'Broad City' Season 2 Retains the Magic Of Season 1, And Allows Our Heroes Room to Grow
At long last, the second season of Broad City has braced us with its presence. If you listen closely, you can hear Comedy Central's programming schedule taking a deep, slow breath, really reveling in feeling itself fill with life once more. Broad City left us after 10 short episodes last March, and now that it's back, the question has transformed from a very pressing "have you watched Broad City yet? If so isn't it great and if not get the hell on that" into a "can Broad City maintain the momentum of the first season?" It's kind of an unfair question, but it plagues all sophomore shows whose freshman seasons were a break out success. And having seen three episodes of this newest season so far, I feel comfortable saying that it can.
We shouldn't expect Broad City to stay exactly the same — all shows and showrunners deserve the room to breathe, and grow, and learn from what they've done. Many comedies also don't know themselves in the first season as well as Broad City seems to — remember the first season of Parks and Recreation?
Still, it's important to note that while Broad City seems to have nailed a lot of things right out of the gate, there's a lot of ground and growth creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer should feel free to cover. And so far, from the first season and what I've seen of Season 2, I'd say they're covering that ground — and reacting to their early successes — rather deftly.
Here are some of the things Broad City Season 2 retains that made you fall in love with the series the first time around.
A New York City That's Fittingly Disgusting
No one who's lived in New York City could tell you with a straight face that it's not a rather gross place to exist during some moments. Sure, it's filled with wonder and there's nothing else quite like it. There's a reason Taylor Swift really likes it. But you'll also get dripped on by high-up air conditioners and become very acquainted with the smell of human waste. Broad City Season 2 opens with a scene on a subway that feels pret-ty real in the diversity of its "WTF"edness.
A Mix Of the Uber-Real & the Fantastical
This is something I'm still in awe of over the first season: Jacobson and Glazer managed to somehow blend together the grounded realities of twentysomething life in the city with something far more out-there and un-real — and they did it without tripping over the seams.
Just remember back to the Season 1 sequence in which Abbi makes a trek to retrieve a package: The twins on the boat, the erie music, the Garol. It's what separates Broad City from ever being just a Girls redux: It's personal and utterly believable at its heart... but it will also take you juuuust shy of the fantasy realm. This is especially visible in the show's relationship to sex. It's just as frank as Girls continues to be, but veers during certain moments into surprisingly refreshing hyperbole.
Supporting Characters Who Truly Support
If you loved Hannibal Buress' dentist character Lincoln last season, prepare to keep on loving him. If you cringe-laughed your way through John Gemberling's Beaver, prepare to keep on doing that. There'll be a lot to say about Jeremy soon enough. And it's regular-recurrings like them and the smaller guest stars or one-shots that really fill out Broad City: Abbi and Ilana are amazing and they're amazing together, but it's watching them take on the rest of the world that's the real fun.
That's especially true when, as is the case here, we're entering into a Season 2 wherein Broad City and its creators are still in a honeymoon period — and a whole bunch of great comedy names have signed on to come out and play with them. From Seth Rogen to (my personal fave) Kumail Nanjiani, Broad City really shows its range in its supporting cast. And it's that cast that serves as a bouncing-board for our heroes; they're like the bra to Abbi and Ilana's impressive conjoined bosom.
An Undying Love Between Its Main Characters
Necessary and consistently delightful, Abbi and Ilana show their love for each other in truly wonderful ways — and ways that are relatable even when they're hella weird. It's the glue that holds the series together: They can take on the grossness of the world (and themselves) because Abbi and Ilana live in a judgement-free zone in their affections.
Strange, Small Obsessions
From bootleg "designer" purses to Abbi's butt to Bed Bath & Beyond, Abbi and Ilana are constantly on the chase for something. Without any clear-cut goals to chase season-to-season, it's these obsessions that imbue the series with our main character's motivations. Sometimes the motivation's just to self-actualize or behave more like what we've been told adults do. In any case, we've all got these. And watching those motivations move between the sphere of reality and wherever Abbi and Ilana take it? That's most of the fun.
Images: Comedy Central