Broad City: “Twaining Day” Season 4 Episode 2 Review

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Abbi and Ilana’s new jobs, along with a cavalcade of celebrity guest stars, make for an intriguing next step into season 4.

Last week’s premiere took us back to when Abbi and Ilana first met, so “Twaining Day” is really the first introduction to how this season is going to be shaped. It’s not that Broad City has any over-arching narratives each year, but there are certain characters and plot points that tend to make repeat appearances.

Case in point, the ladies’ work lives, which have drastically changed since last season. Abbi is no longer working at Soulstice, and is now an assistant to a graphic designer (Wanda Sykes, who’s very underused, but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of her). Her daily tasks are rather menial, but it’s nice to see that she’s at least in the field she wants to be in, as opposed to working a just-to-pay-the-bills job like Soulstice.

Still, that gym turns out to be harder to shake than she realizes when she gets notified that a package she ordered has been delivered there. Rather than trekking out to North Brother Island again—although I personally wouldn’t mind another visit with Garol—she decides to go back to her old stomping grounds to pick it up.

Of course, the one day she goes to Soulstice as a non-employee is the day that “Canadian queen of country-pop” Shania Twain is working out. The show’s running joke of Abbi consistently lying that she’s been training Shania has reached its peak, and Twain is more than game for some fun. While her guest spot isn’t as gleefully raunchy as Kelly Rippa’s, the show has a blast making her say things like “man, I feel like a smoothie,” coming up with song lyrics on the spot, and pulling Abbi aside to “dish” about Trey.

Speaking of which, the most important part about Shania’s appearance is that Trey is the one who’s training her. Abbi is forced to confront her past, and is immediately pulled back into it. Her sexual tension with Trey is so strong that the two of them continually forget that Shania Twain is standing right next to them.

The most interesting part of this narrative, though, occurs after Trey breaks his junk during a surprise Shania serenade (yes, you read that right). He tells Abbi that they should’ve kept things strictly physical from the start because she’s not a relationship girl to begin with. This shakes Abbi, who’s clearly always thought the opposite. She immediately gets the number of the cute paramedic who wheels Trey away, and later tells Ilana that the two are seeing each other.

Out of the two of them, Abbi is certainly the more aspirational Broad on Broad City. She wants her life to look a certain way, and is willing to lie about how far from her lofty goals she actually is. There are a lot of possibilities for where this could go for her this season, but I can’t see it ending any other way than by blowing up in Abbi’s face. Luckily, Ilana will probably be there to help pick up the pieces.

While Abbi is busy with Trey and Shania, Ilana seeks new employment at a trendy Asian fusion restaurant. Her plotline hilariously starts off with her at a hookup’s apartment, leaving a post-it note goodbye that mentions she took some toiletries with her. She then interviews at Sushi Mambeaux, and finds she has to put a bitch-face on in order to be taken seriously.

A highlight of this story is the restaurant’s general manager Marcel, played by the one and only RuPaul. His straight-shooting demeanor fits in well with the restaurant’s pretentious atmosphere, and it’s a delight to watch him throw shade and give his staff nicknames.

Still, Ilana’s narrative doesn’t rely on star power alone to coast through. The main focus is Ilana’s crisis of conscience when she realizes she doesn’t want to rely on being bitchy in order to get tips. After consulting her new spiritual guide aka the piece of tin foil she wrapped a potato in earlier—something that only this show could get away with—she discovers she can waitress just as well by complimenting instead of insulting.

Ilana is notorious for having a complete disregard for her work environment, so it’s a nice change of pace to see her actually excel at something. I don’t know how long this new gig will last, but I hope she sticks around for a while. The cast of characters that make up her co-workers will likely be great for bit re-appearances down the line.

“Twaining Day” is another highly compelling episode that points to an exciting season ahead. Broad City continues to prove that, even this far in the game, it still has a lot of interesting and really funny material to cover. Even though this isn’t a serialized show, I have a feeling that this is the start of new chapters for both Abbi and Ilana. I can’t wait to see what they get into next. Grade: A-

 

Some Other Notes:

  • The episode opens with Abbi and Ilana being clinic escorts for Planned Parenthood. I’m really glad the show isn’t backing down from its political stances, and that it’s proven you can be funny and make a point at the same time.
  • The post-it note that Ilana leaves behind for her hookup refers to their time together as a “bang hang.”
  • My favorite of Ilana’s new co-workers is “Mini Me,” who we’re led to believe is obsessed with Marcel, but later find out he’s actually his son. Ilana walking out mid-sentence during his origin story was amazing.

 

By Mike Papirmeister

 

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