It might be a little on the nose, but the screen capture from this week’s episode really demonstrates why it’s so fun watching Abbi and Ilana bounce off each other. In a delightful cold open set to Ana Tijooux’s “1977”, we get to see a typical day for the duo in split screen. For Ilana, this means a lot of naps and weed-smoking; for Abbi, toilet hair.
From the first scene of the first episode, Broad City has been setting up the Ilana and Abbi as foils, presenting them as two very different sides of the same under-motivated millennial coin. (Basically this coin would look like a pog slammer that does a lot of bong rips.) But it isn’t until “Working Girls” that we really get to see them operate separately. Unfortunately, the results are kinda mixed.
Watching Illana guiltlessly breeze through her chaotic life and into a Russian nesting doll of jobs is absolutely hilarious, and illustrates how important the modicum of superego Abbi brings to Ilana’s id is. However, I could do without the repeated scenes of authority figures freaking out about her misbehavior, a scenario that also accounts for the worst joke from last week. A much funnier dynamic plays out when she runs into someone game for her weirdness like Janeane Garofalo’s vet, who yeah, will check out your hemorrhoids as long as all the animals are already dead.
Abbi’s story did less for me, her Liz Lemon-like failures feeling disappointingly pedestrian against absurdist gags like the cavernous distribution center of SHP Shipping. That distribution center’s lone employee, by the way, has my favorite joke name since Thurman Merman. It’ll be a while before I forget the haunting, yogurt-smeared visage of Garol.
With some killer bits last night, Broad City has proven once again that it has the writers and the talent to be truly fantastic, but this makes the show’s missteps all the more frustrating. It’s kind of amazing how good the young show has been already. Let’s just hope it gets the space to grow into the comedy powerhouse it could become.