One special episode of Broad City that represents its uniqueness in comedic writing is the fifth episode of season two, titled “Hashtag: FOMO.” The writers of this episode are the stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, who co-create and write the show as well as having co-created and written the web-series of the same name.
Having the main stars write this episode is ideal because much of “Hashtag: FOMO” is Abbi and Ilana scrambling around the city from party to party trying to spend the best time, all while progressively getting more drunk as the night goes on. In this episode, the dialogue is structured mainly around Abbi’s and Ilana’s funny conversations and interactions with others. While there is a writer’s crew and a set script that the Broad City creators follow, the dialogue in this episode is structured in a way that reveals how unstructured the entire show really is. Abbi’s and Ilana’s conversations exude a feeling of familiarity where their perfect chemistry on screen makes the writing flow more naturally. The audience can take it as them improvising their dialogue, but Abbi and Ilana wrote this episode to truly show the natural conversations between two close friends, which makes it all the more relatable to the show’s demographic of millennial viewers. The unstructured feeling of the dialogue within this episode matters because the viewers get to see the true bond of friendship between Abbi and Ilana, which allows the concept of female friendships to be aimed at more than one specific demographic of viewers.
While Broad City strays away from the tropes of typical comedy shows, Abbi and Ilana utilize “easter eggs” throughout the series to appeal to the observant, frequent viewers of the show. “Hashtag: FOMO” has a great example where towards the end of the episode, blackout-drunk Abbi drags Ilana to a underground speakeasy where the patrons receive Abbi warmly. Ilana is bamboozled, and Abbi assumes a persona unlike her named Val, a daring performer with a mid-Atlantic jazz voice who the audience loves. This easter egg refers back to the season two premiere where an old lady shouts “Val!” to Abbi on the subway, much to Abbi’s confusion. The audience does not know the context of Val until later, which shows how Abbi and Ilana write the show as if they are living in the moment alongside the viewers. There is not any dramatic irony between Abbi and Ilana and the viewers, but rather with Abbi, Ilana, the viewers, and the surroundings of the show. As the writers of the show, Abbi and Ilana use these easter eggs to create a more satisfying world where past actions influence future events, almost like real life. That is why “Hashtag: FOMO” is a standout episode of Broad City. The unstructured dialogue and the witty easter eggs create a hilarious episode where Abbi and Ilana find out more about each other than they ever knew.
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