Broad City: Season 1 created by Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson (3 Arts Entertainment, Jax Media, Paper Kite Productions)
Starring Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, John Gemberling, Hannibal Buress, and Arturo Castro.
Growing up isn’t easy. Post-collegiate life, for many, represents a turbulent period. People have difficulty finding work; the support of parents—financially, mostly—dries up; friends get married, move away, and start families, which raises its own stressfulness. While some young adults seize their opportunities and become the movers and shakers becoming media darlings as the future of our country, most young adults try their very best to remain in a quasi-adolescence. They’ve exited the nest, but that doesn’t mean they want to fly long and far in search of food.
Broad City highlights this trend of confusion for those in their twenties these days.
A show that follows the daily lives of two twenty-something women in New York City, Broad City unearths humor in the typical, odd, and over-the-top scenarios the main characters, Abbi (Abbi Jacobson) and Ilana (Ilana Glazer), encounter.
Abbi works at a boutique fitness center, but don’t classify her job as glamorous. You’ll likely find her cleaning the refuse left in the toilet or laundering some sweaty towels. She dabbles in art, and might even wish to have a career as an illustrator, if she could muster enough drive. She avoids her apartment because her roommate’s boyfriend (John Gemberling) has placed him stamp in every nook and cranny of the apartment.
Abbi’s best friend, Ilana, lives an unhinged life to the fullest. Name a drug; she’s smoked it. Name an acquaintance; she’s slept with him. Her current lover (Hannibal Buress) is a dentist, so that’s cool. Ilana “works” for a small discount coupon company, but her business hours are best classified as dolce far niente.
Put the two together, however, and it’s hilarious.
A sharp comedic voice and the relationship between Abbi and Ilana forge this series into one of the best new comedies. Aside from the strong female leads, something of which we see more on television, the duo enjoys playing with roles. While many women on television either function as the support of a man, or they’re driven to be powerful leaders.
Abbi, and especially Ilana, are neither. And their vulgarity, often reserved for men, defines many of their relationships.
I’ve heard comparisons to Girls and Seinfeld, both of which carry relative accuracy. For Girls, Broad City possesses the same strength in female leads, but Broad City is much more comedy-first in its presentation. I sort of see Seinfeld as well, mostly in the sense that there’s no overarching narrative to the season. Broad City could be said to be a show about nothing. But that’s about all there is that’s similar.
Ultimately, Broad City exhibits two twenty-something women, unrooted and unaware of what to do with their lives. And let’s be honest; it’s really really funny.
Verdict: 4 out of 5