Broad City: “Kirk Steele”

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After a truly nonsensical pre-masturbation ritual that involves green lipstick, oysters, and a hoop earring that says “Latina,”  Illana stumbles upon a familiar face while browsing for porn. It’s a new Broad City!

Following up on last week’s episode, which fleshed out Jaime from an occasional to full-on secondary character, this week we are thrust fully (sorry, couldn’t resist) into Trey’s secret past as an amateur porn star. Trey is so painfully uncool and uncomfortably earnest that it’s bizarre and hilarious to watch him project this same “can-do” attitude into awkward pornography as “Kirk Steele.”  It’s all very Zoolander.

We’ve officially reached the point where the early 2000s aesthetic is immediately recognizable as such (seriously, I dare you to go back and watch Legally Blonde without making fun of baby blue rubber metallic crop tops), and this episode gets so much right about how painful it is to relive our memories of that era. Frosted tips!

Abbi immediately uses this discovery to blackmail Trey into letting her teach a class, while Ilana goes off to babysit Oliver, who lives with his mother (guest star Amy Ryan) in an uber-pricey West Village townhouse. Oliver is an adorable, polite kid, and Ilana doesn’t want him to turn into “another useless rich old white man,” so she undertakes the noble mission of educating him on how the other side lives.

Ilana has such strident counter-cultural opinions that often she isn’t aware of how ridiculous she sounds (laugh-cringed at Oliver being the poorest person on the subway because he is “poor in spirit”). But her idealism is endearing, and for someone who projects such a “done-it-all” air, she’s a little bit naive. She’s playful and spontaneous, so it’s natural she’s great with kids, despite her crassness. Oliver wearing heels, asking if his “tuchus” looks good, and then yelling “YASS QUEEN” in a near-perfect Ilana impression melts my heart.

Meanwhile, Abbi immediately screws up her first class by gloriously torpedoing a kettlebell into a mirror. The mirror costs $1400 to replace, so Trey and Abbi elect to take care of it before they both get fired … except that Abbi doesn’t have the money.

After chowing down a bowl of Chex Mix before snorting it like cocaine, Abbi decides to sell her clothes at a vintage store. The bored ice queen hipster manning the counter and derisively tossing all of Abbi’s clothes is a perfect representation of why I’ve never tried to sell my clothes to The Kind Exchange. Abbi sells one thing, a beautiful apothecary bag that belonged to her dead aunt, for $25 as Oliver buys a leather fedora for $35 a millisecond later.

When selling Abbi’s art in the park goes just as terribly (that one guy who loses it because a drawing of cocktail shrimp next to Ron Howard’s name isn’t real!), tiny genius Oliver suggests they should sell his mom’s old “fancy as fuck” stuff to the vintage store and get a ton of dough. Abbi triumphantly gets enough cash back to pay her half of the mirror replacement, buy back her apothecary bag (for $225), AND get in a sick burn about Forever 21 tank tops.

Broad City isn’t the type of show to allow its characters to constantly languish in their own failures, which is refreshing for the “loveable fuckups” comedy genre. Abbi and Ilana get some wins, albeit with downsides (remember, one of Abbi’s drawings sold for $8,000 … to a racist dating site). Getting to see Abbi finally become a trainer after presumably months of being the “pube situation” girl is just as great as Jeremy finally asking her out. (Is this a safe space for me considering that even after the pegging fiasco, I still miss Jeremy’s glorious beard and woodworker abs?) I expect this win to have similarly disappointing results, but if there’s anything Abbi can do it’s make lemons out of lemonade. Or a jewellery hanger out of a rejected dildo.

Stray Broad-servations:

  • “There’s $300 on the counter. Let Oliver hold it. He needs to learn.”
  • “If I don’t step in, he could go to Yale, and then Yale Law, and then kill a stripper and settle out of court.”
  • I immediately burst out laughing when Abbi walked in to her first class as a trainer, high-fiving while still wearing a Cleaner shirt. “This is a joke shirt.”
  • “Please, Abbi, I have a kid!” “You do?” “Probably! The opportunities are constantly presenting themselves!”
  • “Having a gay babysitter will look great on Oliver’s CV to get into middle school!”
  • The “About Me” segments of Trey’s porno: “I’m 18, I’m from Orlando, Florida, and my favourite movie is Garden State. When I grow up I either want to be a stunt choreographer or work with kids with MS.”
  • Somehow the funniest thing about Trey’s porn video is that, according to the timestamp, it was filmed on Christmas Day. Well, that and the fact that it ends with him humping an inflatable orca in a pool to completion. You know, average Broad City stuff.

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