“I want to be animated for the rest of my life,” said actress Alysia Reiner, capturing the feeling of many who had gathered in Brooklyn last week to watch a sneak peek of Wednesday’s special animated (and truly dazzling) Broad City episode. “Mushroom,” the episode, in which Reiner makes a guest appearance, features the show’s central duo Abbi and Ilana taking a psychedelic stroll through New York City after downing some extremely potent shrooms. So potent, in fact, that their trip extends into the fabric of the episode itself. The pair’s eyes are replaced by drawn googly eyes, and the rest of the world quickly transforms into an surreal animated wonderland as well.
From an (imagined) journey to France to hallucinating an ex-boyfriend at the worst possible time, the animations in the episode seem effortless. But Broad City isn’t a cartoon, and “Mushrooms” was the result of months of work. So how does a live action show take its story into the drawn dimension?