Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of Broad City. To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
I don’t have many thoughts about this weeks episode of Broad City unfortunately if only because it both doesn’t stray from the series typical format but also due to how they once again split the two leads up for singular stories.
Abbi’s storyline suffers the most because it falls victim to the telling not showing style of storytelling. Abbi’s life at the fitness center has been one that’s offered up plenty of moments of hilarity and Trey has become a reliably funny character as well with just enough personality quirks to make him more than some form of oblivious adversary to Abbi. This week we learn that Abbi has graduated from working on the custodial staff to being a trainer, her end goal while working there and it’s a rare triumphant moment for a character who so frequently is a walking, talking awkward moment waiting to happen.
Sure, she’s teaching water aerobics where elderly men fake passing out so she gives mouth to mouth, but to her it’s a step in the right direction none the less.
This good fortune seemingly changes when as a part of initiation she’s invited along to participate in a field day with the rest of her coworkers, something she’s dreading due to her competitive nature. I 100% believe that Abbi is the competitive type, it’s something I could have just assumed by how she’s been depicted in the past whether put into a strictly competitive situation or not so I’m not sure we needed both and and Ilana driving that point home. While it fun to see Abbi Jacobson cut loose a bit and go all out with the Abbi’s rage, especially over something like tug of war, it seemed like a rather inconsequential storyline. This wouldn’t matter if it had been a storyline that she and Ilana shared but instead, such was the case last week, they’re split up for the majority of it.
This isn’t something that outright makes an episode worse (season two’s “Coat Check” was excellent) but when a show has such engaging leading ladies who work wonders opposite each other you’d think they’d be more wary about separating them so often.
Ilana’s storyline bears the brunt a little tougher mainly because her supporting players weren’t (and never have been) as interesting or comedic as Abbi’s. Trey is a funny character where as none of Ilana’s coworkers have ever elicited a chuckle from me which is why I’m so glad this week seemed like their last.
Vanessa Williams guest star appearance was welcomed however and I liked the idea that she was a warped version of what Ilana could be in her future if she had any form of work discipline. Instead, Ilana would rather badger her fellow employees and skip out on work all together. When she’s surprisingly put in charge of the companies social media account we think that maybe this is the first step into the adult world for Ilana only for it to all come crashing down when she accidentally tweets something deplorable.
She’s fired immediately.
There’s a part of me that thinks this was probably for the best since all of Ilana’s most obnoxious traits are highlighted when she’s at work but also it means that it frees the character from the storyline itself. However, Ilana wearing a dog sweatshirt and coloring her stomach red instead of simply putting on a shirt are both two brilliantly executed pieces of visual comedy.
The best part of the episode is the briefest, at the end when the two sit in bed and look at an old video of Abbi loosing her cool. It’s quick but there’s a lot of humor in it and it completely rides on the twos chemistry.
I’d be hard pressed to ever call an episode of Broad City bad or even dull and while this episode was far from perfect and most certainly dealing with some pacing troubles it’s still Broad City and it’s still Ilana and Abbi so at the very least we can be comforted by that-that there will always be some sort of enjoyment to gain.