Broad City Season 5 Premiere Recap: Abbi & Ilana Walk Manhattan Through A Social Media Lens

by Gary Catig

The girls of Broad City are back for their fifth and final season. The premiere begins with Abbi celebrating her 30th birthday and our favorite duo decide to take a walking tour of Manhattan starting from Inwood all the way down to Battery Park. Not only that, but the entire episode is shot from a social media perspective as if it were an Instagram story. There’s plenty of stickers, music clips and emojis throughout.

This episode featured the overall feel of New York City as much as it did Abbi and Ilana. During their tour, they didn’t do much touristy stuff. They spotlighted sites like the Morris Jumel Mansion and dined at trendy restaurants like Marcus Samuelson’s Red Rooster and one of Oprah’s favorite things of 2018, Russ & Daughters. The typical street scenes were captured well with vendors that braid hair and who create your own scent. Ilana even faced one of New Yorker’s worst fears, falling down a manhole. Using the social media approach to filming provided a more authentic portrait of NYC living and gave a real slice of life experience.  

As prevalent as social media was, the negative aspects were also addressed. Sometimes, people risk their own well being or their phones for that perfect photo or video. Someone jumped on the tracks to take a picture delaying the pairs subway to Inwood, Abbi drops her phone in her meal as she photographs it, and Ilana’s phone falls into the river as they reenact a scene from Titanic. Moreover, there are real potential dangers like being stalked through location tags or having your credit card number stolen from an inadvertent shot.

Overall, Abbi had a real bittersweet day. As much as she and Ilana had a fun adventure, any birthday is a time of deep thought and retrospect that can cause some blues. She thought she would already be married with kids at 30, but she doesn’t even have a boyfriend. Also, she wanted more out of life than being a sales associate at Anthropolgie. Especially when she compared her life to an old college classmate who is rich, takes exotic vacations and attends cupcake and pizza parties. At least she’s grateful for her BFF. As a birthday present, Ilana made a video homage to Abbi’s butt. Not only was it a sweet gesture, but it was a humorous way for the viewer to look back at and remember key moments in the previous seasons from a different perspective.

Other interesting episode notes:

  • They’re still no fan of the current president as they made a detour to Trump Hotel just to flip it off.
  • I guess I missed it previously, but Abbi lives in my old hood of Astoria.

Broad City airs Thursdays at 10:00 pm on Comedy Central.

Gary Catig

Gary Catig is west coast raised, east coast educated, and has a touch of southern charm. He has spent most of his adult life making science fiction a reality as an engineer conducting research in the military, microprocessor, and biotechnology fields. While currently living in San Diego, he enjoys all facets of pop culture including but not limited to comics, TV, movies, and music.

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