On Feb. 24, 2014 Comedy Central announced that its hit show “Broad City” would be renewed for a second season. During the season premiere on Jan. 14, 2015, viewers learned it would again be renewed for a third season. For those who haven’t been obsessively following this show, “Broad City” follows 20-somethings Ilana Wexler and Abbi Abrams as they meander through young adult life in New York City. The show is the first of its kind: a female stoner comedy featuring real-life best friends Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. The duo brings such offbeat wit to Wexler and Adams’ exchanges that it often feels like you’re watching a 30-minute inside joke.
The second season premiere fulfilled all expectations. Every minute was packed with the girls’ signature brand of unconventional humor. We first follow Abrams through her struggle to acquire a working air conditioner after an awkward sex scene leaves her date, Stacy––played by Seth Rogen––unconscious from the heat. In the meantime, Wexler searches high and low for a birthday present to give her friend-with-benefits Lincoln, played by comedian Hannibal Buress.
While the episode was undeniably hilarious, certain aspects of the plot were questionable. A lot of the jokes relate to rape culture, a topic that can be difficult to navigate in good taste. After the aforementioned sex scene, Wexler jokes that Abrams assaulted Stacy due to the fact that Abrams was unaware of his unconscious state for minutes after it happened.
Later, Abrams and Wexler break into Wexler’s old college dorm room after Wexler remembers she left behind an air conditioner when she moved out. The two pretend to be resident assistants and walk into a room with three guys present. After discovering a bag of weed in the room, the girls smoke with the boys and Adams kisses one of them. It is then revealed that the boy is a senior in high school—not college, as Adams originally thought. The subsequent series of rape jokes made by Wexler definitely straddle the line between edgy and distasteful.
While the nature of the show itself is unorthodox and offbeat, it’s hard to determine if these jokes were witty or offensive. It can be argued that the incidents were harmless and far from malicious. Furthermore, the nature of the scenes is unusual because Adams is a woman; reversed gender role situations like this one are largely unexplored territory for television.
The frank, often vulgar conversations between these two women put a surprising spin on the very idea of sexual assault. This kind of fearlessness in the name of comedy may be viewed as unconventional by many, but it is typical of Jacobson and Glazer. This storyline will definitely ruffle some feathers, but the episode as a whole was handled well and ultimately hilarious.
“Broad City” represents a virtually untouched demographic: witty, young females who like to smoke weed and have casual sex. The show creates an open dialogue about feminism and the difficulties of post-college life. This raunchy season premiere did not disappoint and I will certainly be following season two to the finish.