Broad City: “Wisdom Teeth” Season 2 Episode 3 Review

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A role-reversal episode that takes a trippy tour of a Gowanus Whole Foods AND ends in a happy resolution for Abbi? Sold.

Broad City is still a relatively new show, and yet it’s already grown so much since its pilot episode. In the beginning, it seemed as though Ilana was a wild and free-spirited twentysomething, and Abbi was her more restrained friend. As the season progressed, however, it quickly became clear that this show isn’t interested in playing with one-dimensional archetypes. Abbi and Ilana are fully realized, multifaceted characters, and they’ve each dipped their toes in uncharted waters.

That being said, Abbi is still a little more levelheaded. This is why it was such a treat to watch the ladies switch places in “Wisdom Teeth.” I use the word switch loosely, because though Ilana becomes more protective, and Abbi becomes totally unhinged, the two still remain true to themselves.

As you may have surmised from the episode’s title, this week’s adventure centered around Abbi getting her wisdom teeth removed and Ilana taking care of her. For Ilana, this means she has to be laser focused, which is why she tells Lincoln, “I didn’t smoke today. I didn’t even vape!” with all the seriousness of a doctor who’s just prepped for surgery.

Abbi, meanwhile, is hopped up on pain meds and free to lose control. She’s still sweet, cheerful Abbi, though, which is why something like her adorable Drew Barrymore impersonation is made even funnier by her constantly stopping herself to say, “Noooo! Stoppp! That’s too mean! She’s my faaaavorite!” Even a doped up Abbi doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

Ilana’s role as caretaker involves braiding Abbi’s hair, putting ridiculous makeup on her, and then Skype-chatting with Lincoln while she’s passed out. Then, of course, there’s the Firecracker weed smoothie that only Ilana “Strega Nona” Wexler would think to conceive.

The weed smoothie is really what kicks things into high gear (pun totally intended). Jacobson’s talents with physical comedy are put to great effect as we watch Abbi roll, skip, and smile with a toothy sloppiness. The show reaches new levels of bizarro hilarity when it has her hallucinate a life-size version of her stuffed animal Bingo Bronson, and the two wreak havoc on the Whole Foods in Gowanus. Watching Abbi knock organic food onto the ground and rack up a $1200 grocery bill while drugged out of her mind is a fairly simple concept, and yet it’s endlessly entertaining.

The realization that her best friend has gone missing is really what wakes Ilana up to the fact that she’s been a pretty subpar caretaker. Soon she’s dropping what she’s doing and biking through the streets of Brooklyn to find her dear Abbi. When it’s all said and done, this show is really about two friends who love each other unconditionally, which is why this shift in Ilana’s attitude—and her hysterical line at the dentist’s about meeting Abbi in heaven in case things don’t work out—make perfect sense.

Oh and, to top it all off, Abbi ends up getting a date with her longtime crush Jeremy. After witnessing a series of her romantic mishaps, it’s nice to finally see her score a win. Truthfully, though, this whole episode felt like a victory. Grade: A

 

Some Other Notes:

– There was so much Abbi-Ilana awesomeness this week that I couldn’t find anywhere to talk about the subplot involving Jaime’s ill-fated trip to 16 Handles 72 Squirts. This is another example of how to use your side-characters wisely. Also, points for coming up with the flavor “sizzurp.”

– The cold open is a great example of how Broad City uses, as The Wall Street Journal puts it, “sneak-attack feminism.” I love how comfortable Ilana is with her body. Her line to Lincoln about how she hates when men tell women to calm down is less subtle, but still very much appreciated.

– Another gem from the cold open: the brief return of Abbi’s clavicle obsession.

– Bingo Bronson is voiced by Paul Downs who also plays Trey. This is both funny and creepy.

-Ilana and Lincoln’s strange, yet totally believable relationship can be summed up by the line, “I hate to say it, but you have boyfriend penis.”

– Ilana’s cooking sequence with the Firecracker smoothie was both intriguingly shot and, shall we say, informative? Has anyone tried this out in real life? I’m asking for a friend….

– I think my favorite thing about Abbi’s crush on Jeremy is how he looks and acts so normal, and yet he sends her into a daze with almost everything he does. I love the fact that she was immediately transported back to her drug-induced state as soon as he said he liked her Drew Barrymore impersonation.

 

 

By Mike Papirmeister

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