Broad City – A
First off, sign me up for a buddy comedy starring Tymberlee Hill and Tracee Ellis Ross as wisecracking stewardess versions of Ilana and Abbi, even if it’s called Sticking the Landing or some silly shit. Speaking of that, Broad City knows how to put a finish on a season. Where last year’s amazing “St. Mark’s” was erected upon real NYC moments and genuine moments, “Jews on a Plane” — as its title might suggest — plays more slapstick and, well, broad. And that may have been needed after a season that skewed deep and dark.
That’s not to minimize (or mansplain) the very real world situation that propels the insanity as Abbi’s time hits with no tampon in reach — on a ten and a half hour trip to Israel (looked it up). But from there, it plays it about as absurd as “Working Girls” (aka North Brother Island episode) from the Adam Levine-led parody of those awful jokey Southwest safety videos to Ilana’s quest to join the “Moil High Club” (you can’t even imagine) to the duo’s usual bizarre antics and banter inevitably getting them confused for terrorists.
There’s brief character-defining moments — most notably Abbi getting grilled harder than she might have to because Ilana goes off on tangents, never mentioning the tampon search that led to the misunderstanding. However, it all ends up in classic Abbi & Ilana meaninglessly deep banter, even as they are flown back to the state under armed guard — with turbulence courtesy of pilots’ constant need to pleasure each other.
– Jason Thurston
Time-Traveling Bong – B+
It’s a simple premise pretty well spelled out in its three-word title, and wisely Time-Traveling Bong‘s first episode dives right into the action pretty swiftly. After a brief apartment scene that sets up the basic characters of Ilana Glazer’s brash Sharee and Paul W. Downs’ layabout Jeff, and their ever-abiding love of weed, they bike (too high to drive) into the night in search of munchies, two beings fall from the sky, are killed, the police eagerly cover-up, the pair find bong, smoke up, and are face-to-face with a dinosaur.
Again, it’s all very silly, but in the hands of Glazer and Downs and director Lucia Aniello, almost anything can be funny. Stuck in the past while the smashed bong (long story) is repaired, after the broken Downs shines as he basks in the love of the Puritans, as Glazer is of course put through tests that will kill her or prove her a witch. When Downs hastily lights the re-assembled bong with her witch-burning flame, they find they cannot return and the game of stoner Quantum Leap has begun.
– Jason Thurston