Network: Comedy Central
Showrunners: Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson, Amy Poehler, Dave Becky, Tony Hernandez, and Samantha Saifer.
Main Cast: Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson, Hannibal Buress, Arturo Castro
Notable Guest Stars: Wanda Sykes, RuPaul, Shania Twain, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi
Episode Length: 22 Minutes
Everyone’s favorite best friends are back at it again! After almost a year and a half hiatus, and an earth-shattering election, Abbi and Ilana have finally graced our television screens with their beautiful faces, open minds, and brilliant comedic timing.
What I think Broad City has been brilliant at over the past four seasons is making New York City its own character. Sure, their take might be slightly amplified, like how the girls deal with finally having a car, only to abandon it because you can never find a place to park in the city, but, if you’ve lived here for even a day, you know they’re coming from a place of truth. Plus, every episode’s minor role is by a POC or even someone with a visible disability. It’s kind of like the exaggerated version of Master of None’s take on New York.
Even when NYC isn’t present, like in the episode “Florida,” in which Abbi and Ilana almost buy an apartment in a retirement home because they’re entranced by the state’s weather and cheap cost of living, they’re soon reminded why they love NYC so much. (Hint: It’s the lack of old racist white people with guns).
And, while Broad City hasn’t shied away from politics in the past, this season went all in on its take of a post-Trump world, with their first episode in the present (we’ll get to that later), having the duo escort girls into Planned Parenthood. It only gets better from there, especially in my favorite episode: “Witches.”
In one of their most bold, vulgar episodes yet, Ilana goes to a sex therapist because she apparently hasn’t cum since the election, all thanks to Trump, whose name they censor like a curse word. Apparently, orgasms have been down since the election, the specialist claims, with the show giving us a montage of the infamous “Pussy Tapes.” “Great for me, though. I’m technically the only small business owner that that human skin tag has ever helped,” she quips.
On the flip side of that, we have Abbi down on her luck, jobless and with her first grey hair, figuring out what it means to be a powerful witch. Yep, that’s the theme this season folks: powerful witches. Trust me, after seeing the montage they put together of powerful witches, including Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Marge Simpson, you’d be all about it, too.
But, where the show excels best is definitely with the dynamic between Abbi and Ilana, with the first and last episode focusing on their friendship. “Sliding Doors” is a nod to the film of the same name, as we see how Abbi and Ilana’s friendship may have been different if they had missed a train, splitting off into two timelines. “Friendaversary” shows audiences how much these girls care for each other by giving us a sneak peek into their anniversary, which takes a slightly dark turn after a trip to the Empire State Building.
This season isn’t shy of guest stars, either. Shania Twain shows up as a Soulstice member, who, I kid you not, sings to Abbi and Trey while they have sex. Fran Drescher plays Ilana’s hilarious Aunt Bev, and Steve Buscemi plays a judgemental robber who mugs Abbi while also giving her financial advice. But, my favorite cameo has to go to RuPaul, who shows up as the sassy boss at Ilana’s new job, who also gets an entire father/son arc that comes to a beautiful close.
Not necessarily a guest star, but still worth the mention, is “Mushrooms,” an episode that is half-animated after Abbi and Ilana go on a trippy walk throughout New York. The animation style is pretty cool and very well done.
How Does It Compare to Previous Seasons? While as bold and vulgar as the past three seasons, if you’re looking to avoid politics, I would skip this one. Otherwise, these two peas in a pod are better than ever.
Best Episodes: “Sliding Doors,” “Mushrooms,” “Witches,” “Florida,” “Bed Bugs”
Broad City Season 4 is Recommended If You Like: Master of None, Portlandia, Difficult People
Where to Watch: On Comedy Central’s website, as long as you log in with your cable provider. The past three seasons are on Hulu, so the fourth season should make it there… eventually.
Grade: 4.3 out of 5 Giant Cardboard Cutouts of Your Best Friend’s Head.
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