4 and 3 and 2 and 1…if you know this opening sound, you’re probably a Broad City fan.
In 2014, two badass female comedians, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, created fictionalized versions of themselves and gave the world the diverse feminist stoner comedy show we all deserved. Although it ended a few weeks ago (RIP), Broad City pushed every TV boundary and cliché you could think of. Two girls out in New York City never looked so different on our screens. Instead of the pristine apartments and easy-going lifestyles we saw in shows like Friends and Sex and the City, we are introduced to smoke sessions in grimy bathrooms, roommate’s live-in boyfriends who steal your food, and resident rat-bastards who give birth in a cheese basket.
The show follows Ilana Wexler and Abbi Jacobson, two twenty-somethings galivanting around New York City in a not-so-glamorous way. Abbi, the older of the duo, is an aspiring illustrator with an amazing ass and passion for Bed Bath and Beyond, while Ilana shows us a free spirit with her wide assortment of graphic tees and blatant openness about her sexuality. For years we’ve watched their encounters with way-too-real New York stereotypes like creepy locksmiths, fabulous restaurant owners, and excessively wealthy New York moms.
Throughout all of their adventures, the duo openly discusses sex and drugs through a feminist agenda in a way that had never been done in a television program before. With episodes dedicated to weed, shrooms, and molly, we see the normality of recreational drug use—something no one talks about, but which most people partake in. We also get to see the opposing side of “womanizing” as we watch Ilana reject monogamy and take control of her sexuality to have relationships with whomever she pleases (and talk about them in extremely graphic ways). The same goes for the way the show not only talks about but normalizes female masturbation, a subject rarely touched on in television, that is shamed and hushed than male masturbation. Broad City exemplified to the world transparency in female comedy, taking charge and talking about issues that affect women in a blatant way that had never before been done.
Glazer and Jacobson were committed to having an innovative program. The opening graphic was never repeated, and they once aired an entire episode through the lens of an Instagram story. After President Trump got elected, the two creators wrote a controversial episode where Ilana couldn’t orgasm until she forgot about him and remembered all the badass female power figures in the world, followed by a montage of Michelle Obama, Toni Morrison, Malala Yousafzai, Rihanna, and so, so many more women who have inspired girls everywhere to work hard and teach them they can dream as large as they want.
Broad City brought us 2018’s token “Yas Queen,” reminded us to never leave home without the essential “PKW” (phone, keys, wallet—thanks, Lincoln), taught us the joys of pegging, showed us where to get knock-off designer bags, and how to take a great driver’s license photo. We got celebrity cameos from Fred Armisen, Amy Poehler, Seth Rogen, Kelly Ripa, Cynthia Nixon, Hillary Clinton, Blake Griffin, Tracee Ellis Ross, RuPaul, Shania Twain, Steve Buscemi, and more. The world watched as Abbi and Ilana missed not one, but two Lil Wayne concerts, cleaned pubes from gym showers, killed boss’s cats, got wisdom teeth taken out, fought nasty eye infections, got bed bugs, went to Florida, survived hurricanes and apartment hunting (to the same degree of fear), got back stolen phones from city tourists, and made it through the pain of taking off way-too-long acrylic nails.
Over the past five years, Abbi and Ilana taught us love, creativity, perseverance in the face of everything going wrong, and most importantly, not to mix caviar, champagne, and fancy cheese at a party unless you want to shit your pants. For that, we are forever thankful.
COVER PHOTO: Tablet Mag