Broad City: “St. Mark’s” Season 2 Finale Review

Photo Credit: http://gothamist.com/2015/03/19/broad_city_smile_gfy.php

The Broads go back to basics for a glorious season finale.

There are several components that go into making Broad City the hit that it is—the simultaneously real and surreal New York scenarios, the casual progressiveness, the crazy guest stars—but none is as important as the chemistry between the leads. I’ve stated several times that I could watch Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer discuss just about anything, and this episode continued to prove why.

This season—with the exception of “Mochalatta Chills”—has done a lot of great work expanding upon Broad City‘s universe. We saw different sides of Jeremy, Jaime, Trey, and even Bevers, to a certain extent. Still, the show’s main draw has always been Abbi and Ilana, so I was incredibly pleased to see the finale focus on just the two of them.

Echoing last year’s season finale which celebrated Abbi’s 26th birthday, “St. Mark’s” follows the ladies as they ring in Ilana turning 23. A majority of the episode features long takes of the two of them walking together through St. Mark’s Place, talking about everything from wills to Beanie Babies to the significance of different ages. It is fantastic. The dialogue–both in its writing and the way it’s delivered—feels so natural, that I wondered several times if Jacobson and Glazer were just improvising.

Broad City‘s view of female friendship is so refreshing, because it doesn’t revolve around conflict or competition, but rather mutual respect. Abbi and Ilana truly love each other, which is why it’s so great to watch them take on madness together.

The madness comes in heavy doses. At a dumpling restaurant, the two run into SNL‘s Aidy Bryant and Late Night with Seth Meyers writer Connor O’Malley (who are apparently a real-life couple…thanks Wikipedia!) playing a couple that the ladies have long been avoiding. The encounter is awkward and weird and involves both a masturbation simulation and chugging a bottle of wine. This, of course, was just the start of the night.

A traipse through a wig shop leads to even more jovial conversations between Abbi and Ilana—my favorite part being when Ilana talks about wanting all her exes to jerk off at her funeral. “That might bring me back to life, seriously!”—but things are kicked into high gear when a supposedly homeless teen runs off with Abbi’s gift for her best friend.

What follows is a thrilling chase sequence down street corners, through grocery stores, and into alleyways. The frenetic pacing is quite fun, and shows that the increased budget for season 2 has not been put to waste.

The chase culminates in the ladies following the thief into a fancy townhouse, owned by Patricia Clarkson’s aggressive psychiatrist character. The homeless teen turns out to be a 30-something manchild still mooching off his mom, and his mom is f*cking pissed about it.

Clarkson’s yelling is a stark contrast to the rest of the episode’s lighthearted nature, but she chews the scenery with incredible finesse. She disparages her son’s “loser, loser, loser, loser, loser, loser, loser, loser life” with such concentrated hostility, that you have to applaud the level of commitment. The actress certainly makes the most of her brief screen time, and I especially enjoyed how she tried to shrug the whole thing off after Abbi and Ilana leave, as if she hadn’t just caused the world’s biggest scene.

Season 1 ended with the two ladies sitting in a hospital bed together, and season two ends with them sitting on the curb of a pizza place, wrapped under Abbi’s perfectly fitting gift for Ilana (it’s a blanket…and you’ve really just gotta see it for yourself). The two discuss their highs of the year and what they plan to do in the year ahead. Personally, I can’t wait to see what Jacobson and Glazer do next. Together, they’re truly unstoppable. Grade: A-

 

Some Other Notes:

– Thank you for sticking with me throughout this season of Broad City! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. A full season review will be up soon.

– Can we briefly discuss how f*cking brilliant Abbi and Ilana’s response was to the guy who said, “You girls are so pretty, you should smile” (see photo above for reference). The fact that it’s already gone viral is icing on the cake.

– Tree man. He’s awesome. That is all.

– “You’re a mainline Jew. New York Jews wake up every day and think about how they’re gonna die.”

– Of all the shambolic things featured in the chaos that is St. Mark’s, my favorite was the girl casually peeing on a tree. Sometimes ya just gotta go.

– One of Ilana’s goals for next year is to lower her dosage of antidepressants. Only a show like Broad City could drop this little nugget of information and not have it be a bombshell or a punchline.

– “Oh my god, Weezy’s here! He’s so real!” “No, it’s us. We are ‘Lil Wayne.” “You are sweeping me off my feet!”

 

By Mike Papirmeister

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