When introducing your show to an audience it’s important that the first few moments are an honest declaration of your show’s intentions. This creates a contract between the program and the viewer stating this is who we are, this is what we do, and if you find it entertaining then we promise to continue producing that standard throughout the lifetime of the series.
Broad City’s creators, writers, and stars Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer elected to use these moments to clearly define their characters and the differences between them. Abbi’s character is the more grown up one. She’s mature, sensible and organised. That’s why the opening shot sees her holding a dildo with a post-it note stuck on, letting her know the exact time and date she has allocated for masturbation. Ilana, the more free-spirited, fun-loving of the two, Skypes Abbi while having sex with someone who is confused as to the status of their relationship.
Now you know that the show and its characters are a little fucked up, but that’s ok because if you’re still watching you’re a little fucked up too, so we can all be fucked up together. People keep saying that Broad City is like a female version of Workaholics but I’m going to compare it more to HBO’s Girls for two reasons. Firstly, I like Girls; secondly neither of Broad City’s two main leads inspire me to go on a despair driven rampage, culling the population of douchebags in their mid-twenties.
So, Broad City is like Girls on a cocktail of marijuana smoke and Red Bull. Both hazily surreal and childishly hyperactive, the program veers from scene to scene, each of which could be its own little self-contained sketch, betraying its roots as a YouTube series of two minute videos. The jokes are funny, gentle natured, and charming.
They nail the tone of the show too, with just the right amount of awkward to stop my social anxiety from begging me to change the channel, just enough optimism to stop it from being tedious, just enough cynicism to stop it getting corny. Also, as stoner humour is usually the strict domain of the dude, Broad City is a refreshing change of pace.
New episodes of Broad City are on Comedy Central every Wednesday at 11pm.