As much as I like Broad City, it can be pretty frustrating grading the show. How am I supposed to rate one of this season’s funniest new comedies when the episodes themselves deliver so inconsistently? For instance, while watching “Fattest Asses,” I wrote down almost a page of favorite lines (“email@example.com,” “Text me back if you DON’T want a turtle”), but only thought three of the episode’s five main scenes really paid off.
Part of this, I think, can be attributed to Broad City’s crazy good first episodes setting unusually high expectations for the young show. Even really great sitcoms generally take a minute to find their footing. This includes Seinfeld and Parks and Recreation, whose five- and six-episode first seasons are widely considered dispensable. And it’s probably no coincidence that “Pussy Weed,” the second episode of Broad City to air, was actually fifth in the show’s production schedule.
Still, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed when the show blows its running time on a sub-par comic scenario, or worse, returns to a previously funny scene for diminishing returns. In particular, I’m hoping Ilana gets fired from Deals! Deals! Deals! soon, because as great as it was to watch her manipulate Chris Gethard’s milquetoast “cool boss,” last night the situation slipped too far into the absurd for her transgressions to carry any weight. I had a similar problem with the creepy DJs gag, which played as a more predictable and drawn out version of the brilliantly weird three-way make out seen in “Pussy Weed.”
Either way, it’s hard to dislike a show that introduces a concept as funny as the “dose of reality” hors d’oeuvre, served with a depressing starvation statistic. Or church bell techno. Or the Arc de Triomphe, a “feminist,” “non-sexual” counterpart to the Eiffel Tower that involves two women doing “Oprah hands” while two men give them cunnilingus “butt-to-butt.”
Whether or not every episode is perfect, Broad City continues to deliver the goods in the form of hilarious, endlessly quotable one-liners and Real Talk depictions of life as a young person. For the fifth week in a row, I’m excited to see what comic magic the girls will conjure up next Wednesday. Let’s just hope Comedy Central gives them the time to take the show’s amazing ingredients and refine the recipe a bit.