I’m SO late to the party on this one, but I love this mental TV show! There are so many reasons why it’s a breath of fresh air (/weed smoke): it’s about two mid-twenties best friends in New York, who are funny and weird and besotted with each other – and every other character is kind of incidental. It’s full of drugged-up or imagined dream sequences (I particularly liked Abbi and Ilana rolling into the bank after Abbi receives her first creative paycheque) and hilarious, surreal japes the two get themselves into (and eventually, out of).
Abbi and Ilana are loud and lairy, irresponsible, objectify men, get high (a lot) and make terrible life decisions. It’s more spaced-out but somehow sharper and more realistic even than Girls (which I love) just in terms of how girls riff off each other when they’re alone together. It’s also a bit of a comment on how millennials approach their crappily paid, digital era jobs (Ilana’s casual attitude to work is everyone’s twisted fantasy of sticking it to their boss). It’s unpredictably, crudely hilarious. And, best of all, it’s co-written by two real-life best friends, actually named Abbi and Ilana, only slightly exaggerating their mid-twenties friendship. AND it’s produced by comedy goddess Amy Poehler, who took a chance on their DIY web series and brought it to Comedy Central. They’re three seasons in, so you can binge-watch the whole lot on Sky On Demand, or online.
Standout moments… so far
1. Jeremy’s package (Working Girls, s1 ep3)
Abbi offers to sign for her hot neighbour’s delivery (who she’s casually in love with), misses it, and then has to make an epic journey to an eerie warehouse across the Hudson.
2. Creepy locksmith (The Lockout, s1 ep6)
The girls get locked out of Ilana’s apartment, then manage to summon a locksmith SO creepy that they edgily get him to unlock a neighbour’s apartment instead, so he doesn’t have her address. The neighbours who live there promptly come home and mace the shit out of them.
3. Fancy restaurant (The Last Supper, s1, e10)
A & I book a posh dinner at fictional restaurant Octavia, for a dinner that gets more and more surreal and ends in epi-pen-stabbing disaster. What I liked most about this was the giggly bravado of two broke girls dining out at a Michelin joint in bra tops and body-con (not to mention an Amy Poehler cameo as a chef warring with her maitre’d husband).
4. Secret handshakes (In Heat, s1 ep1)
When it transpires that Abbi visits one Bed, Bath and Beyond store so much, she has multiple secret handshakes and in-jokes with its staff. So simple. So brilliant.
5. Ilana’s the boss (Mochalatta Chills, s2 ep2)
Terminally idle employee Ilana is challenged to do some work for the day in her boss’s absence, and ends up hyperactively hiring multiple interns, having them serve her and ending up with serious slavery guilt. And a cut-price ‘white power’ suit.
Sidebar: These are discounting ANY moment featuring Ilana’s on-off lover, Lincoln (comedian Hannibal Buress). Every minute he is on screen is pure gold.
Broad City is on Comedy Central and series 1-3 are available on Sky On Demand.