'Philadelphia' - Broad City Review

Broad City
Season 3, Episode 6

Chad White

Love talking about vaginas with my dad.

It’s nice to see Ilana and Abbi escape the hustle and bustle of New York. It’s filled with characters that are, essentially, as wacked out as our heroines who have to deal with mundane things like killing rats and meeting Hilary Clinton. This week’s adventure takes them to Abbi’s hometown of Philadelphia where we meet Mr. Abrams, a lovable if not well meaning guy who went in on a time share car with his buddies.

Broad City has always been a slave to its environment with the city being a smorgasbord of talent to pull from. But Philadelphia is different. Areas are flatter and people are nicer, for the most part, with seemingly not much to do than talk about Will Smith. A train ride montage with Sleater-Kinney playing in the background – “New Wave” which proves to go along with the theme of a new setting with old characters – leads to Abbi realizing that, as she’s grown, her neighborhood has changed. For instance, her dad is redoing her old room but her new friend, in the form of Ilana, gets to experience the change alongside her. But maybe Abbi is better off in the city rather than Philly. Her dad rattles off some “memories” once the three arrive home like how Abbi got 300 bee stings, how she was almost taken by the neighbors (she was in the cooler the whole time) and how her parents told her that they were getting a divorce but they did so by the trash cans (with the reasoning that she would stop playing in said trash). These types of tidbits add to an already colorful character who is not ashamed of the things that city has wrought unto her life.

One such memory is the time her classmate was hit by a bus and Abbi raised $900 in a dance-a-thon for her hospital bills. When she finds out that she forgot to give the money to the girl, Abbi realizes it’s time to atone for her past mistakes. While she goes on this spiritual journey, Ilana joins her in her own B-story as she finds a JonBenet Ramsey Beanie Baby that is worth thousands of dollars. Throughout the episode, we also learn a few things about Ilana like that she has been in the Beanie Baby game for a decade and she also speaks Chinese that she “picked up” from her mother. All of this is capsulized in a phone call with a potential buyer of the doll, after which she punctuates with a hardy “math, bitch!”

But as the girls create this new layers in their lives, we see that it’s nigh impossible for them to escape their New York escapades. Luck isn’t on their side as they’re forced to buy shoes at the bowling alley that was once owned by the bus girl, Abbi makes out with a guy that turns out to date the bus girl, or when they have to buy liquor of teens in order to get a ride but end up drinking $200 worth themselves. They even walk around everywhere as if they only had a few blocks to traverse. What’s more is that these incidents aren’t even brought upon as repercussions from something they’ve done earlier proving that Abbi and Ilana can’t breakout of old habits. The kicker in the end is that the girl who was hit by the bus turns out to be doing fine in life. She’s a hot model living in a large mansion that takes Ilana’s breath away. The ending matches the beginning with its own montage – of the breakfast variety – and things go back to normal, for better or worse.

Should you watch “Philadelphia?”

As much as I’ve loved this season so far, I’ve got to say a change in scenery is what these girls needed. It’s fun to see them get into their antics with no real provocation in a new city. Like the episodes before it, watch “Philadelphia.”