Crude, brash and in your face – these broads are on the up and up.
If you haven’t been following Broad City then, quite frankly, I don’t know what the hell you think you’re playing at. This genius, comedy caper follows the seriously uncouth antics of best friends Abbi and Ilana as they parade around New York City, ultimately getting themselves into some very bizarre situations. Read: getting maced, Skyping mid-bone, perving on hot dudes in basketball shorts, smoking their way through the majority of NYC’s weed quota and cleaning a creepy guy’s apartment in their underwear.
Think Girls with less drama and more pizzazz, more “jizzy jazz”.*
Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler are played by Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, who also created and wrote the show. The chemistry between the pair on screen is no doubt thanks to their real life relationship – they’ve been best buddies for almost 8 years after meeting at a group for improv comedians.
Broad City initially came to fruition in 2009 in the form of 1 to 4 minute long webisodes, all of which can be seen here. Although low budget, these first glimpses of Abbi and Ilana’s shenanigans showed lots of promise and set the pace for the hilarious show we know and love today. It quickly grew thanks to an avid fan base and season 1 was eventually commissioned by and aired on Comedy Central in 2014 alongside comedy giants South Park and Workaholics. The rapid success may or may not be down to the fact that in 2011 the duo were taken under the watchful wing of actress and comedienne Amy Poehler, who now acts as executive producer.
Episode 2×01 of Broad City premiered last Wednesday, covering such hot topics as underage bonging and Hasidic Jews, and boy was it great. Season 2 is set to star some big names including a very well cast actress for Ilana’s mum (any fans of Curb Your Enthusiasm in the house?) as well as Abbi’s new beau played by Seth Rogen who appeared in last week’s episode while sweating profusely and yelling at a tiny kitten. We also welcome back the brilliant Hannibal Buress who plays Ilana’s friend-with-benefits, Lincoln a.k.a. The Al Dente Dentist.
The New York subway: beating metro Valencia in the weird character stakes
But behind all the crass humour (“the vagina is nature’s pocket”) and serious caca mouth (“there was a condom in my person for 4 days”), Broad City shows signs of being more complex, with references to running jokes and discreet nods to other TV series. It’s been said before but I’ll say it again – many episodes have a very It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia vibe thanks to the often slapstick visual humour and the girls’ penchant for lazy money-making schemes. Parallels have also been made to Seinfeld, Louie and Workaholics, their male slacker equivalents over in California.
Broad City is an honest look at what it means to be BFFs in your twenties – you might be broke, you might work a dead end job with no long term plans and you might have some sordid sex issues, but you’ll always have your girl there by your side. This is a noholds barred, hilarious cosmopolitan (mis)adventure – Abbi and Ilana have got each other’s back; they’re partners in crime; they’re in love (not like that) (well, maybe like that)…
Would you flash your boobs to a park load of people just so your friend could see if anyone taking pictures of you had her stolen phone? Would you save your BFF from dying of embarrassment in front of her crush by volunteering to unblock her anxiety-induced shitty toilet? Have you ever, or, should the need arise, would you ever carry your bestie out of a restaurant Bruce Willis style after stabbing yourself with an epipen in an effort to save her from a gross allergic reaction?
Yes? Well done, you’ve earned Abrams-Wexler best bud status and a cookie. No? You’d better start watching Broad City for tips on how up your friend game, friend.
*Girls. I like Girls. But it has been said before that Broad City is the wacky Comedy Central version of Lena Dunham’s introspective view of the lives of a group of twenty-somethings in NYC. The quote below pretty much sets the record straight:
“To end the debate once and for all, Broad City and Girls are very different shows that depict two very different New Yorks: The New York of Girls is a kind of gray cloud in which to explore the low-level depression and self-absorption of millennials; the New York of Broad City is a Choose Your Own Adventure, a colorful circus of multicultural weirdos”
Rachel Syne for grantland.
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