By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol
7:34 PM CST, January 19, 2014
When I was in my 20s and needed to score fast cash for beer and to get a present for someone, I'd apply for store credit cards to get the signing gift (which I then regifted), charge something on the card and return the item for a cash refund.
My scheming ended when stores got wise and started giving store credits instead of cash. So I know exactly how desperate Abbi and Ilana feel in "Broad City" (9:30 Wednesday, Comedy Central; 2.5 stars out of 4), the half-hour comedy adapted from the Web series created by Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, who write and star here, too.
You may not have heard of Jacobson and Glazer, but their show has a lot of star power backing their show. Comedy queen Amy Poehler executive produces, and the first season's 10 episodes will feature regulars Hannibal Buress and Chris Gethard with appearances from Fred Armisen, Rachel Dratch, Janeane Garofalo and Amy Sedaris.
In the show's premiere, wild child Ilana talks her more reserved BFF Abbi into going to a Lil Wayne concert, but first they have to come up with $200 for the tickets and extras. They return office supplies that Abbi stole from a temp job to get cash, but instead are given store credit. Another money-making scheme leads to a creepy encounter with a diaper-wearing Armisen.
The episode demonstrates the extremes to which "Broad City" swings with the duo's adventures, which feel like a series of sketches that often hit but sometimes miss. (The slovenly boyfriend of Abbi's roommate seems a little trite compared to other ongoing jokes in the show.)
Jacobson and Glazer play heightened versions of themselves—at least I think they do. No matter how outrageous their antics, they always manage to convey a small kernel of reality as they face money troubles, dead-end jobs, that roommate's boyfriend and other challenges.
"Broad City" shares some obvious DNA with HBO's "Girls," but its appealing duo of Jacobson and Glazer make the big hot mess of surviving in New York City seem more rowdy and fun.
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