“I thought they were ratchet until I realized they’re just, like, normal people!” my roommate gestured to my dirty laptop screen. I rewatched the first couple episodes of Broad City with her in hopes of getting her hooked before the new season. We sat in our $5 soccer dad folding chairs and ate cold cookies I keep in the fridge to hide from ants. Hold on — who are the ratchet ones again?
So, then Ilana (in the show) pulls some weed out of her “nature’s pocket” and my roommate is all “What?!” and I’m all “Yeah, dude,” and she’s all, “Wait…that’s so funny.”
Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer play up caricatured versions of themselves, Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler, in their quick-witted, whisper-joke, perfectly-timed-and-under-appreciated-slapstick, at-times-self-deprecating comedy. The whole beauty of the show is they do this weird shit, like passing smoke over FaceTime, deciding which dogs they’d wanna hump if they were also dogs, Ilana eating shellfish when she could quite literally die from it, and then Abbi carrying her out of the bougie restaurant like an adrenaline-fueled fireman in a blue body-con cocktail dress, and you are stunned until you see yourself in it.
The sets do not have the clean, stylish and inexplicably expensive decor seen in every other show about post-college, pre-marriage adults. Their jobs aren’t dream jobs, they pay the bills. The costumes are repetitive because real people re-wear their clothing, and, wait a second — I have that exact same bralette!
Season 4 is a treat. The visuals are crisp and bright just like Ilana’s creamsicle wig in the episode “Just the Tips.” She gets a new job as a waitress and starts to spend her hard earned tip money on expensive acrylic nails decorated with dollar signs and the faces of the Obama family. Meanwhile, Abbi pretends she is not in love with Trey at all (she totally is). At a party, Ilana sees Lincoln and has a gross accident that only he, a sorta doctor who has seen her naked anyway, can help with. I won’t get into the unfortunate details (she has to wipe her ass with a bath towel) but the whole thing was kinda sweet, actually.
Cameos of the season include RuPaul, Shania Twain, Wanda Sykes, Peri Gilpin, Jane Curtin, Marcella Lowery, and even Fran Drescher. The guests blend seamlessly into the Broad City world, most notably RuPaul and his performance as nasty yet inspiring restaurant manager. He tells Ilana her seasonal affective disorder puts her at a whole new level of bitchy—perfect for a New York waitress. Abbi visits her in a storage room and helps her use her S.A.D. lamp to gain the strength to finish her shift or else get fired. The blinding light floods the screen as we wait for our heroes to defeat the mental beast and move to their next adventure.
The show is about two women on screen who truly like each other, no toxic female frenemy bullshit. They make plans and don’t follow through, they eat at their coffee tables, work jobs they aren’t passionate about, and aren’t on some Carrie Bradshaw-esque search for love. Abbi and Ilana spill wine, they collect coupons, and they get by. Broad City is a triumph of on screen female camaraderie and laugh too loud (wait rewind it back!) humor.