Broad City, Season 2, Episode 1, “In Heat”
Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 9:30 PM (EST), ABC
There was a time in my life when I thought funny rape jokes were impossible, but Abbi and Ilana have brilliantly proved me wrong with the Broad City season 2 premiere “In Heat.” The episode starts out with a tricky subway sequence in which the girls have to get to the front of the train. It’s a hot summer day, so everyone is sweaty and gross. They pass by your typical spectacles such as break dancers, a lonely car with a giant pile of feces accompanied by a solitary woman eating her snack, and a dude scratching his balls. Our heroes are barely fazed, though. Out on the street, they’re so hot that they duck into Topshop where Ilana uses the great lighting of the dressing room to examine her crotch and Abbi tries on a pair of pants she can’t remove. They discuss everything from whether or not a fat man’s dick gets sucked back into his body or if it just looks smaller, to Colin Farrel’s enthusiastic sex tape performance. It turns out there’s a large group of children standing right outside the dressing room who overhear all of their dirty jokes and foul language. At least an older lady got some valuable information out of it. Oh, how I’ve missed you, Broad City.
Abbi has a date with “Male Stacy” played by Seth Rogen. It’s their second date and he’s cooking her fajitas, but since they don’t have air conditioning, they’re both sweating through their clothes like crazy. They decide to have sex anyway, but the heat causes Seth to pass out. Meanwhile, Ilana schools Lincoln’s sophisticated black friends on rape culture and kiddie porn at what she doesn’t realize until much later is Lincoln’s birthday party. We got more of the lame but undeniably charming Lincoln jokes and a tooth-shaped birthday cake. Later when they’re discussing the encounter, Ilana suggests that when Abbi continued to have sex with Male Stacy while he was unconscious, that she was probably raping him. Abbi is horrified and immediately decides that her lack of air conditioning was the real problem.
This starts another wild goose chase throughout the city for an air conditioner. The first stop is Abbi’s favorite hangout spot and borderline obsession - Bed Bath and Beyond. When Abbi sees her pals who work there, they perform their elaborate and beautifully choreographed secret handshakes, making Ilana jealous. She hides it well. With the new air conditioner purchased, they try to hail a cab, but by the time they return to the spot on the sidewalk where they left it for just a moment, it’s disappeared. Their backup plan is to ask all their Facebook friends for a free or cheap air conditioner. They get a hit from a friend of a friend creating his Amazing Race audition tape played by Kumail Nanjiani, who convinces them to move all of his boxes for him in exchange for his broken air conditioner. Of course, they don’t know it’s broken until they’ve already moved all the boxes.
Now in the park hugging bags of ice, Ilana’s backup plan to the backup plan involves retrieving the air conditioner she left in her dorm room. When they reach her old room, it’s occupied by a group of young boys. Abbi and Ilana pretend to be RA’s who are doing a room sweep. They “find” three infractions, and use the air conditioner as punishment. Before they leave, of course they have to smoke up with the boys in a beautiful montage filled with impressive smoke rings. Ilana comes up with another genius app idea, this one with lazers, that’s already been created. Abbi makes out with a 16 year old boy thinking he’s college age, forcing her to admit “I’m a repeat sex offender.” At least she has the air conditioner.
What makes Broad City so special is how all of the hijinks ensue because Ilana and Abbi’s are willing to debase themselves when the other needs their help. They’ve come a long way since the pilot just ten episodes prior. Ilana is starting to have what resembles an actual relationship with Lincoln and Abbi is the one with the wilder, more adventurous sexcapades for once. Most of all, I love how the show was able to address rape culture from a feminist perspective. Abbi is rightfully ashamed of her actions even though what she did was mostly harmless, but only because Ilana draws parallels between the language she uses and actual rapists in order to expose how they talk about their victims. Broad City is a wildly inventive show in a laid back, chill, unassumingly brilliant format that’s gotten under the skin of a lot of us. With just a season and this premiere, it’s already achieved something that shouldn’t be so difficult – showing actual people of all backgrounds fucking up, having fun, and loving each other without judgment or simplification.
There was a time in my life when I thought funny rape jokes were impossible, but Abbi and Ilana have brilliantly proved me wrong.