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Broad City Season One, Episode One Recap: Pubes on Parade

Any show that starts with a Post-It-note-festooned dildo is aces in my book.

Hi, I’m Danielle. I dropped out of my Ph.D. program to watch TV for a living (a sentence that never stops making my family very proud) and I recap a lot of shows for Vulture. If you Google me, I’m not the Olympic gold medalist — I’m the other one. Like most of you, I’ve already watched this entire season of Broad City, but we’re going to retroactively recap it in honor of Comedy Central recently making every single episode available for free.

If this show is about best friends taking on the world with a twist, and the twist is that they are borderline depraved and do deeply disturbing things in their quest to live their best lives. Abbi is the ego to Ilana’s id; Abbi masturbates on a schedule, and Ilana has sex with her fully objectified, sort of boyfriend Lincoln (played beautifully by Hannibal Buress) while Skyping. This episode nicely constructs the foundation of bullshit that rules Abbi and Ilana’s everyday lives and threatens to stand in their way, but the funniest moments come from their increasingly absurd reactions to those obstacles, like Ilana stealing office supplies and leaving as soon as she realizes she’s not getting her paycheck, or Abbi telling her boss at Soulstice, the douchey gym where she works, that she might have AIDS so she can get the day off of work.

It’s refreshing to see women unapologetically go after what they want, even if all they want are tickets to a Lil’ Wayne concert, some pot, and some drinks. This episode escalates intensely from Ilana expecting to buy the tickets with a paycheck that’s been delayed to “2 Jewesses Just Trying to Make a Buck” doing Craigslist-style sex work, cleaning a house for a man dressed as a giant baby. When he refuses to break character and pay them, they trash his house, steal his booze and fur coats, and sit on the street getting wasted, ultimately realizing that they only need each other to have a good time.

Abbi and Ilana are easily influenced by each other; they’re similar but not the same. They’re both sweet about the guys they like, but Abbi worships her neighbor from afar while Ilana tells Lincoln she’s only in it for the sex. Abbi’s job is unbearable; employees wear shirts with their titles emblazoned on the chest like some sort of Hunger Games–style district allocation, she’s encouraged to avoid making eye contact with the members when she’s holding a plunger, and half of her life is spent picking pubes out of a shower drain. Ilana’s desk job at Deals! Deals! Deals! is comparatively easier but incredibly boring, giving her lots of room to walk all over her gentle, ineffective boss (Chris Gethard). You get the feeling that Ilana would kill someone like Bevers for living in her house rent free while eating all of her food, but Abbi’s quiet, seething rage (“You disgust me”) and the potential for her to explode is a much funnier to watch.

Strap on your performance bib and grab your finest bucket; this show is even more delightful now that you can binge watch. Abbi and Ilana are your new gods now, and they are perfect. Start genuflecting.

Favorite Lines

  • “I respect you respecting me. I’m gonna respect your dick later.”
  • “‘What a Wonderful World’ is a slave song — it’s widely known by black community!”
  • "Who teaches the bucket drummers? I never see a bucket drummer class listed.”
  • “Ilana, this is really good pot.”
    “It’s PCP.”
  • “Bonjour, Petite Wayne!”