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Best Friends Brave Young Adulthood in the Web Series 'Broad City'
July 28, 2013  | By Gabriela Tamariz  | 11 comments

The ladies of Broad City do everything together. They work together, they people-watch in the park, and share the same mustache-waxing schedule.

Created by and starring Upright Citizens Brigade members Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the DIY web series is perfectly awkward as it follows two best friends and the everyday issues young women face living in New York City.

Broad City is often compared to the female-driven HBO comedy series Girls. Yet Broad City takes a different approach in what The Wall Street Journal describes as “sneak attack feminism” by subtracting the melodrama and filling in the gaps with improvisation and neuroticism à la Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. Even the quirky musical introduction makes you feel as though you’re about to bump into an awkward social interaction, just like the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme song “Frolic.”

The web series is dressed to impress with its original writing and cameos by New York comedians such as Hannibal Burress, Kristen Schaal (remember the obsessed, super-fan in the HBO series Flight of the Conchords?) as well as several members of the cast’s family.

UCB alum and comedy queen Amy Poehler has taken Jacobson and Glazer under her wing, and is producing a 30-minute version of the show for Comedy Central, which is slated to debut in 2014. 

Viewers who want to get a jump on what's in store can head to Broad City's YouTube channel to see the series' 2010 debut and subsequent episodes.

Throughout the series, the characters are hilariously developed. Ilana is the messy, cursing one who rolls out of bed and sniffs her clothes to confirm cleanliness before going to work. Abbi is the slightly more responsible, shy one who, at first glance, seems pretty normal, but in reality she’s just as weird as her best friend.

Glazer and Jacobson’s interaction is natural and reminiscent of any best friendship from your early twenties. The two ladies are single, living in New York and poking fun at all the mundane happenings in life. The duo battle random, “first-world” problems of the 21st century like dog-sitting for a weird neighbor, analyzing text messages from a guy, and the prolonging consideration of a co-worker’s Facebook friend request.

“It’s just Facebook? It’s the biggest social network in the world! It’s changing the world!” yells the disgruntled co-worker when Ilana tries to downplay the significance of the social network.

Because of their closeness, Abbi and Ilana are frequently mistaken for a romantic couple, leaving them to "prove" their heterosexuality. Their most memorable defense of their sexuality, in Episode 15: “Mom Brunch”, turns into a competition for a male waiter with lame, thoughtless flirtations.

Broad City does an artful job of tracing the experiences of two best friends who probably spend too much time together. They are braving their young adulthood in the big city, while injecting observational comedy into their big, broad world. The series is refreshing, relatable and highly anticipated as a weekly TV series.


Episode 12: "Instant Karma"

Episode 14: "Work"

Episode 8: "Yoga"

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