Broad City: “Florida” Season 4 Episode 7 Review

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A predictable—but still very fun—Broad City sees Abbi and Ilana heading to the Sunshine State.

Part of becoming a “real” New Yorker includes fully hating on the city you call home. Most people that move here find out quickly enough that NYC is rarely ever the way Sex and the City portrayed it to be. They soon find themselves cursing at how hard they have to work to make rent for their tiny apartments, never-ending subway delays, and the many “fun” surprises you often find in your room like bed bugs or roaches.

Basically, it always helps to get away every so often. “Florida” features the Broads doing just that as they accompany Ilana’s mother and brother to clean out her late mother’s Boca Raton condo. Even with their hair immediately frizzing from the humidity, Abbi and Ilana embrace Florida with open arms. With its fresh orange trees and warm sun, it feels like a safe haven away from cold, busy New York City.

Everyone who’s left New York to visit a different (often cheaper) city, usually thinks once or twice about what it would be like to move there. I myself had the thought several times when strolling through the Garden District in New Orleans. Still, there’s always something that draws you back. The Big Apple is tough as nails, but there’s nothing quite like it anywhere else.

Once it becomes clear that the ladies don’t just want to escape to Florida, they want to move there, the rest of their narrative becomes fairly predictable. You can see what’s going to happen as soon as the realtor at a condo they decide to look at side-eyes a black couple who also applied and tells Abbi and Ilana they should apply as well. Florida is warm and sunny and has great beaches, but they also voted for Trump. No amount of fresh orange trees can change that.

The rest of the storyline is fairly straightforward. Abbi and Ilana continue to ignore a bunch of red flags—the most hilarious of which is that every resident of the complex carries a gun as if it were the new iPhone—until the head of the condominium board straight up tells them that they’d rather have them living there than a couple of black people (in much more colorful language, of course). The ladies realize that there’s no place like home…even if the temperature at home is 4 degrees.

In a season that’s had several standout episodes already, there’s nothing particularly exciting about Abbi and Ilana’s adventure in Florida, save for a delightful homage to the Cadillac sequence from Beyoncé’s “Formation” video. Yet, Glazer and Jacobson’s effortless chemistry makes this enjoyable to watch nonetheless. A mediocre Broad City episode is still a wholly entertaining half-hour of television.

It also helps that the B-plot of “Florida” is totally hilarious. While Abbi and Ilana get ready to jump ship to Boca, Ilana’s mother Bobbi argues with her sister over who should get to keep their mother’s engagement ring. The wonderful Susie Essman reprises her role as Bobbi Wexler with aplomb, and her sister is played by none other than Fran Drescher. Seeing these two comedic legends bicker together onscreen is glorious, and I could’ve watched a whole half-hour of it. There’s also a subplot about Elliot losing his luggage and having to wear his grandmother’s old clothes—and actually pulling them off.

In the end, the Wexler clan plus Abbi all sit around smoking the joint that Abbi and Ilana rolled after realizing how racist the condo community really is. The cinematography is reminiscent of the many smoking scenes from That 70s Show, with the camera panning around to each character as they take a hit. It worked really well on that show, and it works well here too, because if there’s one thing Broad City is really good at, it’s goofy stoner observations. All in all, “Florida” reminded me a lot of my own trips away from New York. It was a lot of fun, but now I’m ready to come back home. Grade: B+

 

Some Other Notes:

    • There’s a brief scene before the credits where Abbi and Ilana arrive back in New York and Ilana goes to visit a newly single Lincoln. I’m not sure how I feel about this yet, because I thought Ilana trying to move past him would be an interesting avenue for her character to go down—especially after her social media purge of all his accounts. Still, Hannibal Buress is great, so I’ll wait to pass judgement until next week.
    • I’d love to see more of Elliot Glazer on the show. I get that Broad City is about Abbi and Ilana, but his sarcasm works so well in contrast with their zany humor. An Ilana and Elliot-centered episode would be very exciting to see.
    • This week’s episode was directed by Glazer, and it’s very interesting to see how her style differs from Jacobson’s. If you watch the behind-the-scene clip after the show, you also learn that they shot the episode in Glazer’s grandmother’s actual condominium complex, which is super cool (and hopefully not as racist in real life).
    • Fran Drescher high is something I never knew I needed to see until now.

 

By Mike Papirmeister

 

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