Broad City Season 2 Episode 1 Review: “In Heat”

Broad City Season 2 Episode 1 Review: “In Heat”

Broad City 2.01

2013 was a huge year for Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, who went from “interesting internet duo” to “comedy powerhouse” essentially overnight as Broad City‘s fantastic first season found its way into the cultural bloodstream (can you believe that FX passed on Broad City in 2011?). Equal parts absurd, weirdly heartwarming, and openly vulgar, Broad City delivered something unique to television: a TV show set in a fictional version of New York that felt alive, giving the actresses a hilarious, surrealistic backdrop to set their equally ludicrous stories in.

The best of these stories always featured Ilana and Abby making their way across the city for one reason or another (“Pu$$y Weed”, “Destination: Wedding”) – so it’s no surprise the season hits the ground running with “In Heat”, which takes the girls around the city in their pursuit of an air conditioner on the hottest day of the year. Opening with a genius Snowpiercer homage, it takes all of five seconds before Broad City‘s right back in its groove, kicking off a half hour about rape culture in hilarious fashion.

Well, “In Heat” isn’t so much a reflection on rape culture – save for Abbi’s realization about what going to the “little girl’s room” really meant – as it is an active subversion of it, placing Abbi in an increasingly hilarious set of sexual situations that lead to her thinking she’s a sexual predator. After her date Male Stacy passes out while underneath her, Abbi wonders if she’s a terrible human being for not noticing for a few seconds – only to lament her behavior further in the episode, when a heat wave, some weed, and a pair of new jeans (“I’m going to buy these, because they are now part of my body”) spurn her to make out with a senior at the local college (who they’re trying to steal an AC unit from)… excuse me, a child who is a senior in high school, visiting a campus to decide where to go to school (Abbi, in the evening’s best line: “I’ve done it again”).

And we get a trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, the fictional duo’s favorite store – and one of the show’s funniest gags, with Abbi running through a number of elaborate handshakes with the store’s employees. This is but the capper to an episode that has the pair faking jobs as R.A.’s (“Lordy lordy, Janet just turned 40”), Ilana donning her best Jenny from the Block costume, and Bevers unleashing a trio of kittens in the apartment (leading to the closing tag, with Abbi and Male Stacy freaking out at the sight of a kitten in her room). If anything, season two of Broad City looks to be more hectic and outlandish than its first season – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The more absurd Broad City got in its freshman year, the better it got (remember the UPS facility Abbi went to in “Working Girls”?) – and although this episode does have its focus on Abbi more than Ilana (or, the slightly sane rather than the unhinged), it actually works, letting Abbi’s disgruntled reactions to everything in life provide a foundation for much of the comedy in the episode, her (somewhat) grounded personality proving a nice contrast against the oddities of the city they set their show in.

In short, Broad City‘s back like it never left – and that’s a good thing, because it’s as refreshing a comedic voice as we have on television today. “In Heat”, with its images of Seth Rogan pulling paper towels out of his butt and Ilana crying to the sight of a man blowing smoke rings, marks a terrific return for what I’d argue to be Comedy Central’s best show (not to mention one of the dozen or so best shows on TV, period).

[Photo via Comedy Central]

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