Second season of Comedy Central series "Broad City" shows maturing improvement
By Michael Shashoua / Jester editor-in-chief
The Comedy Central and UCB Theatre-spawned series “Broad City” returns for its second season on January 14, and judging by its first three episodes, appears to have improved upon what it delivered last year (see review, 1/12/14).
The leads, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, and their collaborators have made each episode more focused, telling sustained stories in each one, with less diversions and loose ends. The guest stars, including Seth Rogen and Susie Essman, are more integrated into the plots. (Rogen plays a hook-up of Jacobson’s who falls asleep during sex because her apartment isn’t air conditioned in summer heat; Essman has a larger role in another episode as Glazer’s mother).
“Broad City” sometimes is still a hybrid between short sketches and longer pieces where Jacobson and Glazer play out longer, more sitcom-like comedy with their characters. In the second season, “Broad City” is starting to come up with more moments that resonate, like an opening sketch that captures, with just a little exaggeration, what New York City subways can be like sometimes. The series is also starting to find some of its own potential “Seinfeld”-like pop culture tropes in some of the banter between Jacobson and Glazer, as they react to things that happen, and also in the shows’ overall tone, like in the Essman episode that involves the pursuit of cheap knock-off handbags in Chinatown.
“Broad City” is also doing more with its supporting players, particularly John Gemberling and Chris Gethard, who each have some great moments – Gemberling as Jacobson’s unwanted roommate (he’s the boyfriend of her actual never-seen roommate, and is always on her couch) and Gethard as Glazer’s hapless boss (he puts Glazer in charge while he goes to a police lineup to identify a young female assailant who taunted him and beat him up).
Presuming Comedy Central is behind this show, since it is gaining popularity and has returned, “Broad City” definitely is showing potential of getting stronger if it continues over more seasons.
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