I have previously written about how the nonstop movement and energy is one of the main reasons why Broad City is so much fun to watch every week. Broad City is best when it sets its broads loose in the city. Last week’s fantastic “Stolen Phone” was a great example of how the show fully utilizes its setting and brings it into the overall plot of the episode, often treating it as a necessary character. New York City is a concrete jungle gym for Abbi and Ilana and it’s thrilling to watch them play. “Hurricane Wanda” slightly lacked the nonstop motion of the series’ earlier episodes and that may be why it’s my least favorite of the bunch so far (which sounds more negative than it is — I definitely still liked it). It’s still a great episode of television, just a little slow for Broad City.
“Hurricane Wanda” does have one of the best cold opens of the show, though: a fake-out sex dream sequence that involves Jeremy, Abbi, and Ilana and ends with Ilana waking up at 5:00 pm at work in a flushed haze (and introduces the phrase “parallel play” into my lexicon, though I’m not sure when I’ll ever use it).
From there, it’s a bottle episode. Abbi, Ilana, Jeremy, Lincoln, Bevers, Bevers’ sister Marla, and Jaime are all holed up in Abbi’s apartment to wait out a hurricane. The episode mines a lot of laughs from the odd group of people and their interactions with each other. Abbi is hopelessly crushing on Jeremy and trying to move things along with him (while also dealing with her bathroom issues; the toilet doesn’t flush and Ilana, in yet another display of how wonderfully weird this friendship is, deals with it for her). Then there are Ilana and Lincoln who are fucking with Abbi’s roommate’s stuff (she pees in the plant, he shoves her mug down his pants). They have been in the running for Best Couple On Television and their joyful antics in “Hurricane Wanda” definitely moved them up a few notches.
Bevers gets a few funny lines in but the real star is his sister, Marla, played by Shannon O’Neill, a UCB superstar and panelist on The Chris Gethard Show (I love that members of the TCGS family pop up randomly; Mimi on the hoops was featured last week). O’Neill kills it here with the reveal of the location of her 11th toe and the angry “Who shit in my shoe?” delivery. Also Jaime, Ilana’s roommate who is sadly not featured as much as I want him to be, gets a few fun moments tonight. He’s convinced that they are all going to die and uses the hurricane as an opportunity to come clean about certain things, like switching laptop chargers with Ilana. The best is when he tells Lincoln that, as a child, he secretly named his turtle the N-word and instead of Lincoln getting angry or taking any offense, he laughs so hard that it takes us both to and from a commercial break. It’s a fantastically written bit.
The entire episode is full of great bits: Ilana doing exaggerated dare-devil moves to secretly remove a shower cap full of shit from the bathroom and to the trash chute; the character moments during a game of Never Have I Ever (Abbi has never dealt with her parents’ divorce, Ilana has never read a newspaper. “Even homeless people read newspapers!”); Abbi and Ilana’s misunderstanding on what constitutes an acceptable dare in Truth Or Dare (“I dare you to suck Jeremy’s dick). Even Marla’s love for potato salad was funny.
So it definitely wasn’t a bad episode. It just made me miss the crazy cartoon-esque shenanigans of the outside world. Though I did love how they even managed to sneak in some NYC with that all-too-familiar bodega haul. “Hurricane Wanda” did prove that Broad City can still be better and more inspired than most of television’s comedies even when it experiments with a bottle episode that’s about 80% poop jokes.