Broad City, Season 2, Episode 5, “Hashtag FOMO”
Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 10:30 PM (EST), Comedy Central
Sometimes Broad City can get just a little too specific. Many of the jokes this week didn’t land for me, like I wasn’t in on some hilarious joke everyone else knows about. On paper, it sounded hilarious – Abbi and Ilana wander all over the city trying to find the perfect party or as Ilana put it the “Narnia of Partias.” It all starts out with Abbi’s boss Trey inviting her over to his apartment for a party. Apparently, he thinks Abbi is hilarious and one of his best friends. It’s hard to pinpoint why this episode didn’t work as well, but I think it stems from Abbi and Ilana’s behavior feeling mostly out of character. Ilana is usually an insanely enthusiastic, energetic, and wild presence but for most of the episode she’s a naysayer. Abbi getting a nose ring and being completely oblivious to everyone’s disdain for it didn’t really fit, either. Since the jokes were based on these versions of the duo, they didn’t quite land.
The first joke of the episode is about Abbi’s new nose ring, which she reveals on a skype call with Ilana. It’s such an odd choice that even Ilana has trouble being enthusiastic about it. Ilana is desperate to attend a good party because of her FOMO (fear of missing out) after spending a weekend organizing her apartment. Even though she got a giant super blunt out of all the leftovers strewn about her apartment, she is definitely restless. She gets out of work by making incomprehensible faces at her spineless boss. This scene in particular made me feel like the episode was making obscure movie references. Even Nicole, a coworker who hates Ilana, can’t make literally pulling her hair out funny in this episode for some reason.
Trey’s party is lame in every way. The first strike against him is living close to the port authority and the second is having a hallways full of bikes. Then, he suggests they watch the apprentice on DVD. Ilana’s immediate disdain for the party doesn’t seem like her at all. I would think that she would at least try to make some awkward connections or turn the party into her own personal favorite, but instead, she gets Abbi to make up an excuse so they can go. I don’t blame them for hating it, though. All of the other guests were dressed up in work out gear instead of the cute party clothes Abbi and Ilana had on. Abbi’s impromptu excuse is that she has to go to the hospital to get a tapeworm out of her butt. Again, it’s only funny because Abbi couldn’t think of a better excuse and she’s known for being the worst liar in the universe.
Jaime’s party is a definite step up. Ilana introduces herself to Jaime’s love interest by showing how wonderfully tolerant and progressive she is when it comes to being friends with gay people. She doesn’t like how people fetishize gay guys by saying they’d totally officiate at their wedding. She’s cool with them just hooking up for a while, whatever makes them happy. the guy responds to this introductory speech by guessing correctly that she’s Ilana. In the first geninuely funny moment of the episode, she replies “How could you tell?” Abbi takes a picture and then they make some lame instagram jokes. Ilana gives this party a 7/10 rating even though Abbi has such a good time she would give it a perfect 10.
The next stop is to visit Lincoln at a more sophisticated and grown up party, complete with fake breakdancing and a charcuterie board. Lincoln was a pleasant bright spot of the episode, since his brand of humor is so singular and weird. Again, Abbi is having a great time and thinks the party is a perfect 10, but Ilana spots a girl blowing her nose and demotes it to an 8.5. While they’re walking to their next destination, Lincoln ditches them in a “black Irish goodbye,” meaning he gets into a cab without saying goodbye. Ilana’s used to it.
Their next effort is a roof party rave. Ilana immediately deems it a 10 while Abbi continues to get super wasted. Unfortunately, it’s soon broken up by the cops so the girls are sent wandering again. Abbi seems to be completely out of it when they stumble into a basement bar. She mumbles something about Val before she opens the door, which confuses Ilana. As soon as their inside, everyone shouts Val’s name at Abbi, meaning when she gets black-out drunk, she becomes this completely different person named Val. As someone who has seen people blacked out, people really do change personalities, but I’ve never seen anyone take on a completely fictional character. Abbi’s adorable dressed up like an old Hollywood star, singing “Get Happy” in a boozy, mumbly, classic drawl. She spews weirdly poetic observations like “You’re always worrying about missing out on life you never bother to actually live.” Ilana has found her “Narnia of Partias” and Abbi swallows her diamond nose ring like it’s no big deal.
In the morning, Abbi remembers nothing and has to go straight to work hungover. She finds out that Maria, the cleaner she was training the previous day, has been promoted to trainer after bonding with Trey at his party. The episode has its moments, but it’s certainly the weakest episode of the season and possibly the series.
- Ilana’s trick of bringing a bag that’s inflated to look like it contains wine is pretty genius when she offers to open it in the kitchen.
- “What is it, 2004?” multiple people ask when they hear about Abbi’s nose ring
- During their Skype call, Ilana is wearing nothing below her shirt and Abbi flashes an empty room after Ilana gets up. This season has a ton of random nudity, but this was the first time it just wasn’t that funny.
- “I was just googling micropensis this morning.”
- Abbi and Ilana discuss what they would do if they had to die. Ilana says “I’d shoot you in the face and then shoot myself in the heart.” This makes absolutely no sense.
- How did Ilana know the two dudes making out were straight?
- “I’m a town about town, a town about Val.” Ilana’s reaction to seeing Val perform is priceless.
- Ilana is Val’s main squeeze. “You’re my favorite little Jew-y this side of St. Louis.”
The episode has its moments, but it’s certainly the weakest episode of the season and possibly the series.