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Add to Watchlist: Broad City

Credit: Press/ http://www.nme.com/news/tv/broad-city-season-4-trailer-2084261

 

 

It was a fateful day when I first decided to watch Broad City. My family just decided to get TiVo (this was around 2014 so we were way late to the party) and I recalled seeing billboards with reviews from the likes of Amy Poehler. To be honest, I had no idea what the show could even be about. The only advertising included two women sitting in front of cartoon graphics with the words broad and city displayed above them. What is a broad city, I thought. Is it just a city larger than a thin city? But, I have always been a fan of both learning new things and Amy Poehler so when I saw the episodes were free to watch on demand, I knew I had to give it a shot.

    The series follows the zany antics of Ilana Wexler and Abbi Abrams, hyper-irresponsible versions of the creators/ stars of the show-- Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. As the two best friends navigate surviving as young women in New York City, hilarious, out of this world issues come to light. Their world is full of characters who are both completely unhinged, but simultaneously a little too real. Perhaps the most well known example is in the form of a popular gif where someone tells the girls to smile and they respond by forcing their faces to contort with their hands. The jokes themselves also partake in the ludicrous situations Abbi and Ilana always create and/or wander into. Rather than respond to the insanity around them with deadpan, Ilana and Abbi are willing participants in their weird, uncomfortable, and perfect world of jokes. In one episode, Ilana is fired from her job at a coupon startup for posting a wildly inappropriate internet video because “it’s part of internet culture.” In another, Abbi travels to the haunting North Brother Island to get a package for her handsome neighbor and faces an old woman, named Garol, sitting an empty warehouse eating a giant carton of yogurt.

    If Garol isn’t selling you, the host of celebrity guest stars just might. Broad City features household names like Seth Green, Seth Rogen, Cynthia Nixon, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vanessa Williams, Amy Sedaris, Patricia Clarkson, RuPaul, Whoopi Goldberg, Fran Drescher, and Kelly Ripa (who, arguably, has the best episode in the history of celebrity guests on any show ever) to name a few. And Abbi and Ilana do not just use celebrities as throw away “look who we have” fill ins. They make the characters as memorable as the series regulars. In one of my favorite episodes from season four, Wanda Sykes plays Abbi’s boss at her new job. Whenever anything bad happens Sykes’ reminds Abbi, “this too shall pass.” But, when a high Abbi accidently kills Sykes’ cat, and repeats the mantra, Sykes responds, “This too shall not fucking pass.” (I cannot do Wanda Sykes justice; please go watch the show). Amy Sedaris is also hilarious as a completely over the top real estate agent who has a neck brace and a smart car she can’t seem to park.

    Additionally, the show is feminist without trying to be feminist. Rather than make it a foreign concept, Glazer and Jacobson smoothly integrate feminism into all of their storylines. They make it weird to not be feminist. Ilana owns her sexuality shamelessly-- she discusses female masturbation, threesomes, casual hookups, etc. Also, female friendship is at the center of the show. It literally exists for women supporting women. They openly acknowledge their white privilege as well. Often, the protagonists slip into microaggressions regarding race and class while quickly recognizing their faux pas. In one episode, Abbi reminds Ilana,“Sometimes you’re so anti-racist that you’re actually really racist.” In another episode titled, Witches, Abbi and Ilana discover a congregation of magical ladies in moon lit Central Park. Plus, they bleep the word Tr*mp, so.

    To be completely transparent, it is difficult to fit all the reasons you should watch Broad City into one article-- some points are impossible to even put into words. It is a place of preposterous personalities that you oddly want to stay away from and also join. Ultimately, reality is the butt of the joke as Ilana and Abbi make you understand that the situations are just reflections of the America we occupy. It will make you sigh, scream and laugh until there are tears in your eyes. Yas Kween.

 

~Broad City is available to stream on comedycentral.com and Hulu~

 

I'm an English student from Los Angeles, California. I love to write articles, poetry, and short stories!
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