It’s winter, with bitterly cold temps in most of the country, but summer’s in full swing on Broad City: The season 2 premiere kicks off with Abbi and Ilana navigating through a sweaty, smelly subway made worse by the heat of summer—and by a car decorated with a nice pile of human poop.
This Snowpiercer-inspired scene is delightfully relatable for anyone who’s ever ventured onto the MTA and disgustingly illusion-crushing for anyone who romanticizes New York. It’s fitting, too, that the show’s returning in January but is set in the dead of summer as if to say, “Hey, we know winter sucks, but so does summer!”
On the topic of summer sucking, the episode’s unofficial theme is swamp ass. Abbi and Ilana are strolling through crowds on the sidewalks of New York when Abbi realizes she has a case of butt-related sweats going on, so the two seek refuge in an air-conditioned Top Shop. And by “seek refuge,” I mean they try on some clothes in adjoining dressing rooms while Ilana gives Abbi timestamps for the best moments of Colin Farrell’s sex tape. That’s what friends are for, after all.
While Abbi’s butt (which, yes, I am referring to as its own character, because it’s what Ilana would want) gets some relief in the form of some new jeans, it’s not long before she’s sweating again—this time while her hot (literally) date cooks her some fajitas. Seth Rogen plays her date, a man named Stacey who she dubs Male Stacey, and who is hardcore regretting his decision to spend his evening dripping droplets over a griddle.
After some pleasant chitchat, the heat gets to Abbi and she spends some time in the bathroom trying to blow dry the sweat away. For anyone who has tried this (me), this is a moment of great understanding and great empathy—and a reminder that you should always make sure a blow dryer has the “cool” option before you buy.
Meanwhile, Male Stacey’s trying to deal with his own issues by stuffing paper towels in his pants. He intends to keep this a secret, but that goes out the window once he and Abbi start getting it on in her room (which has a fan!) and he’s forced to reveal that he has to pull a string of paper towels out of his ass before they can do anything below the belt. It just gets worse for Male Stacey: Mid-sex, he passes out while Abbi’s on top.
Before we get to the whole oh-no-did-Abbi-just-rape-Male-Stacey question, let’s first talk about this sex scene because it is uncomfortable and wonderful. Girls is often the focus of conversations about bringing realistic sex to television, but Broad City’s made its way into that conversation too by including sex—awkward, boring, funny sex—in its episodes but using these scenes as opportunity for humor. In the eyes of the show, having sex is just as regular an activity as, say, eating a waffle or taking a shower, so these scenes are just as fair game for jokes as any other one. This viewpoint normalizes sex, something so often scandalized on TV, and contradicts the unhealthy idea that it needs to be as steamy and sexy as media tells us it should be.
Abbi later tells Ilana what happened, and Ilana’s all like, “You raped him!” so Abbi’s all like, “I have to get an air conditioner to deal with this!” which maybe isn’t a logical thought progression, but then again, Male Stacey wouldn’t have passed out had Abbi had an air conditioner, so.
They head to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, which is Abbi’s favorite place as we learned in season 1; here we see she frequents so often that she has secret handshakes with some of the employees. These handshakes are elaborate, so much so that they resemble that one “breakdance conversation” Jimmy Fallon and Brad Pitt had… but better, because these dances take place in one of the most magical stores to exist. Even Brad Pitt can’t compete with household goods.
The two acquire an AC, but lose it minutes later when they leave it on the corner as they try to hail a cab. This leaves them looking for an AC once again and leads them to someone who promises an AC in exchange for Abbi and Ilana hauling boxes out of his apartment. By the time they finish, they’re sweaty and tired—and discovering the AC is broken. Although this scenario isn’t as weird and comical as the series premiere when Abbi and Ilana had a similar experience (Fred Armisen playing a man-baby promised he would give them money if they cleaned his apartment in their underwear; he didn’t hold up his end of the deal), it’s a good way to remind us that nothing ever seems to go quite right for these ladies—yet they keep trucking on anyway.
Next stop is Ilana’s old dorm room at NYU, where Phil of the Future now resides. Yes, Disney Channel fans, Phil (or Ricky Ullman, as he’s known in real life) traveled to the present to appear as a bro-tastic college boy on Broad City. And it gets better: Abbi and Ilana force Phil and friends to smoke a bunch of weed she left in the room, so they end up stoned—so stoned—and flirting (or, in Abbi’s case, making out) with boys too young for them.
Once they acquire the AC and get out of there, Ilana spends some quality time with Lincoln to deliver his birthday gift: a stolen meal card for the NYU dining hall, which just happens to be around the corner from Lincoln’s office. This moment is so sweet that it almost feels intrusive to be watching—but not intrusive enough to look away, because these two are adorable.
Meanwhile, Abbi and Stacey are dancing in her newly cool room until they see the cutest little kitten staring at them. For most people, this would seem like a gift, but Abbi and Stacey react by yelling things like “Who the f–k are you?” and “You f–king perv!” to the poor thing. Their exaggerated reaction probably takes the cake for the best 15 seconds of television so far this year though, so I’ll forgive them for not swooping the kitten (who belongs to Bevers, of course) into their arms—as long as they keep up this absurd, hilarious pace the rest of the season.