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Broad City

Broad City
Broad City Logo 2014-02-07 20-26.gif
Genre Comedy
Created by
Starring
  • Abbi Jacobson
  • Ilana Glazer
Theme music composer DJ Raff
Opening theme "Latino & Proud"
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 33 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Ilana Glazer
  • Abbi Jacobson
  • Amy Poehler
  • Dave Becky
  • Tony Hernandez
  • Samantha Saifer
Producer(s)
  • Lilly Burns
  • John Skidmore
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Viacom Media Networks
Release
Original network Comedy Central
Picture format 1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Audio format Stereo (2014–15)
5.1 surround sound (2016–)
Original release January 22, 2014 (2014-01-22) – present (present)
External links
Website comedycentral.com/shows/broad-city

Broad City is an American comedy television series, created by and starring Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. It was developed from their web series of the same name, which was independently produced from 2009 to 2011.[1] The creation of the web series began after Glazer received poor feedback on a project she and a partner had been working on. After expressing her frustration to Jacobson, the two decided to work on a project together, eventually creating the web series Broad City.[2] The series is based on Glazer and Jacobson's real life friendship, and their attempt to "make it" in New York.[3] Amy Poehler is one of Broad City's executive producers, and appeared in the webseries finale.[1] The series premiered on Comedy Central on January 22, 2014.[4]

Broad City's fourth season premiered on September 13, 2017.[5] The series has also been renewed for a fifth season.[6]

Synopsis

Broad City follows Ilana and Abbi, two Jewish American women in their twenties, who experience adventures of carelessness and frivolity in New York City. Ilana seeks to avoid working as much as possible while pursuing her relentless hedonism, and Abbi tries to make a career as an illustrator, often getting sidetracked into Ilana's schemes.

Cast

Main cast

Jacobson (left) and Glazer (right) at Internet Week New York in May 2015.
  • Abbi Jacobson as Abbalah "Abbi" Abrams,[4][7] a twenty-five-year-old woman from the Philadelphia Main Line. Like her best friend Ilana, she enjoys smoking marijuana, albeit less often. For the majority of the series, Abbi worked as a cleaner at a fitness center called Soulstice (a parody of, and named for Equinox[8] and SoulCycle[9]). She is eventually promoted to trainer and begins teaching fitness classes for senior citizens. She is also a struggling illustrator who dreams of quitting Soulstice to pursue art full-time. Abbi endeavors to find a balance between being a responsible, self-sufficient adult while being fun-loving and free-spirited like Ilana. She has a roommate who is never seen, although her roommate's freeloading boyfriend Matt, called by his last name "Bevers", is always around. Abbi has a huge crush on her neighbor Jeremy, but manages to embarrass herself every time she's around him. They eventually sleep together, but break up after an argument over a dildo. At the end of Season 3, she begins dating her boss Trey, but attempts to keep it a secret out of embarrassment. Abbi is the more level-headed of the two friends, but can lose her head when intoxicated or participating in competition.
  • Ilana Glazer as Ilana Wexler,[4] a twenty-three-year-old woman from Long Island. She is a slacker and marijuana enthusiast who is often oblivious to how others react to her self-absorbed antics. For the majority of the series, Ilana worked at a nondescript sales company called Deals Deals Deals, but rarely did any work and often took breaks lasting hours. She was disdained by her coworkers because of her lazy attitude, but her passive boss Todd kept her employed due to his submissiveness. She was finally fired after posting the bestiality video "Mr. Hands" to the company Twitter account. She shares an apartment with a gay immigrant named Jaimé, and until the end of season 3 she had an ongoing sexual relationship with Lincoln, a mild-mannered dentist. Ilana regards their relationship as "purely physical," much to Lincoln's dismay, although she often exhibits genuine caring for him. Compared to her best friend Abbi, she is more free-spirited and sexually liberated, but every escapade has unintended consequences—which usually impact Abbi, who is reluctantly dragged into Ilana's schemes.

