Television: Broad City

If the season one finale of Broad City is a bit of a disappointment, that’s only a testament to the strength of the show overall. For the past ten episodes, the Comedy Central series has consistently delivered some of the most quotable lines on television, setting its humor against a distinctive background-blend of female empowerment, stoner humor and underemployment-related blues. Still, Wednesday’s “Last Supper” misses the mark—and, in doing so, reveals the challenges that lie ahead for our broads’ next season.

Broad City has earned high praise—rightly so—for its depiction of female friendship. The chemistry between Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler (Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Wexler, real-life friends and show creators) drives most of the humor forward, putting the duo in increasingly surreal situations of togetherness. “The Last Supper” finds the pair in yet another compromising position: Ilana hides her seafood allergy to enjoy Abbi’s ritzy birthday dinner, and the episode crescendos when Abbi carries her friend’s stoned, swollen body from the restaurant, hoisting her in her arms like a wounded warrior. In the closing minutes of the show, when director Amy Poehler pans the camera away and we savor a shot of the girls’ dancing silhouettes, the message is clear. This, we are meant to understand, is real friendship.

Yet perhaps this city has become too narrow. Friendship may be the sum of Broad City’s parts, but some of the less directly related parts, particularly the show’s worthy cast of supporting characters, are worth savoring on their own, too. “The Last Supper” unfortunately neglects them; nasty roommate Bevers, guy-across-the-hall Jeremy, and Ilana’s special dentist friend Lincoln (a transcendent Hannibal Buress) do not make appearances. Broad City is a delight in its progressive depiction of female friendship. But the world established in the program has more to offer, and next season should embrace its entire cast more fully.

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