“Mushrooms” – Broad City review


Chad White

Broad City
Season 4, Episode 4

BRB life!

As a show ages, you hope the crew has the sensibility to expand their horizons. New locations, characters and original stories should be explored at a constant enough pace to keep viewers entertained. In Broad City’s case, we got so much more. So much of this season – for instance – points to the theme of love. As evidenced tonight, Ilana harbors deep feelings for Lincoln, who is now dating another woman. Season four feels different. Maybe it’s because of outside forces from our world. Perhaps it’s due to the extended work schedule the ladies had. It could be these last four years have changed Abbi and Ilana’s view of the world. Whatever the case, this new Broad City is attractively mature. That being said, this episode is all about mushrooms.

Abbi and Ilana begin their shroom trip with a preparedness bag and debating the street names of mushrooms. Their adventure blends nicely with the overall approach the show has to carefree attitudes. New York and everything in it becomes a cartoon. The animation – coming from Brooklyn artist Mike Perry -- is so strange and reminiscent of The theme song is awakened by a cosmic high five from our leads. Their movement through the city is charmingly adorable. Hallucinations manipulate real world objects into demented terrors. A tunnel becomes a chasm of death, scaring the lades on approach. Trash can lids, newspaper stands and other objects evolve into musical instruments that become a cacophony of passable music.

One of the more mature aspects of “Mushrooms” lies in the conversations between Abbi and Ilana. On multiple occasions, the women bring up becoming mothers or having babies. Ilana’s views on birth are particularly engaging ("A person pussy poops another person!"). To add to that, love is a major theme this week with Ilana begging the universe for it. It’s not until she can’t perform in her perfect threesome (with one devastating Alysia Reiner involved) that she decides it might be time to rid herself of Lincoln’s social accounts. It didn’t help that she was seeing cartoon visions of her ex while he was spouting on about dental health.

A real turning point (sparking the threesome) comes when Abbi’s boss, played by the great Wanda Sykes again, asks her to pick up desserts for a party she’s throwing. Abbi and Ilana manage to do the task and are asked to stay at the party. After Ilana goes off to have her blessed three way, Abbi “traps” herself in a room, kills a cat and loses her job. Sadly, this happens after Sykes offers to give Abbi more creative projects at work. Season four was supposed to be a turning point but a detour is also welcome.      

Should you watch “Mushrooms?”

So much happens in the twenty-two minutes, you’d be crazy to miss it. One thing not mentioned in the review is the amount of detail in both the cartoon and script. The coming down from drugs and leveling out with more drugs is a fine example. Events happen so fast it’s easy to miss something. Watch this episode if only just to see cartoon Abbi and Ilana.