Broad City: “Coat Check”

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“I AM … THE GUARDIAN OF THE COATS.”

In this week’s Broad City, Jaime gets Abbi and Ilana a job at the coat check booth at a swanky ‘do, where he, presumably, is a waiter. I love episodes where the Broads & Friends interact with fancier and more inhibited human beings, and would have been happy had the whole episode been set in the restaurant. They get high and try on coats while speaking in exaggerated high falutin’ accents, and goal-driven-to-the-point-of-insanity Abbi is pretty ace at navigating rich people as a no-bullshit coat guardian. (“There is no Chanel. That was a trick question. Do NOT play me, not today.”)

The last patron to pick up her coat is morning show host Kelly Ripa, who is kind of the breakout star of this episode. I’ve never been much of a fan, but I have to give her so much credit for being totally on board with playing a debauched, alcoholic version of herself in this episode. They realize Kelly’s coat is missing, and after exchanging numbers with her, Abbi makes it her sole mission to recover the coat.

While Abbi mans the booth, Ilana runs into Adele, a girl who’s almost her exact double. It took me a few seconds to realize, but it’s Alia Shawkat, a.k.a. Maeby from Arrested Development! Apparently Alia Shawkat and Ilana Glazer have been talking about how much they look like each other for ages, and I can’t believe I’ve never noticed the resemblance before. It is uncanny.

After tentatively smelling each other like puppies, Ilana and Adele make-out passionately, and I’m beyond happy with how the show treats Ilana’s bisexuality. It’s not portrayed as just something Ilana does to be wild and funky; it’s just a natural part of who she is. We don’t stop to talk about it, or make it a big reveal. Ilana likes girls as well as boys. The end.

The next day Ilana marvels at what great chemistry she and Adele have, while Abbi plans out what she’ll do to return the coat. She finds out it was switched with someone else’s by mistake, and after a brief detour to the apartment of a woman (SNL‘s Leslie Jones) who is mid-orgy and has them bring a box of civil war paraphernalia to her ex-boyfriend, they realize he has the coat. Being a Kelly Ripa superfan, he refuses to give it back at first, and Abbi, naturally, threatens him with his own vintage Civil War-era pistol. Never deterred, she brandishes it as a club when she learns it doesn’t actually shoot.

As Abbi finally delivers Kelly Ripa’s coat, Ilana meets up with Adele for a date. “I don’t know what what it is about this girl!” Ilana gushes, until Abbi points out they look exactly like each other, a fact that Ilana was unaware of.

After bonding over Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons, Kelly Ripa and Abbi get ridiculously drunk together on wine, then moonshine, then a blunt (“Pucker up, buttercup,” America’s beloved morning show host says, as she sucks down a puff). Kelly tosses gift baskets out the window and proclaims how little fucks she gives, which Abbi can relate to (“I hate fucks,” she enthuses). This scene is so funny aside from the fact that Kelly Ripa kills it. It’s such a perfect imitation of that kind of drunk you get when you bond over how everyone is the worst and you’re so over this shit.

At one point, Kelly reveals that she just ordered two hot male prostitutes for them to get it on with (and Domino’s for after), which is the one thing that weirds Abbi out the most (this even after she discovers intense bondage gear in Kelly’s kitchen). We know from the pegging episode that Abbi is initially hesitant about more experimental sex stuff, but ends up being full gung-ho in the end, and then regrets it later. The final scene of the episode is her and Ilana lamenting that they don’t personally know any prostitutes who can “make that call” for them.

Meanwhile, after some great makeout sessions and a Black Swan-inspired cutaway where Ilana sees her own face going down on her, Ilana finally tells Adele it’s too weird to be dating someone who looks exactly like her. Adele counters that no one knows your body like you do, which is why someone who looks like you knows exactly what you want. Ilana seems like she may be on the verge of getting back into it until the final dealbreaker: Adele doesn’t smoke pot. So much for them being the same person.

There’s a surreal quality in both of their respective evenings, as though Abbi met the bizzaro version of Kelly Ripa, and Ilana met the bizzaro version of herself. This episode ends with both Abbi and Ilana realizing this person wasn’t who they expected, which is maybe the best thing when it comes to people you idolize (aside from Abbi, the biggest fan of Ilana is Ilana). This sex-positive episode was so refreshing in its bluntness and lack of pomp. Bisexuality and the idea that women can be into hardcore kink, orgies and four-ways is presented without much fanfare, and that’s exactly the way they should be presented.

It’s still baffling how the idea of women enjoying sex, in all of it’s variances, is still a shocking, or a secret thing, on TV. From the beginning, Broad City has been a show that chose not to go this route, instead making sex just a normal part of the characters’ lives instead of a function of rebellion or some kind of deep-seated self-loathing. Abbi and Ilana and their friends have silly, fun, occasionally awkward sex, not “This will have deeper implications in this character’s development!” sex. Because really, don’t we all?

Broad-servations:

  • We’re a ShapeUps family!” – Kelly
  • Ilana’s g-spotting face is adorable and ridiculous.
  • “Silly Betty, get me another serving of bald eagle and then stomp on my balls with high heels, please. Thank you.”
  • I never noticed this last week, but the snobby vintage clothing store clerk was Kimiko Glenn, who is apparently great at portraying unbearable hipsters as she’s also Brook Soso on Orange is the New Black.
  • “My name is Kelly. No, it’s Hope. Faith. It’s Abbi. That’s the name my parents gave me.”
  • Next week’s episode is the last of the season! I can’t believe it’s over already and I’m gonna miss it, but after Season 1’s tour de force of a finale, I’m excited to see what Abbi and Ilana do this time.

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