To preface, we’ve been doing this column for a while in DC – the premise is (as you might have concluded from the title) that we break down scenes from film and television which are either shot, or made to look like they were shot, in a specific city.
Trying to figure out where to start with the NYC version gave me the same panic I feel when someone asks me what my favorite song is – THERE IS SO. MUCH. CHOICE!
But at the end of the day, my gut reaction was to write about one of my most favorite scenes from one of my most favorite episodes in the history of television, aka Broad City S1E2 (“P*$$Y Weed”), where Ilana cracks her tooth on a jawbreaker. (Additional reasons for choosing to talk about this episode – 1. it is October, aka Halloween month, and all I can think about is candy, 2. I am on my period, aka the only time I ever want to eat sweets, and all I can think about is candy, and 3. Economy Candy, which is where this episode was partially filmed, is the best candy shop on the planet, which is great for people who cannot think about anything but candy.)
You might be saying, “But Megan, there are TONS of locations you could choose to speak about when it comes to the filming of Broad City!” (And that’s not even including the episodes they made when it was still just a web series on YouTube.) But YOU GUYS. THIS IS. PRETTY MUCH. THE BEST. ONE! (To be fair, I will probably write about the show again in the future, but this is our jumping off point.)
In case you need a refresher, absolute hilarity ensues when Abbi and Ilana are (as usual) faced with the proverbial fork in the road that reads: 1. ADULT, or 2. HIGH. After debating the benefits of shoving weed up one’s vagina for safekeeping, Abbi says she’s not doing it. “I’m an adult, and I’m responsible.” Naturally, the declaration is quickly followed by, “Let’s go get some candy!”
We cut to Abbi and Ilana inside Economy Candy, a downright INSTITUTION (been slingin’ sweets since 1937!) located at 108 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It’s wall-to-wall with nostalgia (candy cigarettes, bubblegum cards that are legit from the 80s), not to mention every gummy, chocolate bar and novelty confection you could possibly dream about. The best part? It’s like, THE most (bafflingly) reasonably priced sweet shop I’ve ever encountered. That being said, it’s hella dangerous to go shopping there if you’ve got a serious sweet tooth. Fortunately it’s tiny AF, so it deters the kind of prolonged loitering that could really get you into trouble re: wallet, blood sugar, etc.
Needless to say, homegirls are awestruck at the selection. Ilana ends up going for a giant jawbreaker, saying “Kids used to say it would take them like, a week to get to the center of one of these bad boys. But I know the trick to getting right to it.” And then, one of (in my humble opinion) the funniest physical comedy sequences in history begins – in slow motion, Ilana chomps down on the jawbreaker, and it breaks her goddamn jaw. (Or, her left front tooth, but you get what I mean to say.)
CRACK! Her tooth topples out onto the linoleum floor. With a combo confused-horrified look on her face, she pauses to process the gravity of what’s just transpired. Her tooth is GONE. Full black hole scenario.
And so Abbi screams. And then Ilana screams. And then the little girl standing in front of them in line screams. And everyone screams. Screaming, screaming, screaming. And then END SCENE.
It’s amazing. I died laughing the first time I watched it, and I still die laughing after the eight hundredth or so watch.
Of course, the rest of the episode is equally hilarious what with Abbi getting too ultra-high, kicking a cardboard cutout of a Staples employee and yelling “I AM NOT A MOM!”, but I will be forever grateful for the Economy Candy shout-out. It’s the kind of New York that’s fading away with gentrification, and I just hope that (with pop culture nods like this one) it’ll be able to withstand the test of time, aka inevitable rent hikes.
Anyway, if you didn’t already know about this magical spot, it’s definitely worth a visit to pay homage to both candy and Broad City. And if anyone needs me, I’ll be hanging out by Economy Candy’s extensive Ritter Sport display for all of eternity. (My teeth will probably fall out, too, but more gradually, and less hilariously. These are the simultaneous joys and perils of confectionery.)
Buy “P*$$Y Weed” for $2.99, or all of Season 1 for $19.99, on Amazon.