This is why you should check out ‘Broad City’

April 02, 2014

FINALLY. That’s how I feel about "Broad City". Finally, there is a television show that portrays the friendship between two ladies in their 20’s in a realistic and relatable way. The show started as a successful web series created by Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, two alums from the Upright Citizens Brigade. Picked up by Comedy Central and produced by “Parks and Rec” star Amy Poehler, “Broad City” debuted this past January with great success. “Broad City” depicts what it’s like to navigate through New York City in your 20’s with your best friend by your side.

Abbi and Ilana, portrayed by Jacobson and Glazer, don’t live glamorous lives in New York. They don’t have some unexplained source of income that lets them live in high-end apartments or eat at expensive restaurants like you see in other shows, like “Girls.” They get by with nickels, bug bomb their own apartments and return too-expensive dresses within the 30-day return window. Ilana half-a**es at her corporate desk job, while Abbi waits for the day she is called on to instruct a fitness class, rather than clean hair out of the women’s showers. Regardless of their meager salaries, Abbi and Ilana are happy to just be able to call on each other, light up, play “would you rather” and take on whatever New York throws at them.

When Tina Fey was at UVa last semester, she talked about Chris Rock as an influential comedian saying, “He is someone who can look at the world really, really closely, notice something true that has never been said before, and then say it. That’s the best way to write a joke – because ‘only the truth is funny’ is what we were always told in improv class.” Jacobson and Glazer do just this, and they do it incredibly well. They give us the chance to laugh at the most mundane situations and odd relationships we encounter in real life by transforming them into comedic gold. They give you the relationship that straddles the line between dating and casually hooking up, with Ilana and Lincoln’s (Hannibal Buress) relationship.

They give you Bevers (John Gemberling), Abbi’s absent roommate’s boyfriend who eats all of Abbi’s cheese and mooches off of her apartment. Jeremy (Stephen Schneider), the hot neighbor, Morgan (Morgan Grace Jarrett), the college friend holding onto the “good old days of the Trifecta,” and even that creepy locksmith (Steven Ogg) you’re hesitant to point toward your apartment.

But there is no doubt that the relationship between Abbi and Ilana carries the show. Unconditional love barely begins to describe the loyalty between these two. They don’t hesitate to be brutally, and even disgustingly, honest with one another, knowing that no matter what they say, there will be no judgment.

Mary-Rolfe Zeller, a third-year Medieval Studies major at UVa, called the show “refreshing” in this way. “You don’t have the stereotypical, cliché female characters. It’s an exaggerated representation of us [women in their 20’s right now] at the opposite spectrum of shows like ‘Sex & the City.’ But even though it is exaggerated, they still talk about the same things we talk about.”

Abbi and Ilana give their audience a friendship they can easily relate to, without having to identify with each character individually. Similarly, “Broad City” is the first TV show to represent a friendship I have been able to truly identify with.

Jacobson and Glazer, creators of the show, aren’t afraid to address the taboo topics that female characters on other shows don’t approach. They talk about their sexual experiences, men’s bodies, Abbi’s own insecurity with pooping when other people are in her apartment, Ilana’s desire to experiment with Abbi and countless other topics. Abbi and Ilana are "feminist heroes" in a TV environment full of repetitive, static female characters. Their style is new, different, goofy, hilarious -- and the best on TV.

“Broad City” is an absolute jewel and rarity in our TV show selection right now. It’s feminist, it’s funny, it’s relatable and it’s genius. If you have watched “Broad City,” you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you need to hop on board, because they’re doing great things you don’t want to miss.

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