If you just straight up don’t want to read another review, I’m gonna give it to you right here: Broad City is still very good. The winning formula (that would be, quite simply: Abbi and Ilana) still works – their friendship very obviously bigger than the show, bigger than even comedy in general. You can see it in every interview they give in the promotional lead-up to this new season, in their appearance on Lip Sync Battle as Ilana grins, reverently watching her friend Abbi faux-belt her way through “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”, and in the first few episodes of the new season, supporting each other through the rolling pratfalls of a life in NYC.
And New York will never run out of its schtick, the clichéd-awful things to pull from: the Park Slope Food Coop (where you pull shifts in the organic produce aisle to earn your keep), the cronut (the Broad City version is a macaron/churro combo called a “churron”), that thing where you go to an art gallery opening and you find yourself wondering, “What is art, anyway?” Some of these things are old news; just watch a Sex and the City reun on TBS (yes, the sex stuff is censored, but all those New York City gags are as fresh as they were in 1999). And they know that – in the first episode of season three Abbi and Ilana watch Lincoln’s graduation… from trapeze school. (Duh: A clear reference to SATC’s “The Catch”). Even for the SATC uninitiated, Lincoln tells the girls: “The Miranda in me thought ’I’m out of my comfort zone,’ but the Carrie in me couldn’t resist.”
But luckily for Abbi and Ilana (and Broad City’s writing staff), New York is a magical place that creates new annoyances every single day. Imagine what Carrie Bradshaw would’ve done if she had to deal with selfie sticks.
To be fair, Broad City always does a good job subverting an expected Big Apple trope: A typical stuck-in-a-gross-porta-potty gag becomes something slightly more clever, and when Lincoln admits to Ilana that he hooked up with another woman… Well, I wouldn’t want to spoil this for you. Let’s just say that Broad City knows its two leading ladies better than most TV shows.
And, by now, we feel like we really know them, too. At least, we know them as a unit. While I’ve not yet seen the full season (just the first three episodes – what do I look like, someone important?), I do hope that this season the writers decided to throw a wrench into Abbi and Ilana’s relationship – because even the best friendships get a little fucked up sometimes. Broad City functions best when these two play off each other, sure, but that perfect push-and-pull is not the reality of a longtime friendship: the arguments, misunderstandings, jealousy, conflict. That’s reality – but it’s always worth it. And as Carrie Bradshaw might’ve written… Oh wait, she actually did: “Friendships don’t magically last forty years. You have to invest in them.” And now I’ve quoted Sex and the City just like Lincoln. But that investment, just like the one Abbi and Ilana make in New York City throughout every single episode, is something I want to see.
Lindsey Weber lives in Los Angeles now, so all of this is a lie.