Broad City: “Two Chainz” Season 3 Premiere Review

Photo Credit: http://screencrush.com/442/files/2016/02/broad-city-season-3-clip-pic.jpg?w=720&cdnnode=1

Abbi and Ilana return to prove that friendship can conquer just about anything.

I’m so, so, so glad this magical show is back. It only took a few seconds into the season 3 premiere for me to realize how much I missed seeing Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer on my screen each week. Broad City has quickly proven itself to be bolder, edgier, and more absurd than a lot of the mainstream comedies on TV. To quote Abbi’s former roommate from the episode, it’s “so surreal, yet so real.”

Keeping up with such momentum can prove difficult for any TV show, especially one in its third season. Yet, “Two Chainz” is a wholly encouraging episode that ensures the series’ weird, wacky heart is fully intact. If anything, the weirdness has been embraced even further. In short, the Broads are back, baby, and I couldn’t be happier.

The opening sequence alone is a thing of brilliance; a wordless, split-screen montage of Abbi and Ilana’s bathroom activities over an entire year. It echoed a similar side-by-side comparison of the two from season 1’s “Working Girls,” only on a much grander scale. There’s so much we can discern from the quick cuts between each activity that Abbi and Ilana partake in, that it’s more than worth it to watch the opening multiple times. There are freakouts, hookups, wardrobe changes, hairbrush karaoke sessions, and much, much more. The scene moves at a rapid pace, but the details remain strong. These are two women who really know each other, and they’re inviting us to know them as well.

The plot of “Two Chainz” actually kicks off after the opening credits, and it uses one of Broad City‘s best formulas excellently. A low-stakes plot—Abbi wants to attend an art gallery showing where her ex-roommate Maxann has a piece—soon spirals wonderfully out of control. The two do end up making it to the gallery, but not before experiencing the warehouse sale from hell, Lincoln’s trapeze school graduation, and two “near death” catastrophes. Also, when the ladies do arrive at the gallery, they realize their troubles are far from over.

There are so many great dialogue exchanges and set pieces throughout, that it would impossible to list them all without basically recapping the entire episode. What really stuck out to me, though, is that the easy, breezy exchange between the series’ two leads continues to be unwaveringly authentic amidst all the chaos. Jacobson and Glazer poke a lot of fun at New York City millennial culture, but are also fully aware that it’s a culture they partake in. It’s why a moment like Ilana ranting about the plight of Saudi women from a documentary she watched, then switching to whining about the brunch spot she’s at removing bottomless mimosas from the menu, works so damn well. It’s not just that Jacobson and Glazer play well off each other—though they certainly do—it’s also that they’re willing to both gawk at the fools and play the fools themselves.

Another thing that stuck out to me is the show’s adamant refusal to have Abbi and Ilana fight. There were so many instances during the episode where a lesser show would’ve had them break out into a heated silence or a quip-filled argument. Here, though, the power of female friendship shines through, and the two become more bonded despite all the obstacles they face. “Two Chainz” thrives because of this sense of love and connection, allowing for a more original and funnier story.

The moment that perfectly encapsulates this is the brief respite after Abbi saves Ilana from the moving truck she was attached to. “I think…we should just…get married,” Ilana pants. “What?” Abbi quickly asks, and Ilana amusingly tries to pretend the words never came out of her mouth. It’s a quick scene, but it’s one that hits its beats perfectly because of how well-established the dynamic between the two leads is. Abbi loves Ilana, and Ilana loves Abbi just a little bit more.

The episode ends in typical fashion, with the two broads back at Ilana’s apartment, and Abbi trying desperately to rid her friend of the bike chain that’s been stuck around her waist all day. Lotion is applied, numerous positions are attempted, and the homoerotic tension is more than implied. It’s another sequence that perfectly captures what’s so great about Broad City. It’s weird, it’s unafraid to be messy, and it’s totally, utterly hilarious. These two have each other’s back no matter what, and so I’m pretty much ready to watch them do anything. Grade: A-

 

Some Other Notes:

  • There are so many moments from the opening that I want to see made into full episodes. Why are Abbi and Ilana both in casts? Are their rainbow outfits—and Ilana’s hookup with another girl—an indication that they went to Pride? Also, why does Abbi keep losing so many goldfish?
  • I’m super in love with the Abbi-Ilana-Lincoln conversation about Sex and the City. It was funny, but in a way that was more fans talking about the show instead of them making fun of it. Sex and the City might be worlds away from Broad City, but the latter wouldn’t exist without the former. Also, Ilana’s Samantha impression is just laugh-out-loud incredible.
  • The best part of the two-hander catastrophe sequence—Abbi getting airlifted while in a port-a-potty, then Ilana getting stuck to the back of a moving truck—is when the two ladies call each other the wrong names. It’s so random and simple and I died laughing.
  • Also this: “Nice ass!” “Yeah, I KNOW!”
  • Ilana only talks to her therapist about Abbi…of course.
  • “We don’t have bathrooms! We don’t even have dressing rooms! This is a pop-up, bitch!” RIP to the warehouse sale clerk.

 

By Mike Papirmeister

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