Recurring cast

  • Hannibal Buress as Lincoln Rice, DDS – a successful pediatric dentist with whom Ilana has a recurring sexual relationship. He has romantic feelings for Ilana and wants to take their relationship further, but she is unreceptive to his advances. He is a funny, easygoing guy and often plays games and tells jokes with his dental patients. He is also a loyal friend to Abbi. In Season 3, he decides that in order to be monogamous with a new girlfriend named Stephanie, he can no longer have a sexual relationship with Ilana and doesn't feel they can be friends either.
  • Paul W. Downs as Trey Pucker – Abbi's boss at Soulstice. He is a genuinely nice guy and a hardcore health and fitness enthusiast. When he was 18, he made homemade masturbation videos under the name "Kirk Steele". For the majority of the series, he was oblivious to Abbi's desire to be a trainer and badgered her to clean things around the gym. Abbi and Trey began dating in Season 3, although Abbi attempted to keep it a secret out of embarrassment and left him humiliated when he heard her describe him to Ilana as a "joke" and a "guilty pleasure."
  • John Gemberling as Matthew "Matty" Bevers – Abbi's (always-absent) roommate's boyfriend who seems to never leave. He is a messy, disgusting freeloader who eats Abbi's food and lives in her apartment rent-free. In spite of this, he has been shown to have a sweet, sensitive side. He is oblivious to Abbi's disdain for him and considers them to be best friends. The Season 4 premiere revealed that when he met Abbi, he was unselfish and in better shape, and implied that his gross ways came about because Abbi unwittingly encouraged him to be that way.
  • Arturo Castro as James "Jaimé" Castro – Ilana's gay drug-dealing roommate. Jaimé is a Guatemalan immigrant who exhibits extreme guilt over what he perceives as wrongs he has committed against his friends; however, they are usually minor transgressions. He becomes an American citizen in Season 2. He and Ilana were in a relationship back in 2011 when they were both students at NYU.
  • Stephen Schneider as Jeremy Santos – Abbi's across-the-hall neighbor, on whom she has a big crush; he is polite and easy-going, but his mere presence reduces Abbi to nervous, regrettable behavior. Abbi and Jeremy eventually sleep together, but break up after she ruins his custom strap-on dildo and can't find a suitable replacement.
  • Chris Gethard as Todd – Ilana's former boss at fictional web "deal" company Deals Deals Deals. He was generally submissive and ineffectual at attempting to curb Ilana's lack of commitment to the job, but finally got the nerve to get rid of her for good in Season 3.
  • Nicole Drespel as Nicole – Ilana's former co-worker, a serious worker who disdains Ilana and secretly documented her offensive activities in the office.
  • Eliot Glazer as Eliot – Ilana's gay brother who got a promotion at work requiring him to move to London, England.
  • Susie Essman as Bobbi Wexler – Ilana and Eliot's mom who lives on Long Island and loves high quality knock-off handbags.
  • Bob Balaban as Arthur Wexler – Ilana and Eliot's dad who lives on Long Island.

Episodes

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 10 January 22, 2014 (2014-01-22) March 26, 2014 (2014-03-26)
2 10 January 14, 2015 (2015-01-14) March 18, 2015 (2015-03-18)
3 10 February 17, 2016 (2016-02-17) April 20, 2016 (2016-04-20)
4 10 September 13, 2017 (2017-09-13) December 6, 2017 (2017-12-06)[10]

Production

Glazer and Jacobson met when they both attended courses at the Upright Citizens Brigade. In February 2010 they started their own web series on YouTube, which proved popular. Amy Poehler became aware of the series and mentored Glazer and Jacobson, becoming executive producer when the show came to TV. When Glazer and Jacobson wrote the pilot script, their characters were named Evelyn Wexler and Carly Abrams[11] respectively, but ended up using their real first names instead. The pair continued writing most of the episodes together, with approximately half of the episodes to date bearing their names as writers.

Paul W. Downs, who produces and stars as Trey, has written several episodes on the series with Lucia Aniello, who has also produced and directed episodes on the series. Paul has written "Working Girls" (episode 1.3), "Knockoffs" (episode 2.4) and "Coat Check" (episode 2.9).[12]

Reception

Ratings

Since its premiere in 2014, Broad City has performed well, averaging 1.2 million viewers per episode, becoming Comedy Central's highest-rated first season since 2012 among the younger demographics, including adults 18–34.[13]

Despite initial commercial success and ongoing positive critical reviews, by March 2016 the show was receiving well under 1 million viewers, with less than 600,000 tuning in during the second week of the month.[14]

Critical reception

The show has received critical acclaim. Review aggregation website Metacritic noted season 1 received "generally favorable reviews," giving it a score of 75 out of 100, based on reviews from 14 critics.[15] Karen Valby from Entertainment Weekly described the show as a "deeply weird, weirdly sweet, and completely hilarious comedy."[16] The Wall Street Journal referred to the show as "Sneak Attack Feminism." Critic Megan Angelo quotes Abbi Jacobson, main star of Comedy Central's Broad City: "If you watch one of our episodes, there’s not a big message, but if you watch all of them, I think, they’re empowering to women.”[17] The A.V. Club critic Caroline Framke wrote that Broad City was "worth watching" despite its "well-trod premise," and that the series is "remarkably self-possessed, even in its first episode."[1]

Season 1 of the show received a 96% "Certified Fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes, based on reviews from 23 critics, with the site's consensus stating, "From its talented producers to its clever writing and superb leads, Broad City boasts an uncommonly fine pedigree."[18] The A.V. Club named Broad City the second best TV show of 2014 for its first season.[19]

Season 2 received positive reviews, with Metacritic giving it a score of 89 out of 100, based on reviews from 8 critics, indicating "universal acclaim."[20] Rotten Tomatoes gave the second season a rating of 100%, based on reviews from 11 critics, with the site's consensus: "Led by two of the funniest women on TV, Broad City uses its stars' vibrant chemistry to lend an element of authenticity to the show's chaotic yet enlightening brand of comedy."[21]

