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Broad City, Ep. 2.08, “Kirk Steele” rides the whale

Broad City, Ep. 2.08, “Kirk Steele” rides the whale

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Broad City, Season 2, Episode 8, “Kirk Steele”
Directed by Lucia Aniello
Written by Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer
Airs Wednesdays at 10:30pm on Comedy Central

Sometimes Broad City doesn’t try to do anything more than be the funniest show on television, and it is in these episodes that it becomes that and more. This week, wearing her dazzling Froot Loop pants, Ilana is responsible for a child, Abbi tries to sell her artist’s rendering of Whoopi Goldberg’s favourite food (spaghetti), and Trey is a former pornstar. As wonderful guest star Amy Ryan says, “How very funky.”

While the series remains very much fixated on Abbi and Ilana and their intense friendship, and while the viewers have been discovering many new sides to the duo this season, the show has also been fleshing out some secondary characters. It’s not always successful—Bevers is still not working—but Lincoln has become more fully-rounded and magnetic as a result, reflecting his relationship with Ilana, and Jaime had a lovely, if messy, spotlight last week as he gained American citizenship. This week, we learn perhaps more than we could’ve imagined about Trey, and it is beautiful.

As Ilana lies down to masturbate, with an elaborate set-up that includes a picture on her phone of Abbi watching, she realizes that the guy in this solo video is Abbi’s boss, Trey. This gives Abbi the leverage she needs to become the trainer she’s always yearned to be. While this specific goal is not particularly compelling, Abbi’s season-long ambition certainly is, as she harnesses her confidence and flexes it so she can get what she wants. This determination is expressed again when she accidentally destroys an expensive mirror and needs to come up with $700 to replace it for Trey. She goes to absurd lengths (after snorting Chex Mix) to raise money, like trying to sell old clothes to a (cute) snobby girl and barely getting offered store credit. Even more impressive is her art, which is just crudely-drawn pictures of what she imagines to be celebrities’ favourite foods, which she tries to sell on the streets for $40 a pop. A passerby offers $2.

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Ilana is in more of a comic relief role this episode, babysitting the privileged son of Amy Ryan and hoping to make sure he doesn’t become a useless rich old white man who kills a stripper but has it settled out of court. She seems to succeed splendidly, as he ends the episode by backing away, yelling “YAS QUEEN” as she mouths it back in passionate pride. Though it still seems absurd that anyone would leave Ilana in charge of their child (Ryan’s character, like Trey’s trainer friends in “Hashtag FOMO”, appears to view her as a precious oddity), it does play into her progressive transformation into a more stable human being. Surely the dynamics of her relationship with Lincoln will play heavily into the last few episodes of the season. In the end, Abbi becomes a trainer — well, she’s taken over the seniors class for a girl that has gone missing — and Ilana has saved us from another horrible old white guy. All in a day’s work.

Bed, Bath and Beyonds

  • The montage that ends the episode, where Trey is interviewed about his twin sisters and aspirations, intercut with shots of him humping a whale in a pool, is legitimately perfect and so accurately captures the 2004 aesthetic.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rihanna!
  • Ilana’s takedown of porn is pretty on point as she takes on a baby voice: “Don’t tell my dad, okay, because I’m barely legal!”
  • Other celebrity favourite foods: Ron Howard – shrimp cocktail; Sarah Jessica Parker – hamburger and fries; Nicki Minaj – lollipop; Suri Cruise – eggs & bacon; Phil Collins – what appears to be a pretzel
  • Trey’s favourite movie in 2004 is Garden State.
  • “Do you remember me?” “Even less.”
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