Originally published online at BLUNT Magazine.
Broad City: Season 1
4.5 / 5
If, for whatever reason, you’ve somehow missed out on the comedic gem that is Broad City – were you asleep? Trapped in a bunker or something? – you can atone for your pop culture sins by picking up a copy of the entire first season on DVD (Roadshow Entertainment have got you covered from November 6, yo).
The series follows two twenty-something friends, the hedonistic slacker Ilana and the neurotic but responsible Abbi, as they attempt to make their way through adulthood in New York City. It’s one of the most spot-on portrayals of what it’s like to be in your twenties, where even the simplest task of getting your taxes done or tracking down your lost phone is a confusing nightmare. It walks the fine line of either being Too Real (Girls) or Too Cartoony (Two Broke Girls) without falling into one or the other.
There’s an absurdly amazing episode opening which sees the girls entering a bank and performing an elaborate hip hop video homage set to Drake’s “Started From The Bottom”, only for it to quickly snap back to reality where Abbi awkwardly deposits $8,000 with an unimpressed cashier. It’s these weird little victories that seem so insignificant to others, but mean so much to you personally, that this show celebrates.
Abbi and Ilana, who play exaggerated versions of themselves, have an incredible chemistry with one another. It’s a show very heavy on dialogue, and the two comedians are able to play off one another perfectly. Ilana’s street-smart but weirdly oblivious attitude (she’s never read a newspaper) combines so well with Abbi’s more sensible, more restrained lifestyle (she sets dates aside for masturbation).
In one episode, the gang are trying to get to a wedding and despite numerous setbacks, they end up in the back of a moving-van. Abbi manages to strap herself to the van’s walls while Ilana busts out some amazing dance moves to remain in sync with the van as it rocks in traffic. It’s a great moment that shows how different, yet how similarly bizarre their approaches to life are.
The cast is rounded out with some great supporting characters: Hannibal Buress plays Ilana’s easy-going, not-boyfriend Lincoln, who delivers some of the show’s best lines – he refuses to adopt a puppy because he “can’t inflict upon a dog the crazy life of a dentist”. John Geberling does a great performance as that guy, playing Bevers, the slob boyfriend of Abbi’s always-absent roommate, who is permanently glued to her couch playing video games in his underpants. There are also some great cameos from comedians like Fred Armisen, in one of his most hilariously creepy roles yet, along with Amy Sedaris as a deeply troubled real estate agent and an appearance from the show’s executive producer Amy Poehler.
We’re in a great period of television, with some insanely talented women like Amy Schumer and Mindy Kaling finally getting the recognition they deserve and absolutely killing it with their own series. Broad City easily stands with the best of them (and possibly even above them, depending on who you ask) and is a fantastic sitcom that perfectly captures what it feels like to be in your mid-twenties. It’s a celebration of making it little by little, with one of the realest feeling friendships you’ve ever seen.