If someone came up to you and said ‘Yo, you should totally check out this new series that I’ve seen on Comedy Central about two girls living it up in New York’ you’d automatically draw some fairly obvious conclusions: one, that there’s going to be some sort of influence from the Grand Dames of Feminism Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, two, there must be some similarities between this and 2 Broke Girls because obviously, and three, why is this man who is clearly getting paid by Comedy Central harrassing me? But scary Comedy Central enthusiasts aside, Broad City could be one of the strongest outputs from the channel and it’s incredibly easy to see why.
Created by and starring Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, Broad City takes a comedic look at the lives of two mid-twenty somethings who want to live the life of bohemian layabouts. The type of who would be adored in Eighteenth Century France merely because of their outspoken opinions and their daring when it comes to ankle hem heights. The type of person who want people to have opinions of their opinions but not really having the bones to stand up for something real and meaningful when it came down to it. Basically slackers.
That’s not to say that it’s terrible, because this is part of Broad City’s charm: it’s incredibly relatable. We all have friends who are an Abbi or an Ilana. Abbi is the latent creative who is stuck in a menial job that they truly despise to the bottom of their soul, and Ilana is a recreational marijuana enthusiast who doesn’t really want a job because why should she? We might even be an Abbi or an Ilana ourselves. As I’m writing this now, I know that I’d love to spend the rest of my working career lounging on a chaise longue, slagging off people on Judge Rinder and getting into all sorts of hilarious mishaps. But I like nice things.
Vanity and greed aside, Broad City is an interesting look at a post-Friends New York. A New York that is populated by the poor and by ethnic minorities, not rich and socially enclosed white folk. A New York that is open to anyone who wants to try and tackle it before slumping on the Tube at midnight when their efforts to impress people away from the internet fails and wishing they could eat the Ben and Jerrys that’s slowly melting in their bag with their hands.
With skilful cuts and slight absurdity, Broad City keeps the fluff from bogging down a series that already has so much going on. One scene might be an intrepid trek to pick up a parcel, the next is at a temp agency run by Rachel Dratch (who is always great btw), but they always seem to be believably linked and fit together. You’ll not get any bizarre jumps of logic that Girls was bogged down with, and have to explain to yourself why the characters are suddenly at this place now.
Seeing Glazer and Jacobson’s interpretation of New York is fascinating, hilarious, and hums with a deep melancholia that reminds us that the bigger the city, the more important family and friends are. Jacobson can rely on Glazer for many things; marijuana, an adventure, truths, but she also relies on her to be the other half of her. The half that will model life classes, or Facetime people while she’s having sex with her boyfriend. Each character brings out the best in the other and the what is kicked out is a brilliant addition to the post-Friends comedy landscape.