Broad City Season 3 Amps Up The Slapstick for Its Premiere, “Two Chainz”

The slapstick elements of Broad City have always been present in (what now seem like) subtle ways, from Bevers’ sister finding shit in her shoe that’s alleged to be Abbi’s to Abbi getting stuck in a ditch in Central Park (yes, the theme is that it’s always Abbi). But last night’s season three premiere episode, “Two Chainz,” revealed an as of yet unprecedented gift for the slapstick genre. Starting with Abbi and Ilana in their respective bathrooms doing both typical and atypical activities that consist of throwing out goldfish, smoking weed, etc., there is one scene where a toilet from the floor above Abbi’s falls into her bathroom.

After the signature intro, the physical comedy continues with Ilana losing her bike lock key in a sewer, resulting in the chain she’s wearing as a belt getting stuck around her waist. Rather than fish out the key, the two are forced to deal with it later as the hostess angrily calls, “Abbo! You want the table or not?” Seated outside of Galli, perhaps strategically located right next to Babeland, Abbi and Ilana poke fun at the nature of white privilege as Ilana talks about Saudi women and how they “have to ask permission from their male guardians–that’s what they call their husbands–to let them go outside of their house… people don’t know about this–they need to wake up to the injustices of the world!” With pitch perfect timing, Abbi glances at the menu and screams back, “Ugh, the bottomless mimosas aren’t on the menu anymore!” And so the duo effortlessly highlights the nature of faux self-righteous people in New York and their true concern being over whether or not they have to pay for the sparkling water being offered to them (it kind of harkens back to the season two finale, when Abbi and Ilana walk past a “runaway teen” who balks, “Must be nice!” as they head to a restaurant).

Then, of course, there is the New York as American substitute for Europe analogy as Ilana overhears a woman telling her friend in Italian that she walked into her kitchen that morning to find someone completely nude. Ilana gushes (deliberately classlessly, one hopes), “New York is Europe. I love it!” And yes, it’s true, as Europeans are the only ones who seem to have the money to be able to afford to live in it. As the brunch concludes, the slapstick takes hold again as Abbi fashions a piece of gum at the end of some tape to try to reach down for Ilana’s bike key. Gripping the “Depression-era” device in her hands, the sewer vent takes hold and her shirt gets sucked in and ripped down the center. This proves unfortunate considering she has an art gallery opening to be at later and wanted to impress her friend in the exhibit with her “urban…outfitters” look.

Giving up yet again on the key, the two try to use the bathroom at Galli, but are turned away by the hostess. Able to hold their bladders for the moment, Abbi takes Ilana to “The Warehouse Sale” so she can get a new shirt, happening upon an epically violent scene of people fighting over marked down clothes–a scene that doesn’t phase them. Abbi settles on a blue tank top before getting out of the store and realizing that the security device is still on it. When she tries to go back, the “pop-up” has disappeared into a picked over pile of hangers locked behind the door. While Abbi tries in vain to go to another clothing store to get someone to remove the plastic piece from her shirt, Lincoln calls Ilana to remind her of his graduation. The graduation in question is from trapeze school, a deliberately on-blast nod to Sex and the City (don’t forget Cynthia Nixon will be making a cameo) as Abbi asks, “Why are you doing this?” Lincoln replies, “I saw it on an episode of Sex and the City. The Miranda in me thought I’m out of my comfort zone, but the Carrie in me couldn’t resist. So I did it.”  Abbi relates, “You know what? I’m really a Miranda-Carrie too, I think. With like a little bit of Charlotte even though she really annoys me.” And then, of course, Ilana says, “Who am I? ‘Honey, I have a cyst on my uterus and I need to get fucked until it pops.'” Lincoln laughs, “Samantha Jones.” Ilana nods, “Sometimes I’m happy about it, then other times I’m like, ‘It’s gross.'” And with that, they’re on their way again, with Abbi happening upon a porta-potty she makes a beeline for, and then, in another homage to a lesser known pop culture moment–that scene in Father’s Day where Robin Williams gets stuck in a porta-potty–she gets trapped in it with her pants down as it’s lifted onto the back of a truck.

Mercifully, it pauses long enough for her to get out, at which time Ilana (still wearing her chain belt) and Abbi sit on the back of another truck that starts to move, but that Ilana can’t get off of because her chain is caught on it. Just when you think Broad City couldn’t possibly get any more I Love Lucy, Abbi and Ilana’s display at the art show results in ruining a painting that her friend spent two and a half years making with “the end of a feather” and Ilana, once again, getting caught on something, this time a ballsac sculpture.

It’s all rounded out with Abbi greasing Ilana’s body down in a bloody sexual exhibit that puts the final nail in the coffin of your uproarious laughter. If this season keeps up the way “Two Chainz” has set the bar, we all might need a gut replacement from busting it.