After last week’s uneven “The Matrix,” Broad City was definitely back to its regular, hilarious self last night, introducing (by my count) at least three instantly classic Broad City-isms. But while I won’t be forgetting “Vulvarine” or “jazz” any time soon, the episode as a whole failed make much of an impression.
Part of that, I think, was the use of some classic, bordering on cliché sitcom tropes in “Citizen Ship.” As soon as Abbi, Ilana and Bevers walked in the storage room, for instance, it was pretty clear they were getting locked in.
Fortunately, they weren’t in there long (as I initially dreaded) and the situation gave Hannibal Buress an opportunity to bounce off Arturo Castro’s Jaimé, replicating the show’s consistently enjoyable “Lincoln + unlikely secondary character” formula.
The repeated non-appearance of Abbi’s roommate Melody, on the other hand, just felt tiresome. In the late-’90s, sitcoms were more or less contractually obliged to use the “often referenced but never seen character” gag, and the joke felt like a hack-y throwback.
Of course, ultimately I watch Broad City because it’s funny, which this week’s episode certainly was. But I can’t help but feel a little disappointed when one of television’s freshest and most keenly observant comedies opts for such played out material.