Broad City: "Jews on a Plane"


For a season finale—particularly of a season that went to unprecedented emotional depths for “Broad City”—“Jews on a Plane” is surprisingly childish. Abbi and Ilana’s plane flight feels not like a real adult experience but the somewhat uncanny imaginings of someone who has never flown (possibly appropriate, as Ilana says she has never been out of the country). A dog sits on a seat in first class; snack boxes cost $38 and contain almost nothing; random seats get upgraded to first class mid-flight. After Ilana’s affecting breakup with Lincoln, the episode feels almost too light. At the same time, Abbi and Ilana’s antics on the plane are funny, and the episode’s tone lets the viewer know that there will be no real consequences for the pair’s actions.

Without its levity, the episode might have been very grave indeed. At the end of the episode, Abbi and Ilana are interrogated in Israel on suspicion of terrorism after two flight attendants misinterpret the pair’s quest to find Abbi a tampon. During the interrogation, Abbi finds out that the man apparently sleeping between her and Ilana for the entire flight was actually dead—and the viewer learns that Ilana knew the whole time. The joke is executed perfectly: Ilana’s doublespeak throughout the episode hits the right note of cheesiness, and in the absence of the morbidity precluded by the episode’s style, the situation is pretty funny. “I am loving your comfort despite the circumstances!” gushes Ilana when Abbi moves the dead man’s tablet to use his tray table.

At some points, however, Glazer and Jacobson successfully use a much more direct approach. A highlight of the episode is a frank conversation between Abbi and Ilana about the unpleasantness of periods. Menstruation is finally, finally becoming an acceptable topic of discussion, but Glazer and Jacobson go much farther than most other comedians and writers have when they have Ilana and Abbi describe the first day of their periods. “It’s like a side of chutney,” Ilana says, to which Abbi retorts, “It’s like fruit on the bottom.” In an episode that feels like something of a fever dream, Glazer and Jacobson’s insistence on illuminating the less glamorous aspects of the lives of young adult women is even more refreshing than normal.


—Staff writer Grace E. Huckins can be reached at


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