If you want a comedy that actually features strong female leads who are hilarious and real, then you need to check out Comedy Central’s Broad City (also available on Hulu).
There’s no denying that the comedy genre in Hollywood is inundated with men–there are many silly, slapstick movies with men making crude jokes–so it was incredibly refreshing for me to come across Ilana and Abbi, two best friends living in New York City, who make the same jokes that men would enjoy, but also for women. They talk about their lady parts, menstruation, sex, and more in a way that is as out there and uncensored as male comedians, and for that, I respect them immensely.
I enjoyed this show and still leave it on in the background at times because these two women are hilarious and yet incredibly down to earth. They frequently strip down to show how “average” they are–and I mean literally. They are not shy about their bodies. Constantly seeing Abbi unashamed of her body was inspiring to me (Ilana actually does have a pretty fit, curvy body), and this is the body image positivity we desperately need more of in the world. Additionally, they barely style their hair, wear makeup, or dress up. They completely embody normal women you’d run into in the city.
Apart from the outer appearances, the girls constantly talk about sex, are figuring out what to do with their career-less lives, make poop jokes (which might not be your thing but at least shows that women aren’t at all the dainty flowers whose farts smell like roses that men try to make us out to be), and are total friendship goals, which is the next point I want to make. I love how balanced and healthy their relationship is.
Although Abbi might at first seem more of the “prude” than Ilana, she shows that she has a wild side and is comfortable being herself. She can be pretty weird, too, which I love. But she also states what makes her uncomfortable, which I respect. Normally, her type is portrayed as the one leaning on the more extroverted one, but actually, this is reversed in this show. We see the bolder and crazier Ilana girl-crushing hard on the generally more mellow Abbi, resulting in a well-balanced, excellent chemistry between the two besties.
All of the characters are pretty great and diverse in Broad City. I love their families, like Ilana’s easygoing parents and her gay brother (who is actually played by her real gay brother, Eliot Glazer). I absolutely love Lincoln, the dentist who is in an open relationship with the bisexual Ilana; the peppy, sweet Trey from Soulstice; and Jaimé who loves all things American.
Moving on, Broad City accurately portrays New York City for what it is: full of weirdos, disgusting with rats and humidity and garbage everywhere, tough, and more. As someone who lives near New York City, I hate going there for the most part because of all these reasons, so it was awesome to see a series actually show all the negative aspects of the city–while somehow still making it charming and familiar. There’s something cozy about how they portray the harsh living conditions of the Big Apple–yes, it’s terrible but they love it, which makes me warm up to it, as well. They’re showing me all the reality of it in a way that I respect. The city is not all glossy and glamorous like in other shows (cough, Sex and the City).
The writing is excellent with comedic twists and turns perfectly executed by Abbi and Ilana, who are the creators of the show. There are well-incorporated guests who blend in so well they don’t even seem to be guests who only show up for five minutes in the episode. The only downside for me is that there are a TON of references to and episodes entirely based on drugs, which isn’t my thing. I never find it funny when someone acts really high on TV, but that’s just a personal preference. This may be a total plus for you.
Seriously, I highly recommend this show if you are looking for a great cast, awesome women you can actually relate to, hilarious situations, urban life portrayed realistically, and more. Broad City will make you smile.
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