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'Broad City' review: TV's 'it' comedy as good as ever

Ilana Glazer, left, and Abbi Jacobson in Comedy

Ilana Glazer, left, and Abbi Jacobson in Comedy Central's "Broad City." Credit: Comedy Central / Linda Kallerus

THE SHOW "Broad City"

WHEN | WHERE Second-season premiere Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Twentysometing, pot-loving slackers Abbi Abrams (Abbi Jacobson) and Ilana Wexler (Ilana Glazer) are trying to beat the heat of a ferocious New York summer day. But where to find an air conditioner?

  Meanwhile, Comedy Central announced earlier Wednesday that a third "Broad City" season has been ordered.

MY SAY From a TV perspective, Wednesday, Jan. 14  may be the biggest baddest day of the new year so far, and not just because "Workaholics" junkies have been waiting since April -- April! -- for the fifth season. (That begins at 10, and is very funny, as usual.)

This is because "Broad City" freaks have been waiting as well. They've wondered if the first sensational season was just a one-shot wonder, impossible to repeat under the white-hot gaze of critical worship, or audience expectations, which are now through the roof.

But if the second season launch episode, is any indication, everything is just fine: "Broad City" is terrific, and remains TV's "it" comedy -- as blithely vulgar, unsanitized, profane and funny as anything else that I'm aware of.

The triumph belongs to executive producer Amy Poehler, who took this from the web to the moon, so to speak, but especially to co-stars and creators Jacobson and Glazer. There really is nothing like this team anywhere else on TV, a blunt fact that the episode, "In Heat," only re-establishes. Sweat -- yeah, sweat -- has a starring role, while Seth Rogen and Kumail Nanjiani, have a pair of highly amusing cameos. But it's still the Abbi and Ilana show, as well it should be.

If you're late to the "Broad City" party, a quick primer: This series shoved its way into the zeitgeist last January just as "Girls" started to feel a bit like a show that had overstayed its welcome. As the alt-"Girls" crew, Abbi and Ilana weren't defined by their boyfriends, and barely even knew where Brooklyn was. Their many male pals, like Lincoln (Hannibal Buress) or Matt (John Gemberling) were and are essential accessories, but that's pretty much all they were and are.

As Poehler explained at a Paley Center and New York Comedy Festival panel last fall, "We wanted to make sure that everybody knew at the end of the day, this show is a love story between Abbi and Ilana."

Is my praise just another example of critical overworship? Entirely possible, but Jacobson and Glazer are so effortlessly good together that overpraise almost feels...normal.

BOTTOM LINE Initial indications are good -- the second season of "Broad City" may even exceed the first.


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