2 Broke Girls Season 1-13 ‘And The Secret Ingredient’ Recap

It’s as if the producers of 2 Broke Girls sensed that I was softening on the show and decided to poke me with a stick. First they indicated that the horse was being brought back, for at least a cameo. Then the episode titled, “And the Secret Ingredient quickly devolved into a horrifyingly unfunny treatise on the price of vending machine tampons and extreme couponing.

When a customer asks Max (Kat Dennings) for a tampon, it leads to the discovery that Han (Matthew Moy) has raised the price of tampons in the diner ladies room from 25 cents to 75 cents. That’s the story. That’s all there is. The show doesn’t have a joke here, just an extended, unfunny conversation about the unfairness of raising prices on tampons and Han’s discomfort with the word tampon. That’s it.

The lead story finds Caroline (Beth Behrs) discovering the joys of extreme couponing. At first Caroline is horrified as she recalls her former life where coupons were only used by ‘poor people.’ As soon as she realized the value of coupons however, she became obsessed with getting the best deal to the point of ignoring a planned trip to visit her horse Chestnut.

There are barely words to describe how terrible And the Secret Ingredient is. In its relatively short sitcom life, 2 Broke Girls has delivered a couple of really terrible episodes but nothing as amateurish and shrill as this one, which abandons almost every bit of promise the series had shown in its most recent episodes.

The icing on this rancid cake of an episode? We’re told that Max’s special cupcakes are no more special than anything you or I could create with enough time and effort. The ‘Secret Ingredient’ of the title is meaningless; Max uses store bought, brand name mixes. The more galling notion raised by this is how this reveal of the ingredient basically undoes the goal of Caroline and Max.

The show had built the notion of Max as a diamond in the rough with a secret talent that could give her a new lease on life. What was the point of revealing that she’s not really gifted at all?

Random notes:

  • No real notes to be offered here other than to say that this is easily one of the worst half hours of television I’ve ever seen.
  • If I wasn’t paid to write about 2 Broke Girls, I would abandon it forever.