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Never Change, ‘Broad City’

Praise be to Season 3

Sara Ivry
February 18, 2016
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Ilana Glazer (L) and Abbi Jacobson of 'Broad City,' in New York City, May 20, 2015. Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Ilana Glazer (L) and Abbi Jacobson of 'Broad City,' in New York City, May 20, 2015. Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Is it ridiculous to fantasize we—Abbi, Ilana, and me—could hang out? It is nuts, given my age and station, to think the stars of Broad City would want me as a friend?

See, I’m a single parent to a three-year old, and there’s a lot riding on my TV viewing. Ilana and Abbi are Calgon: They take me away from boring battles over wearing undershirts, daily struggles over going to bed (and how many dinosaurs, cars, toy airplanes can join him there), epic disagreements over how much Jake and the Neverland Pirates one should consume in a single sitting. To hell with Raymond, I say. Everyone loves Abbi and Ilana. We all want to be their BFF—even middle-aged middle-class parents who stopped smoking pot after a reefer-induced panic attack nearly caused them to summon an ambulance one late evening in brownstone Brooklyn. Those parents want to hang with Abbi and Ilana, too. Desperately.

That’s why—I confess—the idea of watching the third season of Broad City made me nervous. What if I don’t laugh at or with Abbi and Ilana? What if fame has made the show too polished, sort of like Bradley Cooper’s teeth, leeching it of its fallibility and zaniness? What if their crises become truly existential, driving them regrettably away from their outrageous, intoxicating, and ridiculous physical comedy that makes me laugh out loud? What if they stop FaceTiming during sex?

And so, mindful of these stakes, I turned on the TV (well, the iTunes, cause that’s how I roll) to watch the first episode of Season 3. My heart soared. From the opening montage, with references to Hillary Clinton and a well-loved“Challah Back” T-shirt, the show said to me: Don’t worry, little mama, we’re back as we were. The broads still spoke my language. They haven’t left me behind.

As the show continues, Ilana wears a big bike chain around her waist, as I once did, and her boyfriend Lincoln, inspired by Carrie on Sex and the City, goes to trapeze school, as I also once did, though it was for a story for Lexus magazine (yeah, such a thing existed) and not because I, like Lincoln, see myself as some kind of Carrie-Miranda hybrid. (Ilana’s Samantha imitation is A+, by the way.) Their gestures and asides, the wild gallop through cycles of shame and joy—it’s all there once again, intact, robust, and entirely unsullied by success.

As Ilana murmurs at an art opening with a slight bow, “Enchantée.” The feeling is mutual.

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Sara Ivry is the host of Vox Tablet, Tablet Magazine’s weekly podcast. Follow her on Twitter@saraivry.