After 10 painfully Abbi-and-Ilana-free months, Broad City finally returns tonight for its second year and a whole new season of low-rent adventures for our girls. At the same time, however, it’s hard to not reflect on the aspects of the show that made it such a joy to watch in the first place. With that in mind, here are eight things we sure wouldn’t mind seeing more of in Broad City’s new season.
One of the most refreshing aspects of Broad City’s first season was Ilana and Abbi’s perpetual broke-ass-ness, a clear departure from decades of sitcom apartments financed by mysterious and unexplained sources of income. Not only did this poverty more accurately reflect life as a twenty-something in the big city, it also forced the girls into the kind of hare-brained schemes that are as old as TV comedy itself, with hilarious results. Of course, Ilana’s biggest scam is arguably her day job, which leads us to our second entry:
In the employment dystopia that millennials live in, work can be distressingly abstract if it exists at all, consisting of roles of questionable utility like “Etsy shop owner” and “entertainment blogger.” On Broad City, these bizarre future jobs are represented by Soulstice and Deals! Deals! Deals!, the show’s wonderful parodies of SoulCycle and Groupon-type deal sites, respectively. Particularly great is Ilana’s pushover boss played by Paste favorite Chris Gethard, a character we’d love to see more of this year.
2014 was basically the year of Hannibal Buress, with the comic crushing it all across the TV dial, but nowhere more so than on Broad City. As Ilana’s quasi-boyfriend Lincoln, Buress consistently dropped some of the show’s best lines and nearly qualified as a third lead. There’s been distressingly little Buress in the show’s Season 2 promos so far, so here’s hoping last year’s best comedian will still make time to visit Broad City in 2015.
Okay, so awkward nudity is a pretty cheap gag, but Broad City repeatedly used it to hilarious effect in its first season, with just about every character stripping down at some point. Hopefully the new season will continue that proud tradition and the show can retain its title as the second most pixelated program on television after Cops.
All of Broad City’s first season guest stars were a delight, but Sedaris was particularly terrific as an unhinged realtor prone to casually dropping non sequiturs like “I make dolls out of human hair.” There isn’t really a plausible reason for the character to re-enter Abbi and Ilana’s lives, but we’re perfectly willing to sacrifice a little narrative logic for the chance to see her again.
One of the most memorable scenes from Broad City’s first season was the Hype Williams-inspired bank visit (complete with inflatable Missy Elliot suit) set to Drake’s “Started at the Bottom.” Just as good, however, was the cold open that started “Working Girls,” using Ana Tijooux’s “1977” and showing a typical day in the life of Abbi and Ilana side-by-side. Both almost work as self-contained short films and are something we’d be perfectly happy to see more of in 2015.
The manic caterer played by Todd Alan Crain in “Destination Wedding” was one of Broad City’s most appealingly strange one-off characters, not to mention the best use of braces in comedy since the yuppie dog trainers from Best in Show. In my review for the episode, I expressed a sincere hope that Kevin could dodge the overdoses that have apparently decimated Broad City’s catering community and come back for a second episode. I still hope he does, if only to bounce off perfect comic foil Hannibal Buress one more time.
Of course, all of these are secondary to the two women at the center of Broad City. As long as Abbi and Ilana’s remarkably well-drawn, genuine-feeling (and goddamn hilarious) friendship makes it to the screen, we should be good.