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Broad City Catch Up

29 Jan

Last week the first episode of Broad City aired on Comedy Central and while it’s going to get unfairly compared to Girls – young women with creative desires who live in New York City – it feels more like Curb Your Enthusiasm or Louie. Or you know its own separate entity. When something is new there is the urge to put it in the “it’s like meets y box (recently I saw Frances Ha as “it’s like Sex and the City meets Girls) for marketing and categorizing reasons and I have been guilty of doing this when describing a TV show or movie. Moving beyond this I want to look at Broad City and the material that existed before the half hour I watched last week. Yes I’m very late to this party.

Broad CityThe first episode introduces Ilana and Abbi (Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson are the creators of Broad City) and it’s very much in the middle of their story, there’s no this is how and why they’re friends. Not that this is necessary and the world already feels developed because it is. Broad City as you’re probably already aware begun as a web series in 2010 and you can watch it here, so this is what I did and here are the ones that stood out. The episodes average between two and five minutes so you can do what I did and binge in two sittings or take your time.

“Subway on a Sunday” is only the third episode and it’s the one that feels the most Larry David to me as this is an extension of the awkward ‘stop and chat.’ While the heightened reality comedic aspects are well done, it’s this observational humor that really strikes a chord with me. It also reminded me of when you say goodbye to someone and then it turns out that you’re going in the same direction as them. Awkward.

For anyone that found Fred Armisen hiding behind a coat stand the funniest thing on Broad City last week, then “Dog Sitting” is one for you. Plus there’s a super cute dog and Ilana’s showing how few boundaries she has coming into play; Ilana’s lack of filer is already one of my favorite things about Broad City. Though I’m totally an Abbi (eye rolling at myself right now). Oh and Ilana is wearing a t-shirt with a drawing of a denim vest and it’s kinda everything.

“Drummer Girls” shows Ilana and Abbi performing in the park and unlike the event in last week’s episode this one is a win for them and it’s totally charming.

Video chat plays an important part in the web series and this has been translated into the show as we saw Ilana throwing up and having sex while video chatting with Abbi (who was less than thrilled with either conversation). See no filter. This is a really fun one involving fake elevators and snack food. Also who doesn’t like music?

In the final installment of the web series the production values are noticeably higher in “I Heart New York.” Oh and there are famous comedic ladies (including the producer of the new show). It’s surreal, yet rooted in reality and involves a great gag with Abbi’s bag. Pretty much everything about the chugger (the charity mugger with the clipboard) is spot on, back when I smoked I was super guilt tripped into signing up.

Talking of the producer here is Amy Poehler talking to Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer about Broad City for Smart Girls at the Party. They discuss the origins of Broad City, their comedy backgrounds and the notion of ‘finding your voice.’ And there’s a dance party.

Watch the web series here and a new episode airs tonight (Wednesday 29) on Comedy Central.

Julie Hammerle

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