Broad City: Season 2 created by Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson (3 Arts Entertainment, Jax Media, Paper Kite Productions)
Starring Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, John Gemberling, Hannibal Buress, and Arturo Castro.
A Millennial Show
Slowly but surely, the Millennials are taking over. Most television barely gives reference to this sub-section of America, but the showrunners of the future are Millennials now. The writers too, they are up and coming.
To a certain extent, the old guard of television writes what they know. The characters are defined and labeled by their demographic. There’s the white main character, the African-American friend, the Asian American, the gay character. It all feels calculated. The writing around these characters feel forced too. The lives and personas seem more like caricatures than reality.
It’s All Good
What’s truly unique about Broad City, then, is the millennial focus. The characters represent a multi-cultural milieu but they aren’t static cut-outs of swaths of American culture. The main characters, Abbi (Abbi Jacobson) and Ilana (Ilana Glazer) have friends that span the cultural spectrum and it’s no big deal.
Likewise, sexuality isn’t a point of crisis. Ilana is attracted to men and women; it’s not a point of drama.
Season 2 of Broad City closely resembles Season 1. Abbi still yearns for a better job. Ilana remains the iconoclastic New Yorker, indifferent to the whims of polite society.
Episode by episode, the duo unearths absurd comedy in the daily interactions with their friends. There are dog weddings, odd sexual exchanges, interactions with Kelly Ripa, and weed. Lots of weed.
If there’s character development, it exists in the small exchanges between known characters, but often the relationships move beyond the standard tropes of sitcoms. Abi, for example, yearns for her neighbor in Season 1. Season 2 illustrates how she can get what she wants, but it doesn’t last long and the character disappears soon after.
Frankly, the show lives and dies by its central relationship. Abbi and Ilana can discuss meaningless minutiae and it’s hilarious. Often, the greatest moments occur in codas or intros where the girls just sit and talk in an apartment. The dialogue drives everything, with small humorous observations and steady sense that this relationship is lived in.
If you watch Broad City, I will guarantee you’ll face some awkward but hilarious moments. But, behind the wall of absurdity and shock moments, we see two people who care deeply about each other and request to live life to the fullest in each other’s presence. This positivity makes for good comedy and entertaining viewing.
Verdict: 4.5 out of 5