I hated Broad City the first time I watched it. It seemed like nothing more than televising a web series made by Upright Citizens Brigade alums Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. It also seemed like Comedy Central’s answer to HBO’s Girls and I’ll bet a whole lot of ladies felt the same way. But with their time slot right after the frequently over-the-top Workaholics, another CC original and personal favorite of mine, I ended up giving the broads a shot for an entire season and realized my original assessment was not only completely unfounded but wrong; Broad City is actually the greatest show ever, pretty much, and here’s five reasons why they’re going to change media for women.
1.) They perfectly capture what its like to be a Millennial lady. I never related to girls on television growing up (with the exception of maybe Clarissa Darling or Sabrina the Teenage Witch who are both, coincidentally, played by Melissa Joan Hart). The Camden sisters, the Tanner ladies, the unrealistically speaking Gilmore girls – I was unable to identify and was totally uninterested in their trials and tribulations which maybe contributed to a small but noticeable fear of a lack of normalcy.
But the ladies over at Broad City bring to the table a show that shines a light on the experiences many of the gals in our generation might hide, like peeing out a condom or the immeasurable embarrassment of sleeping with someone and then finding out they make horrible jokes in a improv group called ‘Statutory Crepe’. Some experiences may even transcend generational differences; I recently discovered that, despite watching her eat it my entire life, my mom has an allergy to shellfish. Turns out that, much like Ilana in the season one finale, my mom likes to live on the edge. Know that feeling when your roomies aren’t home and you can dance around the apartment naked if you want? Perfectly captured. The horrible mouth diarrhea and paralysis that ensues when the guy you’re crushing on walks into the room? Perfectly captured. Those times you get passive aggressively hit on by Fred Armisen dressed as a widdle baby? Also perfectly captured. There exists all the feels possible, sprinkled ever so delicately throughout the show.
2.) They are fair to the other sex. One major issue in affecting change in media for women is the lack of solidarity among the sexes. Guys proclaim against the man-hating feminist and cry “you girls aren’t the only ones getting sexualized and objectified on television!” Well, Broad City gives a voice to all the dudes out there who also fighting an uphill battle against gender stereotypes – gay men, shy or nervous men, emotional and artistic men, or men who really love weddings and wonder why they can’t seem to find a girl to want to stay in a relationship with him. A house divided cannot stand – so if we divide the population against each other, we can never move forward. Broad City gets the dudes on our side by making them feel equally represented, too.
3.) They maintain a good balance of comedy styles. I don’t know about you but I like my comedy varied. Rom-coms don’t usually do it for me and the slapstick or gross out humor from male dominated shows doesn’t usually translate into ones headed by females. Broad City is diverse and ranges from incredibly strange and dark to the gross out horror-humor of Marla Bever’s extra toe growing out of her ribcage. There’s quick wit matched with slapstick and situational comedy pitted against cultural references. It opens the door to a world in which comediennes can act a broader range, instead of being pigeon holed into the “quirky best friend” role from practically every single chick-flick since the 90’s (I’m looking at you, Judy Greer’s agent!)
4.) They push the boundaries. Did y’all know what pegging was before Broad City? I sure as hell didn’t know there was a name for that secret fantasy I’ve been keeping for years. And did you think you were the only person in the history of the world to video chat your bestie while simultaneously getting laid? Turns out you’re not that original! Pushing the envelope in the media doesn’t set the new norm – it cracks open the trunk we’ve been hiding the norm in, revealing it for the world to see. It takes us back to the “fear of a lack of normalcy” I mentioned earlier; as humans we have such a need to fit in and be part of the pack, a survival tactic ingrained in us since we lived in caves, that we tend to bury certain tendencies until it’s dragged on stage and we realize it’s simply human. Broad City reminds us that we all have more in common than we thought.
5.) Three words: Amy Freaking Poehler. Amy Poehler is a feminist powerhouse (and you can check out this article on MTV for some quotes to back that claim up) she’s also the executive producer for Broad City. With a strong, successful leader at their backs, Abbi and Ilana are about to create a lot of change for the rest of us broads in the media.
Hopefully these hilarious ladies can keep you entertained enough to get through the rest of your Monday! What are your thoughts on Broad City?
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