When it comes to entertainment, nothing is hotter these days than in your face, bombastic humor that tells it like it is in no uncertain terms. Which explains the overwhelming success of shows like Broad City. This show gives us everything we never knew we were looking for in a sitcom with a no-holds-barred attitude that is completely uninhibited and refreshingly unapologetic. The show is about two young women trying to make it in New York City with very few real world skills and very little motivation for anything but leisure. In fact, there’s almost nothing they won’t do to make their dreams of getting stoned and seeing Lil Weezy perform live, as depicted in their explosive pilot that premiered on Comedy Central in the winter of 2014.
The show was originally a web series created by its two leading actors, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson in 2009. By 2011 the series was discovered by Amy Poehler who starred in their final web episode, and off to the big leagues they went. So what’s the secret to their overwhelming success? These two women know exactly how to push the envelope in all the right directions. Let’s start first with the opening scene to their Comedy Central pilot. We begin with a video chat between our two protagonists that seems all too commonplace, just trying to figure out what’s going on with each other’s day. At first it seems as though Ilana is bouncing up and down because she’s very hyper, until you realize that she’s actually mid coitus with a man she is using for sex. He casually greets Abbi when she discovers what’s going on and it becomes apparent that he’s enjoying the ride, but clearly feels objectified.
Both characters end up playing hooky at work so that they can pursue their mission of making some fast cash to pay the cover for a Lil Wayne concert. They find themselves cleaning house in their underwear for a creepy dude found on Craigslist. He’s dressed in a long white turtleneck, silently watching them from dark corners and turns out to have a fetish for pretending he’s a baby. This character is expertly played by none other than Fred Armisen, giving instant cred to the comedic genius behind this new wave of feminist comedy.
What makes the concept so strong is that it takes a strong departure from the kooky humor that we find in shows like New Girl and Modern Family where the problems and conflicts faced by the main characters are so whitewashed and innocent that they are no longer based in reality. And though the situations that Ilana and Abbi find themselves in may not be familiar to the average American, we’ve all known that the Craigslist gig section is rife with these types of postings and most of us wonder how it all actually goes down. Whether this situation is based in much reality or not, we get the sneaking suspicion that it just might be.
Not only that, but most women have been waiting a long time to see empowered young women who are not hunting for husband material like every female sitcom character since Mary Tyler Moore. Instead, these women are enjoying their 20s and looking to get off with the men who turn them on most. They’re acknowledging that the bachelor period is not a gendered phase and they are showing us exactly how it goes down in the big city without fear of being slut shamed or doomed to the life of an “old maid.”
That’s why we love Broad City, Amy Poehler loves Broad City, Fred Armisen loves Broad City, and if you haven’t discovered it yet, you now have 3 seasons to fall in love with too!