Friday, March 28, 2014
New York is a Broad City
While I love the perfect images of feminism like Leslie Knope (let’s face it: she’s all our heroes), Broad City (coincidentally produced by Amy Poehler) provides us a couple women who are post-feminist in that they are interchangeable with men. Usually stoners and idiots in comedies are men in all entertainment mediums with no problem at all, but Broad City excels in using these pot-smoking Jewish hippies with little-to-no common sense. Where have Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer been all my life?
The show’s premise is simply two trashy, messy best friends trying to survive the New York life. Ilana tries to just skate by life while having fun, and Abbi tries to be successful in life and almost completely failing. Ilana has a cushy job at which she doesn’t do anything and a steady booty call who wants more. Abbi works as a janitor at a fitness center while trying to make it as an artist and living with a roommate who's never there but her horribly gross boyfriend is. Their daily lives are nothing spectacular on paper, but their daily lives come to fruition by the genius of Jacobson and Glazer.
Nearly the entire season finale revolves around Abbi peeing out a condom and Ilana being allergic to shellfish, while they’re eating shellfish. Nothing happens the entire episode except for those events, but it is nonetheless entertaining, enthralling, and hilarious. It’s one of the very few shows that I have to watch live or immediately when I can. These women know how to command an audience and do it with specific characterizations that do not waver. From the start, the comedy has been strong with its own style and has had a direction of haphazard awkwardness. Excrement, reproductive organs, drugs, and alcohol are consistently present. Like a few women who've preceded them, they hold no gender barrier nor see any limit.
Abbi and Ilana aren’t just two best friends who get high and go on adventures together; their relationship is odd, to say it euphemistically. Ilana’s co-dependence on Abbi and Abbi’s need for Ilana’s praise make them a perfect fit, but it creates awkward moments that we find hilarious, but they don’t even acknowledge at how weird it is. Nearly every episode the seemingly bisexual Ilana declares that Abbi is the love her life or wants to mess around. Abbi shrugs it off like it’s normal, and it should be. Who doesn’t say weird stuff with their friends? You know that if you’re single for the rest of your life, you’ll at least have your best friend, the kind of best friend that lasts longer than any marriage. That’s Abbi and Ilana and Ann Perkins and Leslie Knope. Television and movies need more female friendships that do not rely on competition, guys, or gossip.
If you haven’t watched Broad City on Comedy Central yet, do so. And if you haven’t watched the Broad City webseries, do so. Luckily, Broad City was renewed for a second season, as announced by Amy Poehler. Abbi and Ilana are an exciting part of comedy’s future and have continued minding the comedic gold for women to be even raunchier than Melissa McCarthy, Sarah Silverman, and Amy Schumer, combining with the effervescence of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. I can’t wait to see what else Jacobson and Glazer do.