Season 3 received positive reviews as well, with Metacritic giving it a score of 87 out of 100, based on reviews from 8 critics, indicating "universal acclaim." [22] Ben Travers from Indiewire summarizes what he sees as the strengths of the first two episodes of season 3: "Each half hour feels as free-wheeling and wild as Ilana so boldly is, but also as meticulously put-together as Abby [sic] strives to be...the integration of its two creators attitudes into the core makeup of the series helps to illustrate how groundbreaking Broad City really is." [23]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result
2014 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Comedy Series Broad City Nominated
Best Actress in a Comedy Series Ilana Glazer Nominated
2015 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Comedy Series Broad City Nominated
Best Actress in a Comedy Series Ilana Glazer Nominated
Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series Susie Essman Nominated
2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Comedic Performance Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson Nominated

Home Media

DVD title Episodes Release date Rating Additional
Region 1[24] Region 4[25] MPA-C[26] ACB[27]
Season 1 10 December 2, 2014 November 4, 2015 14A MA15+
Season 2 10 January 5, 2016 April 6, 2016 14A MA15+
Season 3 10 January 10, 2017 March 8, 2017 14A MA15+

Controversy

"Broad Fucking City" t-shirt incident

On March 23, 2015, college student Daniel Podolsky was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight which was grounded in St Louis after a gate attendant took issue with the Broad City t-shirt (which read "Broad Fucking City")[29] he had been given as a handout at Comedy Central's SXSW event. Initially receiving coverage on a local Fox affiliate, KTVI, the story was picked up by Glenn Beck's The Blaze[30] and quickly went viral, reaching the home pages of Buzzfeed, CNN, Vice News,[31] and was also featured as the Moment of Zen on The Daily Show. Ilana Glazer responded by tweeting, "I love you, daniel podolsky," along with a link to the Blaze's story.[32]

References

  1. ^ a b c Framke, Caroline (January 22, 2014). "Broad City: 'What A Wonderful World'". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  2. ^ Alter, Charlotte. "8 Things You Didn't Know About Abbi and Ilana". TIME.com. Retrieved 2016-09-21. 
  3. ^ "Id Girls". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2016-09-22. 
  4. ^ a b c "Breaking News – Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer's "Broad City" Comes to Comedy Central(R) on Wednesday, January 22 at 10:30 P.M. ET/PT". TheFutonCritic.com. December 10, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  5. ^ Stanhope, Kate (July 12, 2017). "Comic-Con: 'Broad City' to Unveil Life-Size Coloring Book Activation". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 18, 2017. 
  6. ^ Iannucci, Rebecca (January 6, 2016). "Broad City Renewed for Seasons 4, 5". TVLine. Retrieved February 23, 2016. 
  7. ^ "'Jews on a Plane' script". 
  8. ^ "Broad City’s parodied take on the NYC fitness scene is really perfect". 2 February 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  9. ^ Editor, Jessica Goodman Entertainment; Post, The Huffington (12 February 2014). "The Best New Show You're Not Watching". Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  10. ^ "Broad City – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 25, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Pilot episode script" (PDF). Retrieved August 9, 2015. 
  12. ^ Press, Joy (February 12, 2016). "The Secret Weapons of ‘Broad City’ Make Fine Art From Crude Humor". The New York Times. Retrieved April 3, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Comedy Central Renews 'Broad City' for Second Season". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  14. ^ "Wednesday cable ratings: ‘Broad City’ falls". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved 2016-03-14. 
  15. ^ Broad City at Metacritic, Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  16. ^ Karen Valby (2014-03-13). "Broad City". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2016-01-03. 
  17. ^ Angelo, Megan (14 February 2011). "The Sneak-Attack Feminism of ‘Broad City’". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  18. ^ "Broad City: Season 1". rottentomatoes.com. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  19. ^ Erik Adams; Joshua Alston; Gwen Ihnat; Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya; Myles McNutt; Genevieve Valentine & Scott Von Doviak (December 11, 2014). "The best TV shows of 2014 (part 2)". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Broad City". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  21. ^ "Broad City: Season 2". rottentomatoes.com. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  22. ^ "Broad City". Metacritic. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  23. ^ "Review: 'Broad City' Season 3 Prevails as a Singular and Innovative Comedy of the Now". rottentomatoes.com. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  24. ^ Region 1 DVD:
  25. ^ Region 4 DVD:
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Broad City: Season 2 Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  29. ^ "Man kicked off Southwest flight over language on t-shirt". FOX2now.com. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  30. ^ Zach Noble. "College Student Gets Kicked Off Flight After People Noticed What Was on His Shirt". The Blaze. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  31. ^ Mike Pearl. "Turns Out You Can Get Kicked off a Plane for Wearing a Shirt with the Word 'Fuck' on It". Vice.com. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  32. ^ "Twitter". Retrieved 16 March 2016. 

External links