TV Review: Broad City S3 E03, “Game Over”

Published on March 7th, 2016 in: Comedy, Current Faves, Feminism, Reviews, TV, TV Reviews |

By Sachin Hingoo

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“Total transparency: I spent most of the day coloring in my tummy.”–Ilana

There’s been no more enduring question on Broad City than, “What would it take for Ilana to get fired from her job?” This week, that question was finally answered. The first two seasons of the show had Ilana managing to miraculously hold onto her job at an online group deals business, mostly thanks to her ability to steamroll Todd, her meek and easily-cowed boss. Though it seems that Ilana can’t possibly get fired for any of her behavior, regardless of how outrageous, it seems wearing a dog hoodie to the office and tweeting out a hardcore bestiality video on the company’s Twitter account seems to have finally done the trick.

What “Game Over” is primarily giving us is the portrayal of Abbi and Ilana’s very different, but equally surreal (so real?), work lives. Abbi overachieves at her job and was recently promoted from pube-hunting cleaner to personal trainer at the Soulstice Gym where she works. She’s weirdly admired by her coworkers and she feels entirely uncomfortable and suspicious about this. Ilana, on the other hand, is oblivious to the (completely justified, based on the chaos she constantly creates in the office) contempt her coworkers have for her.

Ilana’s story in “Game Over” is about her trying to impress a gorgeous, high-profile investor at Deals, Deals, Deals, played by the proto-“kween” Vanessa Williams, in another of Broad City’s series of flawlessly-executed celebrity cameos. By referencing decade-old memes like Salad Fingers and being tasked with maintaining the company’s Twitter account, Ilana proceeds to promote a deal on colonics with a video of a man being sodomized by a horse (an act Ilana later rationalizes with the statement that it’s “not as bad as if a human was fucking an animal”) and is terminated.

Though Ilana’s exit from the company is beautiful and involves a hilariously-oblivious verbal takedown of most of her colleagues, it’s her long-suffering cubicle-mate Nicole’s reaction that takes the cake. Nicole imagines an office-wide 1990s-as-fuck dance number set to Sister Act-esque gospel music that’s taken to another level when Whoopi herself shows up to join in. Yas queen. If this is the swan song for Todd and Nicole as peripheral characters on Broad City, you can’t ask for a better sendoff than this.

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Meanwhile, Abbi has found herself roped into competing in the Soulstice Games, a pretty standard team-building exercise. Abbi’s hyper-competitive alter-ego, “All Caps Abbi”, long-buried from her childhood, resurfaces. Even though Abbi goes buckwild on her coworkers, to the point of brutally pummeling another female trainer when she jokingly brings up Abbi’s previous job, they all rally around and support her for her drive and determination. It would be charming if it weren’t so downright insane.

In the end, though, you can’t help but feel proud for Abbi when she succeeds, especially if you’ve seen her get beaten down so much at Soulstice for two seasons. The final punchline of the episode is the revelation that the birth of “All Caps Abbi” at her childhood summer camp is on YouTube, and we get a hilarious found-footage horror clip of young Abbi running wild on the other campers during a game of Red Rover, further showing how versatile this show can be.

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Ultimately, both girls are happy with the outcome of the day’s events. A 9-to-5 office job never seemed like a good fit for Ilana anyhow, and Abbi has finally found a place where she fits at Soulstice and seeing her being applauded by the other trainers is a genuinely rewarding moment for long-time viewers. Whether you’re more of an Ilana or an Abbi at work, this episode showed that a little of that Broad City attitude can really take you where you need to go, even if it’s a trip right out the door.

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