I was a bit late to the party on this one. I am also completely aware that no-one on the right side of 20 uses that phrase either, so sorry about that. Anyway. If you haven’t heard of it, Broad City is a late night comedy central show which started out as a web series. Created by and starring Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, the show got picked up by none other than superhero Amy Poehler and premiered on CC in 2014. If, like me, you don’t get Comedy Central because you’re a) not American and b) don’t even own an actual television then there are numerous ways of catching this show online. Sssshhh.
Abbi and Ilana star as (wait for it) Abbi and Ilana, 2 twenty-somethings living in New York. If you think you’ve seen this before, then think again. Broad City is fresh, funny and completely raw. It’s a bit rough round the edges but it feels real. Each episodes depicts the girls getting themselves in some god awful situation, and the hilarity of trying to rectify it. It’s not like HBO’s Girls. Please do not let anyone tell you it is. If I haven’t convinced you, then carry on reading. I present to you, my top 8 reasons why you should watch Broad City right now.
1. It’s about making the best with what you have right now
At some point we all have to learn that not everything goes our way. Abbi and Ilana seem to learn this more times than I’d like to – but it’s a great lesson in dealing with the unexpected. Often the girls find themselves locked out, completely broke or unable to get tickets for a Lil Wayne concert. Instead of crying or making a fuss, they deal with it and have the best time anyway. Whatever that involves. Even when things don’t go your way, the message here is to not let it get you down.
2. 2 Broke Girls With Dreams
Abbi works as a cleaner at Soulstice (a middle class, white person style gym) and Ilana works (sometimes) at an indescript call centre called ‘Deals, Deals, Deals’. I mean, we see Ilana at work, but we never see her do any work – in fact in one episode she hires unpaid interns to do her job for her. I’m not sure about Ilana, but Abbi dreams of bigger and better things – mainly becoming an artist. What’s great about Broad City is that it reflects the reality of being broke and twenty something. Most of us don’t have our dream jobs and are working for the weekends. Instead of pining after Abbi and Ilana’s lives, we can laugh at the similarities to ours.
3. Awesome Cameos
I know most comedy shows these days have awesome cameos but Broad City just goes above and beyond. Amy Poehler stars as a feisty chef, Alia Shawkat as Ilana’s identical one time lover, Seth Rogen even gets involved as one of Abbi’s love interests. My favourite however is Fred Armisen as the baby-man in the first ever episode. Go. Watch. Now.
4. Disgustingly Funny
Mostly funny, sometimes actually just disgusting. More often, a mix of the two. Broad City isn’t scared to show us Abbi and Ilana not looking quite their best, and everything that entails. Like the time when Ilana eats ALL the seafood despite knowing she is completely allergic and her face becomes more swollen than you can imagine. Or the time where someone takes a dump in Abbi’s shoe during the hurricane. I won’t say who, I don’t want to spoil it for you. Or worse still, when the exercise ball at Soulstice gets thrown up on and bounced down two flights of stairs. There are some real gross out moments in this show, but it makes it even more funnier.
5. Sex Positive Feminism
Broad City is definitely the most female-sex-positive show on television, that I’ve seen anyway. Not only do the girls talk openly about their vajay-jays, anal sex and other taboo subjects, they both have active and healthy sex lives with a number of men. In the episode ‘Stolen Phone’, Abbi and Ilana seek out ex lovers/FWBs to ask on dates. It’s such a positive message that a) women are free to pursue sex with whomever they want and b) sex is a healthy thing that women should talk about openly. The girls are also confident about their bodies and aren’t afraid to tell each or themselves that they look ‘slammin’. The show is built on positivity, and by it’s very nature it’s feminist.
6. Hannibal Burgess/ Lincoln Rice
This is one reason alone to watch this show. Hannibal Burgess plays Ilana’s on/off romantic/sexual partner, and he is perfect. Not only does the show reverse the gender stereotypes (Lincoln wants a romantic relationship with Ilana, she just wants a physical one), but Lincoln is also a genuinely awesome guy. He supports and encourages Abbi with her art and helps the girls out when they’re in dire need. Which is often. Also he is a hilarious dentist which is something you don’t come across often.
7. Executive Producer Amy Poehler
Needless to say, anything that Amy Poehler has been involved with is guaranteed to be awesome. You can definitely feel Amy’s helping hand throughout the series, and it’s a fantastic touch.
8. BFFs onscreen
Abbi and Ilana are quite literally the definition of best friends. Not in the polished, air kissing way you tend to see in shows about female friendship. No, this is a no holes barred, up close and personal, disgusting, intoxicating friendship – the kind we all have with that one person who really gets you. There is no ‘off limits’ or TMI. You can be your gross self with that person, and they probably don’t even notice. In ‘The Matrix’, the girls spend a full day on separate laptops together only to forget they are actually still in the same room. That’s a fantastic summary of what a BFF is. Someone who your so comfortable with, you actually forget they are there. I think everyone in the world would be better off for having a friendship like Abbi & Ilana’s.