Broad City: “B&B-NYC” Season 3 Episode 7 Review

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“In da clerb, we all fam.”

Is Broad City growing up? That might be a strange question to ask after an episode that features Clippers’ Power Forward Blake Griffin swaddling Ilana like a baby during foreplay, but when the credits rolled on “B&B-NYC,” I was fully aware of the evolution the show had begun to go through.

It started out subtly enough this season with small critiques about Ilana’s blissfully ignorant behavior, but after last week presented the idea that Abbi might not be a good person, I realized that the broads were heading into totally new territory.

Fear not, though, for if this episode is any indication, this is a very good thing. Broad City has thrived on creating absurdist masterpieces out of the trivialities of 20-something city life. At its heart, the series has always been about Abbi and Ilana’s undying friendship, which has been refreshingly free of the typical drama that TV shows often create to pit women against each other.

In “B&B-NYC,” however, Abbi keeps a secret from her bestie…and it’s a pretty big one. After the two ladies decide to rent out their apartments on the titular home-sharing site to make extra cash, Abbi comes home to find her subletter has robbed her blind. Unable to reach her best friend for comfort—Ilana is a little busy with Mr. Griffin at the time, but more on that later—she invites over Trey, and things get physical.

There’s a lot to like about this plotline beyond just the initial surprise of it all. Abbi not telling Ilana about her hookup provides a continuation on the narrative from “Rat Pack” when she drunkenly makes out with him. Abbi appeared ashamed of the interaction, but this episode reveals that it wasn’t because she didn’t like it. It’s because she’s worried about what her friends would think if they knew.

I’m not expecting Broad City to suddenly bust out a “very special episode” in which Ilana confronts Abbi and the two of them get into a screaming and/or crying match. Jacobson and Glazer are way too smart for that. Yet, the idea that a rift could arise in an otherwise impenetrable friendship is interesting to me. For a show that’s prone to risk-taking, its boldest choice yet has been to allow a story to develop beyond a single episode. We all know that Abbi loves Ilana and Ilana loves Abbi just a little bit more. Still, no friendship is that perfect all the time. To say I’m intrigued would be an understatement. I can’t wait to see how this unfolds.

I should point out that, despite this potential gamechanger, “B&B-NYC” was still full of the the show’s signature sense of humor. The disaster of Abbi and Ilana’s roof camping experiment culminates in an absolutely hilarious offscreen car crash. The entire sequence of the ladies partying in The 40/40 Club is nothing short of spectacular, complete with a ponytail flipping hostess and girls who can’t stop saying, “heyyyyyyyyyy!” Then there’s Griffin’s cameo, which he fully dives into when he takes Ilana home for what turns out to be the weirdest—and best—one night stand ever.

All of this is fantastic, but it’s also par for the course of a typical Broad City episode. There’s nothing wrong with that, since the show features two immensely watchable leads in immensely fun or ridiculous situations. But I like that the writers are trying to take things to the next level. Jacobson and Glazer come from improv backgrounds, where you’re trained not to say no to new ideas. Sure, a scripted series is a different beast, and this could end up backfiring, but the train has already picked up steam. So far, I really like where it’s headed. Grade: A-

 

Some Other Notes:

  • Another interesting subplot in this episode is Ilana’s brief phone call with Lincoln where he admits to having a girl over. I don’t know why they’d include that scene unless they wanted to plant the seed that Ilana’s not as cool with her open relationship as she claims to be. Later, though, Lincoln seems super excited to be “eskimo brothers” with Blake Griffin. Could the tables have turned in this situation? Only time will tell.
  • This episode featured what might be Ilana’s best accent yet when she says, “Of course you love camping, ’cause you probably went cawmping with your fawther down the main line river’n roasted crawckers over a fire, you beaut.”
  • Seriously props to Blake Griffin for that truly awesome and hilarious bedroom scene. Also…nice abs.
  • “Did you draw that with paints?”

 

By Mike Papirmeister

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