The actor, producer, and series creator turns in a series of sketches, some brilliant and some pedestrian, chronicling episodes in her life to date.
With her friend Ilana Glazer—“a bacon egg and cheese with Ilana, anywhere, anytime,” she writes in an essay on bagels, this one decidedly nonkosher—Jacobson (Carry This Book, 2016, etc.) crafted the hilarious, edgy Comedy Central series Broad City. As she notes in passing, it morphed into something more than just a TV show: “It’s become a visual diagram of sorts in which I track my own life, where I’ve been and where I’m going…a reproduction of my reality.” Many of the pieces are set in far-flung places between the twin poles of Los Angeles and New York—in Santa Fe, say, which Jacobson worries isn’t really real, and Marfa, Texas, which is “so cute.” A common theme throughout the book is ceiling-studying insomnia as the author restlessly travels from town to town; another is wrestling to the point of fretfulness with mundane and big-picture worries alike: “Maybe I’m more Jewish than I think?” As she drives from Santa Fe to Kanab, Utah, she ponders such things as how often she ought to be changing her shoelaces, death and dying, aging, love, missing out on key events, and “if scrunchies are back and why.” Some of Jacobson’s observations are too casually tossed-off—“Starbucks might be more known for their bathrooms than their coffee"; “Do you think Ross-and-Rachel situations are happening all over the place?”—but many of the sketches are reminiscent of Nora Ephron in their sharp-edged goofiness, as when she concludes a piece on failed love with this: “I did what any intelligent, responsible, sane person would do. I got a dog.”
Charting the charms and obstacles in the everyday, Jacobson’s book wobbles here and there, but it’s mostly a pleasure to read.