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Turning Two with Broad City: Abbi, Ilana and Me

17 Mar

TV Ate My Wardrobe turns two next month and with this comes far too much introspection and anxiety when contemplating what I have/haven’t done since its inception. Carving out a corner of one’s own is a daunting task when the internet has already been chopped up in every way imaginable and if there’s one show to aid optimism rather than feed my hypercritical side it is Broad City. Yesterday I wrote about the notion of faking everything on Girls and while the two shows are of course very different the location and age/gender of the protagonists leads to automatic comparisons. The reason I bring it up is because Abbi and Ilana aren’t so much faking anything and instead they are taking the opportunities they have and running with them even if this results in falling down a hole in a park or smashing a very expensive mirror. 

Broad City 2.08There are a lot of things to write about Broad City this season and for some inexplicable reason I’ve been experiencing a kind of block with what direction to take this piece in. The garbled notes this post started as looked a little something like this:

Bras

Drew Barrymore impression

Lady friendship

Sex-positive

Body confidence

Style

Kelly fucking Ripa

VAL

Analyze this if you will and the one somewhat cohesive element is that every single thing on that list is something you can derive a lot of joy from and Broad City’s appeal lies in how much fun is to be had by the characters on screen and from watching it.

Role model is a term which suggests living the ‘right’ way and rather Abbi and Ilana (both Wexler/Abrams and Glazer/Jacobson) are showing how to live your best life whether its sitting on the couch falling into the occasional internet hole or trying to progress with your dream job or even your dreamish one. It is telling a different story of your twenties which doesn’t necessarily rely on falling in love or making a buttload of money; if you’ve got your best friend by your side and a day of unplanned adventure whether that’s finding the Narnia of parties or skating to a dog wedding this is all you need in that moment. Your twenties is not just for the daily grind of figuring it out but having someone to do this with.

Broad City 2.05It doesn’t really feel like there is anything else quite like Broad City on TV particularly in regards to sex-positive storylines such as Abbi’s pegging experience and Ilana’s encounter with a woman who looks a whole lot like her last week (Alia Shawkat shout out). These aren’t portrayed as A Very Special Episode BIG DEAL encounters nor is Abbi and Ilana’s sexuality played just for laughs. Things go right, things go wrong and the other is always just a phone call or video chat step away for all or none of the advice they might need.

The clothes worn on screen is a big part of who we are at TV Ate My Wardrobe and Broad City’s costume design features an endless stream of crop/vest tops, funky bras and leggings making this a summer show for the ages. Ah yes Broad City shoots in the sunnier months so the warmer climate attire reads a little odd while I’m up to my eyeballs in knitwear, but it also plays into the wish fulfillment aspect. Abbi and Ilana don’t just excel at all things casual as they kill it whenever they have a fancier affair to attend whether its Abbi rewearing her “Fattest Asses” dress of glory (because this is what people do) or Ilana’s shiva outfit in “Knockoffs” (a personal favorite of mine and one that also incorporates the top Ilana wore in “Fattest Asses”).

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One of TV Ate My Wardrobe’s regular features is “The Wish List” and generally everything featured on there would either fall into the splurge or ‘there is no way I could ever afford this’ category. With Broad City the outfits come from places within Abbi and Ilana’s means and recently costume designer Staci Greenbaum spoke to Flavorwire mentioning where they shop “We tend to do a lot of H&M, Topshop, Forever 21. We do thrift stores. We do Beacon’s Closet sometimes, as you saw.” The dress Abbi wore in “Coat Check” when she went to Kelly Ripa’s to return her jacket is from H&M and it is something this Jane the Virgin post touched on; after almost two years of writing about the clothes we see on screen I can tell you it makes a difference when you see a character wearing something that is fancy affordable rather than a gorgeous, but crazy expensive item.

Broad City 2.09Style and figure wise I am far more Abbi than Ilana as the thought of wearing either a crop top or shorts has me running for the hills. The body confidence of both women is something to celebrate as we’ve seen both each of them shed their clothes this season – with blur bars – from Abbi’s Lady Gaga naked apartment dance to Ilana’s modeling in Abbi’s life drawing class. And what about Val? Abbie’s blackout drunk alter ego and the moment that made me scream the most (so far) this season. So unexpected, so amazing and the perfect way to deal with Ilana’s FOMO.

Broad City ValCheesy sounding sentiment it might be but there is something incredibly inspiring about Broad City and the two women behind the show and in front of the camera; I am proud of what this website has achieved so far but I know there is still the Narnia of parties out there and my Val moment is yet to come. When I feel like garbage and in one of those feeling worthless spirals I know a Broad City pick me up will help resolve the funk and give a push in the right direction. And before I spill too much all over the page I want to close on one of another season 2 highlight moments from and why I heart Abbi and Ilana so hard. It’s just like how Abbi feels about Drew Barrymore.

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2 Responses to “Turning Two with Broad City: Abbi, Ilana and Me”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Mindy Project, Nora Ephron and the Many Roads Traveled   | TV Ate My Wardrobe - March 24, 2015

    […] elicits fist pumps, giving the kind of confidence boost I mentioned in reference to Broad City last week. Here is a big, fabulous section which feels like it rather successfully points to Mindy […]

  2. TV to be Thankful For: A Pre-End of Year List (of Sorts) | TV Ate My Wardrobe - November 26, 2015

    […] Everything Abbi and Ilana. […]

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