Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Michael Patrick King Not Doing ‘Sex And The City’ Prequel
At today’s TCA panel on 2 Broke Girls — a new comedy from Sex and the City veteran Michael Patrick King and Whitney Cummings, who is also starring in her own sitcom for NBC this season — the creative team shunned comparisons between the Sex and the City and the new CBS comedy just because they’re both about single women. “That show and this show (have) completely different DNA,” King said, protesting that “girl” shows are often spoken about as if they are “all the same show,” and all books about women summarily dismissed as “chick lit.” “(2 Broke Girls is) the evil twin of chick lit,” King said.
And unlike Sex, where no one really knew — or wanted to know — how the women paid for their picturesque Manhattan apartments and Jimmy Choo shoes, King said money would be a hard reality beyond just the title. “Carrie Bradshaw and her closet were a fantasy,” he said, likening Carrie’s wardrobe to the closet in The Chronicles of Narnia. “Those girls had relationship check lists. These girls barely have checks.” King added that the story line of one of the waitresses, portrayed by Beth Behrs, as a rich girl whose family has lost all their money was not directly inspired by Bernie Madoff but inspired by today’s economic reality. “We liked the scary idea of talking about money,” he said.
(There is one unavoidable connection between the shows that came up early in the panel, however: Kat Dennings, who stars as the streetwise one in the pair of waitresses of the title, portrayed the self-described “blow job Bar Mitzvah girl” in an episode of Sex and the City. Dennis claims that she had to ask Sex star Kim Cattrall what “blow job” meant).
As she had at an NBC panel earlier in the week, Cummings defended her ability to act as an executive consultant on this show as well as star in her own sitcom, though acknowledging that NBC’s Whitney might demand more of her presence. “I’m starring in the other show; I have to physically be there,” she said. For his part, King described Cummings’ role this way: “Whitney is part of the architecture of the show; now, we’re in the house,” he said.
The producers caught some flak from reporters at the panel about playing with some ethnic stereotypes in the show, particular the character of a recent Korean immigrant. “The character is not dumb — he just moved to the country, he doesn’t know the language,” Cummings said, arguing that journalists might have a misperception of the character from the pilot episode “because you can’t explore (every character) in 20 minutes.”
King also said that the show was not going to back off from edgy humor, including a joke in the pilot about disabled physicist Stephen Hawking that riled some in the audience. “We want it to be as current and as edgy as possible,” he said. “Twenty-three-year-old girls are very sophisticated in what they are processing. You can not like that joke, and I understand why, but we will always reach for comedy.”