Broad City succeeds through flawed characters and great chemistry

Spenser Milo March 26, 2014 0
Broad City succeeds through flawed characters and great chemistry

For a little under a decade, Comedy Central has been the home for shows that never see a second season. It was a wasteland of sketch shows from comedians, for comedians or odd animated outlets that couldn’t find a viable audience even when placed behind the network’s longest running, most popular show South Park. Other than South Park, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and the occasional stand-up special, there was no reason to tune into Comedy Central unless you wanted to be disappointed creatively or upset that nobody was watching a show you thought was funny. Now, though, the network’s new show Broad City has given audiences a viable form of entertainment that speaks for itself.

Finishing up its first season tonight, Broad City has been making headlines as one of this year’s funniest shows. Already renewed for a second season, there’s no need to worry about its fate on Comedy Central because they are very aware of the show’s hit status among its demographic — especially considering that it didn’t need a Netflix boost like the network’s only other comedy hit, Workaholics. Approaching the show in a stand out way, comedians Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson have not only made audiences fall in love with them in less than ten episodes, they’ve made audiences fall in love with them after demonstrating all their flaws. To put it simply, Broad City is a very gross, negative, ridiculously unfair show that isn’t afraid to shove Abbi or Ilana into a position of utter disgusting behavior like hiding weed in a vagina (“nature’s pocket”), or nearly killing someone else’s dog, or — in tonight’s episode — peeing out a condom.

Abbi and Ilana host a hurricane party to hilarious results (Comedy Central)

Abbi throws a hurricane party (Comedy Central)

Of course, this kind of behavior is right up Comedy Central’s alley and nobody else’s. Yet Broad City has crossover and super hit appeal already. Glazer and Jacobson are currently on a comedy tour and the show’s second season is likely to premiere by the end of this year in order to really ride on its rising popularity. This could be because of Glazer and Jacobson’s connection to Broad City‘s material; it was born years ago as a web series, which explains just how their characters, their world, and plots are all so magnificently solid. Or maybe it’s due to Amy Poehler’s producer credit which, in all honesty, gives the show a leg-up when compared to other shows on Comedy Central or another comedy premiering this year. Broad City isn’t a flash in the pan, that’s for sure.

Really, though, the correct reason as to why Broad City stands out within its small, freshman season is simple: It’s the chemistry between Abbi and Ilana that makes all these wild, absolutely ridiculous shenanigans a lot more fun to watch than if it were on any other show. There’s a strong, deep-rooted history between the two main characters that allows for their behavior and situations to not only seem plausible, but extremely exciting to witness. Not to mention the show takes on a Louie-like trait in basically having each episode represent a certain stand-up bit, letting the jokes fly off an already funny premise. The heart of Broad City relies heavily on Abbi and Ilana’s friendship, so a funny premise isn’t necessary for an episode to work. Tonight’s finale is no exception; there’s barely a plot to follow, so the two friends run rampant into the bizarre world created by the two writers. It delivers as both a  great single episode and a successful finale to one of the best freshman comedy seasons in a very long time.

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