeth out one-by-one.  (Look at me, using numbers in casual conversation!) I happened to catch the last 5 or 10 minutes of the show and was so completely disgusted I watched the next episode to prove my point. The things I do for you guys...

The premise is, not surprisingly, very simple. Two girls, one formerly rich and the other formerly a drug-addicted prostitute or something, work at a disgusting diner that appears to serve Russian food and cheesecake. The drug girl can bake cupcakes so they, being super broke, borrow money and open a cupcake shop.

Whatever. Not the worst premise for a show.

But let's check the numbers.

That is a tally of how many lines were said in the episode I cringe-ingly watched. It's 242 lines. The tallies on the left are lines that were followed by a laugh track; the tallies on the right are lines without laugh track. And let it be known that I was VERY generous with the data in the latter category: I counted "Yeah," as a full line more than a couple times.

SO! Here's what I discovered. The Max character (drug girl) had 76 laugh-track lines, 23 non-laugh-track lines. The other girl (I never caught her name) had a more appropriate ratio of 37 to 54. The random other characters enjoyed more punchlines than straight lines with a ratio of 32 to 20. In all, there were 145 laugh-track lines and 97 non-laugh track lines.

These numbers tell a few stories, the first of which is that I need to get a life. But additionally, it tells us that by my math, which is almost assuredly wrong but still illustrative of my point, the show uses a laugh track on 149.48 percent of the lines spoken in the show. (Wait, yup that's definitely wrong, I've been thoroughly informed. Whatever. I don't care. The point is that's a LOT more laugh-track lines than normal lines.) 

It also tell us that the non-comedic plot-moving lines make up just 40 percent of the entire show. Even I can see that that is ridiculously low. If this math was a plot line in 2 Broke Girls, there'd be a laugh track kicking in, punctuated by one of the 76 one-liners from the Max character about her mother being an abusive crackhead or performing undesirable sexual acts in exchange for a half-eaten Kit Kat or something.

Further, I should note, not once did I laugh or get surprised by a joke. It was like the sitcom version of the joke "Why did the chicken cross the road?" Every weak pun, casual reference to needle-injected drugs and generic connection between food and sex wasn't just obvious, it was....tedious. The dialogue was so bad it'd almost be funny if it weren't just so depressing.

So, class, what have we learned? We have learned that 2 Broke Girls shouldn't have had more than 2 shows on the air and that the writers on that show are getting paid 149.98 percent too much money. (They should be asked to pay back their salary plus another 50 percent to get their shoddy work on network TV.)

Listen, clearly I'm no mathematician. I'm fine with that. I'm not going to go around asking people to pay me money to write out equations and then force them to applaud my work because that would be ridiculous. If only the writers of 2 Broke Girls had the same scruples.

Pharon Square Rating: 242 Punches to My Face

1 comment:

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