Oh, don’t act like you’ve never jammed paper towels down your crack during the height of summer — we all find ways to cope with the oppressing heat of our garbage planet.
Hi, I’m Danielle. I write about television for Vulture as much as they’ll let me, and I don’t even want to remember my life before Abbi and Ilana were in it. The thing that struck me about this premiere is the thing that always gets me about these two: Their friendship is full of panic and playfulness, usually at the same time, and always in a way that makes me laugh.
Riding the subway in New York is like the Satanic version of that book about the five people you meet in heaven, but it’s about the thousands of people who make you feel like you’re already in hell: the man clipping his toenails, the man holding his junk suggestively, the woman with a full face rash just hanging out like she’s not oozingly contagious, having to arch around a man’s sweaty armpit on your way to another part of the car. The only point of difference is that I would feel like I finally understood religion if I ever saw a family eating a six-foot hoagie on the N train.
Abbi and Ilana’s Topshop dressing-room experience was the essence of what makes them individually tick, with Ilana waxing philosophical about the Colin Farrell sex tape and asking for tweezers during the fully bottomless mirror examination of her junk and Abbi discussing her upcoming date with Male Stacy (fantastic guest star Seth Rogen, who fits into this world effortlessly) while trying on jeans she decides to keep simply because she can’t take them off. They dipped into the store to cool off and left having traumatized small children and titillated other women in line, which, in their world, seems both fair and possible.
Having had it up to HERE with cottony floral dresses and people who have apparently had their sweat glands Botoxed shut, I’m thankful for a show that indicates what it looks like when you’re actually sweating your way through summer. It’s only one degree here today, but watching Abbi and Stacy sweat through the dinner Male Stacy was making forcefully nevertheless reminded me of that gross summer experience when you feel like you’ve just stepped out of a shower all day long, or like the molten hand of Satan is pressing against your back all day. Of course she went to the bathroom to blow-dry her vagina! Of course he put a grip of paper towels down his ass crack! Summer turns us all into demented, water-spouting degenerates. I’m only surprised that they even considered having sex in that sort of heat, but the beautiful joke of Stacy passing out and Abbi being forced to consider if she’s a rapist for finishing anyway would not have come to pass otherwise.
It also bookended nicely with Ilana’s rape-culture speech at Lincoln’s birthday dinner, and the way she spent the rest of the episode calling Abbi out for the double standard she was trying to create around her experience as a sexual predator. Ilana sometimes feels like a character who will say things she’s heard other people talk about wisely whether she understands what she’s saying or not, but she always gets around to her own point of view eventually. She’s not oblivious, but just selfish enough to not really care about a lot of things or people. I thought it was perfect that she didn’t know it was Lincoln’s birthday while they were in the process of celebrating it, because why would she? From the random way they met (in a Foot Locker in Times Square) to their fun and laughter-filled hangouts, everything about their relationship is overly casual and completely delightful. The only person she really cares about deeply is Abbi, but a little annoyance still poked through when Abbi did her special dance routine handshake with every employee of Bed Bath & Beyond while they were trying to buy an air conditioner. If Ilana wants Abbi all to herself, she certainly would prefer she leave her delightfully dweeby parts behind.
After their air conditioner gets stolen while they hail a cab and they help one of Bevers’s friends move (the always funny Kumail Nanjiani) only to find out the AC unit he’s promised to give them in return is broken, Ilana’s plan to steal the air conditioner out of her old dorm room makes perfect sense. All they have to do is pretend to be RAs — the scourge of dorm life! After they successfully sweep the room for contraband, unearthing the pot Ilana hid in the wall during her “weed genius” phase, the only thing to do is get everyone incredibly stoned and make the guys they’re “busting” for said contraband believe they’re taking the air conditioner as punishment. Of course Abbi is horrified to learn that one of the guys is 16 years old and visiting the school, because it just adds another chalk mark to the tally of her sexual malfeasance. It’s sweet that Ilana makes this sacrifice for Abbi, and made me wonder if she already has AC in her apartment or just loves Abbi enough to want her to have it. In the end, Ilana gets something out of it, too: The university dining hall card she swiped from one of the roommates — Adam Carolla’s nephew — has $3,600 on it, so she wraps it in a towel and gives it to Lincoln for his birthday. He’s excited. I would be, too.
Bevers came back like a bad rash to sweat and eat ice cream all over Abbi’s sheets, but this time he also has kittens. It doesn’t matter where the kittens came from or where they’re going — it’s Bevers, so this isn’t going to end well. When a rogue kitten finds it’s way into Abbi’s room while she and Stacy are getting high and enjoying the cool blast from her new air conditioner, it scares the shit out of them, and when Stacy accidentally punches the unit out of the window out of fright, they proceed to yell at and berate the kitten for existing. (“Were you watching us, perv?!”) Abbi might have a little more game this season, but that doesn’t mean things are going to go her way, which just makes for a funnier experience all around.
Best of the Broads:
“You kids are all straight, and you’re all gay!”
Ilana copping a line from those Men’s Wearhouse commercials to tell that woman in line about the Colin Farell sex tape: “You’re gonna like what you see, I guarantee it.”
“Fat dudes’ dicks get sucked back inside their body — every ten pounds a guy loses, he gains a visual inch.”
“I’m gonna wipe … I’m gonna wipe … I’m gonna pee.”
“All Hollywood media is porn, and all porn is kiddie porn. We live in a rape culture, you know? We just do.”
“You don’t read his pasta blog, the Al Dente Dentist?”
“It should be called the Al Dentist.”
That was an unhealthy number of mannequin parts to pack into that truck, right?