Once a cult hit web series and now a critically acclaimed TV series, Comedy Central’s Broad City is the perfect “sick day” binge. We won’t tell you what you should be doing while watching Abbi and Ilana’s totally raunchy, completely hilarious misadventures in New York City, but we will tell you how to find it and why it’s worth watching them clean toilets and score dime bags.
What’s the premise? Abbi (Abbi Jacobson) and Ilana (Ilana Glazer), two broke girls (who aren’t those two broke girls), awkwardly yet hilariously she-bone their way around Gotham City ISO of love, fun, work, money, lost cellphones, missed opportunities, pseudo-sophistication, and weed.
What’s it like? Imagine if the entire cast of Girls weren’t the daughters of well-connected famous folk but instead, were less privileged, more vulgar, and had way less ambition. Or take the fairy tale lifestyle fabulously depicted by Sex and the City 15 years ago and toss it in the gutter. Rather than Dior, de Montparnasse, and de la Renta, Abbi and Ilana rock the Sevigny look by stumbling out in something of an American Apparel and Urban Outfitters tornado of lycra and crop tops paired with Beacon’s Closet secondhand “finds.” And it’s all in the glorious name of feeling fly versus actually looking fabulous. “Gym, tan, laundry” may be the mantra for Jersey Shore, but “high, laid, and paid” is the Ilana and Abbi trifecta.
Where can I see it? Season one is included with an Amazon Prime membership or can be downloaded from iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, or Amazon Instant Video. You can also log into ComedyCentral.com with your cable provider and watch all ten episodes online, or check out the DVD, available as of this month.
How long will it take? With just 10 episodes at 22 minutes apiece, season one can be done in one blur of a day.
What do the critics think? Critics are definitely on board with Broad City. Season one is Certified Fresh at 95 percent on the Tomatometer, with Caroline Framke of AV Club writing, “Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobsen are worth watching. Trust me.” Karen Valby of Entertainment Weekly called Broad City a “deeply weird, weirdly sweet, and completely hilarious comedy,” while Lori Rackl of the Chicago Sun-Times said “This outgrowth of a cult-hit web series is a lighter, wackier and often funnier version of HBO’s Girls.”
Why should I watch this? While Ilanna and Abbi audaciously dive head-first into things few even dare to joke about, the show is what some might call “sneak attack feminism.” Their hilarious, frenetically spoken stream of consciousness covers everything from fears to fetishes and plays out like a show Jerry Seinfeld would say is about nothing — but the broads emphatically show is about everything. “If you watch one of our episodes, there’s not a big message,” Jacobson told The Wall Street Journal. “But if you watch all of them, I think they’re empowering to women.” Plus, they have upped the ante from first season guesties like Amy Poehler and Janeane Garofalo to Seth Rogen and Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s Susie Essman in season two. Also, two words: Hannibal Buress. Hannibal Buress. Hannibal Buress. (Okay, six words.) The comedian plays Ilanna’s super-patient and adorably loving friend-with-benefits-dentist-not-quite-boyfriend.
What’s my next step? If you’re obsessed with Broad City like most die-hard fans, then you’ll likely love Kroll Show, Inside Amy Schumer, Key & Peele, Drunk History, The Birthday Boys, and pretty much everything by executive producer Amy Poehler. For other funny New York City stories, check out HBO’s Girls, How to Make it in America, and The Life and Times of Tim.
Are you ready to go Broad? Tell us why!