In the literary and cinematic tradition of pitting opposites against each other, Two Broke Girls, the new TV series, pits poor, working class Max against previously-rich and previously-pampered Caroline.
Caroline’s father has been imprisoned for financial fraud and the family fortune confiscated. Caroline is nouveau poor and runs to Brooklyn for her life of poverty so that she can avoid running into anyone from her past life as a rich socialite.
Caroline meets Max while looking for work and Max takes her in as Caroline is homeless. Later Caroline discovers that Max has a cupcake business and wants to improve the business to bring both of them out of poverty.
At the end of each show we see how much the girls have saved.
The Original Two Broke Girls
It’s a 2012 version of the original Two Broke Girls – Laverne and Shirley. Laverne and Shirley were also broke and working class. Laverne and Shirley’s polarity was between expressive sensuality (Laverne) and cautious chastity (Shirley). Set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the characters reflected the changes occurring in the culture during that time.
Laverne and Shirley might be the Taurus – Scorpio polarity which I refer to as the “good girl – bad girl” axis where both signs enjoy sensual pleasures but Scorpio is more likely to feel guilty about it and Taurus more likely to hold back due to the “rules” against sensuality.
When a girl bounces between the two she first wants to be “good” (Shirley) and then savors in being “bad” (Laverne).
Max and Caroline
Max and Caroline aren’t excessively caricatured, which is nice. While there are many signs that could apply to each girl, I think the overall theme of their friendship revolves around the Cancer – Capricorn polarity.
Cancer represents our personal consciousness while Capricorn is the social consciousness. As such, Cancer relates to personal emotions, home life, nurturing and mothering. Capricorn relates to our reputation in society, professional life, social standing and fathering.
In the show, Max has no father and Caroline no mother. The girls are parenting each other with the role they lack in their own lives. Caroline offers nurturing support (Mother) to the hurt and cynical Max. Max teaches the previously-pampered Caroline how to take care of herself materially in a rough-and-tumble world (Father).
Caroline comes from the World of Capricorn where your friends like you because of your money. When the money is gone, the friends are as well. Caroline can’t fully disengage from that life as we see when she tries to sell her jewelry in the department bathroom and encounters the old social set. Filled with humiliation at her condition, Caroline abandons Max and joins her ex-friends for a social lunch at an expensive restaurant.
Humiliation is difficult for any personality, but especially the Capricorn personality which wants to be respected by others.
Max is cynical due to a neglected upbringing. While she did have a mother, the mother was absent or unresponsive to her needs. Max has survived in life by her own efforts (Capricorn) and built a sturdy shell around her emotions (more Capricorn).
Even though Max claims to have no feelings (oh, so Capricorn), she takes in a poor stranger, has vet bills from saving stray pets and has become the main caregiver for Caroline’s past-life indulgence, a horse that lives in the back patio.
Max is a Cancer inside, taking care of the needy.
Mothering and Fathering
The two girls are broke due to the influence of their parents – Max never got what she needed and Caroline lost all when her father lost everything.
By the end of the series, which I hope isn’t anytime soon, most likely the girls will have become rich and also become emotionally stronger.
Cancer and Capricorn teach the need for a solid emotional base that is independent of others while also managing the emotional self as one travels through the maze of social expectations.