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Broad City, Ep. 2.09: “Coat Check” thinks you wore it best

Broad City, Ep. 2.09: “Coat Check” thinks you wore it best


Broad City, Season 2, Episode 9, “Coat Check”
Written by Paul W. Downs & Lucia Aniello
Directed by Jeff Tomsic
Airs Wednesdays at 10:30pm ET on Comedy Central 

As practically every one of these reviews mentions, the power of Broad City comes from the power of the bond between Abbi and Ilana. Their friendship is closer than most, stronger, more understanding, and affectionate. It’s the kind of thing we should strive to achieve in our own lives. It’s strange, then, that one of the series’ best episodes is one where they replace each other with equally glorious guest stars.

Neither ends up having quite the experience they imagined, but both are absurd amounts of fun. Ilana meets her doppelgänger in Alia Shawkat (Maeby on Arrested Development), and immediately falls in love. This makes sense, because Ilana is deeply in love with herself, but she doesn’t even consciously realize how similar they look at first. Abbi has to tell her, which ultimately ruins the new relationship, because it’s now too creepy for her. “Of course I’m drawn to myself,” it dawns on her, “I masturbate in a mirror!”

It may be creepy, but the show wisely never makes fun of Ilana for how much she loves herself. It’s funny that it reaches the point where she has a desire to hook up with herself, but her love for herself acts like a shield against the world to everyone except Abbi (and maybe Lincoln). It’s what makes her a stronger person, and to have it be so pure is extremely rare to see. This is to say nothing how little of a deal the show makes about her going after another woman. It’s just a part of her, and a part of the show, and my God, isn’t it refreshing?

Kelly Ripa is also on hand to take care of Abbi while Ilana is off with herself. It can be hard for a celebrity to do a role where they play a bizarro universe version of themselves, because it often comes off as purely serviceable to their own real-life image while adding nothing to the show, which makes them stick out. Ripa manages to avoid this trip altogether by playing a version of herself that one likes to imagine is only slightly exaggerated. Things start out okay, as Abbi returns her coat to her and they drink some wine. Then the moonshine and drugs are out, baskets are being dropped onto the street, and male prostitutes are showing up. A normal Wednesday in the Ripa household.

Kelly Ripa gives a grand performance, mixing the sweet and the dark, slurring her words but getting off hilarious remarks. It’s one of the most memorable celebrity guest spots that can be recalled, as Ripa subverts her public image while also playing straight into the great jokes written for her by Paul W. Downs and Lucia Aniello. Makes you want to spend a night with her, too. Combined with Ilana’s self-love, it makes for one of Broad City’s most exhilaratingly joyful episodes to date.

Bed, Bath & Beyonds

  • Bed, Bath & Beyond is Kelly’s favourite store, too!!!
  • David Wain also shows up to be terrorized by Abbi and Ilana as he tries to keep Kelly’s coat. “I like orgies.”
  • “The only reason I ever met Lincoln is because you forgot you were with him one time.”
  • Jeff Tomsic’s direction is typically great, especially that quiet smash cut from when Shawkat says she doesn’t smoke pot to Ilana’s slamming the door on her.
  • “Oh my god, do we have the same exact tattoo?” “No, that’s your arm.”
  • I wonder if I would be attracted to my doppelgänger…
  • Do not fuck with Coat Check Abbi: “Who’s got this Chanel jacket?” “Mine!” “That was a trick question. There is no Chanel. Do not play me guys. Not today!”