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‘Men’ Settling In, ‘2 Girls’ Already Looks Broken

As any critic will tell you, first impressions can be deceiving.

So the second part of “Two and a Half Men’s” kickoff — introducing Ashton Kutcher — felt significantly less self-assured than the first, while the second episode of CBS’ “2 Broke Girls” looked broken, all right, rattling off a collection of dirty gags (in the case of a horse-dung sequence, literally), but virtually no funny ones.

Another journalist asked how “Men” would craft a plausible excuse for Alan (Jon Cryer) to continue living in his late brother’s house now that a rich, child-like tech billionaire (Kutcher) has purchased it. Fortunately, he soon corrected himself, realizing that he was probably over-thinking things.

Plausible was never really part of the equation, but Kutcher’s character is going to require a little work. The man-child bit has potential — and “Men’s” creative team excels at writing stupid characters — but at this point he feels better suited to Chuck Lorre’s other hit, “The Big Bang Theory,” than the show in which he’s currently residing.

There was one awfully funny moment near the end, but the jury clearly remains out on how well the new character will wear.

Meanwhile, anything I originally liked about “2 Broke Girls” pretty much went out the window. All the two main characters did was snipe at each other — which is about as much fun as that sounds — crack off racial gags and extend a joke about masturbation way past its expiration date.

The only whacking off people are going to do, if this keeps up, is to delete “Girls” from their DVR lineup, pronto. The best scenario for CBS, frankly, would be if people were sampling Fox’s “Terra Nova,” and return to give its sitcom a second chance next week.

Elsewhere, NBC’s “The Playboy Club” also had a rocky second week creatively speaking, which is potentially moot given the show’s mediocre opening. It looks like there’s only room for maybe one 1960s “Mad Men” knockoff, and the best opportunity there goes to ABC’s “Pan Am,” based on its early numbers.

“It’s funny. You’re trying to keep from being found and I’m hoping somebody finds me,” one of the bunnies, nicely played by Amber Heard, says near the end of the hour.

Alas, as for getting found, my guess is better luck next show.

 

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