Broad City has always had a loud, unapologetic voice. In the premiere of its third season, that familiar voice is heard through every bit and gag, but it possesses a newfound eloquence that shows stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson are really hitting their comedic stride.
The show, based on a Web series Jacobson and Glazer started, has been lauded as an incredible comedic ode to female friendships. Since its 2014 premiere, it has generated a cult following and helped to redefine female comedic stereotypes.
“Getting positive feedback is pressure,” Jacobson said in an interview with Vogue while discussing writing season three. “I think [writing the show] was just us trying to hold ourselves to these standards. The third season felt like the hump.”
This “hump” may have been difficult for the women to get over, but it was definitely worth the struggle. The season-three premiere is somehow a step up from stellar seasons past, packed with more jokes and visuals but with the same whimsy the show has come to be known for.
The first episode, entitled “Two Chainz,” finds the women in a familiar New York spot, an outdoor table at a relatively upscale restaurant for brunch. Ilana, sporting a wide-brimmed hat that reads “perv,” has managed to lock her heavy bike chain around her waist. Abbi can’t seem to come to terms with the hostess, who keeps referring to her as “Abbo.” The first 10 minutes give viewers the dynamic they’ve been missing: Ilana’s in-your-face hilarity mixed with Abbi’s more understated humor. If the women were singular comedy tools, Ilana is still the pratfall and Abbi remains the quick quip you almost miss. Together, they’re a comedic machine.
While much of the first episode rests upon the tried-and-true themes of the past, new action-packed scenes reveal the show is still growing and changing. The premiere episode features bigger visuals and stunts than ever before. A crane lifts Abbi off the ground while she’s inside a porta-potty. Ilana gets stuck to the back of a truck and is carried away. Ever-lovable Lincoln swings from highwires while performing an underwhelming bit of acrobatics as part of his trapeze school graduation.
But the big visuals still leave enough room for sharp wit and notorious one-liners. The tiny bits of transition conversation — such as when Ilana declares, unprompted, “Did you know Steve Jobs stunk and cried all the time?” — display as much thought and hilarity as the scenes themselves.
Within 30 minutes, it becomes clear Broad City has fallen comfortably back into the brand Glazer and Jacobson have taken two seasons to create and solidify. With the same fervor, wit and exuberance, they are back and ready to take television by storm, one hilarious blunder at a time.