I first became aquainted with Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson about a year ago when I stumbled across their web series, Broad City, and it was love at first sight. The online premiere is only two minutes long, but that’s all it takes to get what these girls are about. While walking down a New York City street, the pair come across a homeless guy who Ilana asks to make change for a ten. Abbi chastises Ilana’s move, setting the dynamic for the 18 glorious webisodes that followed, none of which, unfortunately, are much longer than five minutes. Just when each episode hit its stride, it was over.
Enter comedy goddess Amy Poehler, who brought their show to series at Comedy Central for a season of ten 20-minute episodes that have since proven that, with Abbi and Ilana, more is better.
In each episode, we witness genuine friendship put to the test by attempts to accomplish the simplest tasks in New York City; it’s a less whiny, more punk rock (and more hilarious) Girls. The plot never strays from a single goal: in the first episode, a day is spent trying to raise enough money to attend a Lil Wayne concert by any means necessary—including bucket drumming in the park and answering a Craigslist ad to clean the apartment of a perfectly creepy Fred Armisen in their underwear. Last night’s Poehler-directed season finale presented an even simpler endgame—getting through a fancy dinner to celebrate Abbi’s birthday—to the most entertaining results. After starting the night smoking a joint with the busboy in the alley (naturally), Ilana proceeds to overindulge in shellfish even though she is deathly allergic, while Abbi has one of her now-signature meltdowns when she pees out a days-old condom. These ladies aren’t dainty, that’s for sure, but they make scenarios like these and a regular string of dick jokes seem downright charming.
A steady rotation of supporting players helps to round things out—most notable among them Hannibal Buress as a dentist, Ilana’s fuck buddy, and the only character who really has his shit together—the show’s best moments are when Ilana and Abbi are just riffing with each other. Their natural chemistry carries the TV show—and the Web series before that and their live UCB show before that—and it will no doubt make for a great touring show when the ladies hit the road later this fall (look out for them at Lincoln Hall in November). A plan for an earlier spring tour was disrupted by the news that their show had been picked up for a second season—the pair dropped everything to start filming right away. Sure, I was disappointed that I would have to wait until November to see these girls in person and inevitably become best friends with them, but the sooner they’re back on TV every week, the better.
Until then, you have time to catch up on all their crazy antics, so why not start at the very beginning: