As far as sitcom plots go, “x and y need some money” is about as ancient as it gets, but no matter how many times Broad City returns to it, the premise never comes off as stale. Part of that, I suspect, is that downward mobility makes money problems not so much a cliché as an everyday reality for many young people these days. A great deal of credit, however, is also owed to the show’s writers, who use scheme-y episodes like “Kirk Steele” to adeptly satirize the world of bizarro commerce we now live in.
A perfect example was last night’s take on clothing resale shops like Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange (or, in this case, the NY-based Beacon’s Closet). As anyone who’s ever sold to one these stores knows, the selectiveness exercised by buyers often feels more like contempt. Reimagining the situation as the shopping scene from Pretty Woman was an inspired gag, topped only by the punchline—that in the real world nobody cares.
On their own, Abbi and Ilana’s adventures this week would have made a solid episode with plenty of great moments (“On my dick?” “Yes, queen! Yes, queen! Yes, queen!”), but the best part of “Kirk Steele” was, of course, the man himself.
For a while now, Trey’s aggressively unfunny attempts at humor have been some of my favorite jokes on the show and seeing actor Paul W. Downs go broader was an absolute joy. Sure, watching a man fuck a pool noodle or an inflatable whale is always going to be funny, but as Kirk, Downs managed to make me laugh without even being onscreen thanks to his reading of “That’s a niiice beach boll!”
Add to all that last night’s coda featuring scenes from “Kirk Steele: Man on a Mission, a Cum Mission” and this week’s episode goes from a strong Broad City to an instant classic.