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TV shows we love: Broad City

tv broad city

Broad City’s pilot follows its two protagonists, Ilana and Abbi, as they skive off work and embark on a quest to raise enough money for concert tickets. Responding to a seemingly innocent Craigslist ad, they find themselves cleaning a strange man’s apartment in their underwear as he pretends to be a baby; he never pays them because “babies have no money”.

This pretty much sets the scene for the rest of this TV show, which first aired in 2014 and ended organically after five seasons. The plot – ‘best friends trying to make it in New York City’ – is hardly a revolutionary premise for a sitcom, but its comically surreal portrayal of early 20s life is somehow incredibly accurate.

Ilana is a carefree, hedonistic slacker whose life purpose is to avoid work as much as possible in pursuit of pleasure. Her brash confidence often clashes with her best friend Abbi’s awkwardness, which haunts her professional and romantic life.

Abbi’s continuous quest for the makings of adulthood – a stable job, a partner, a home – seems doomed to fail as she constantly gets pulled into her friend’s misadventures. As the two navigate life in a big city, they try to strike a balance between being self-sufficient adults and having fun, with hilarious results.

Broad City was originally developed from a web series loosely based on the lives and real-life friendship between Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, creators and stars of the show. It was plucked off Youtube by comedy veteran Amy Poehler, who became executive producer and mentor.

As both its characters and target audience grew up, the show came to a close in 2019, taking with it its uniquely absurd brand of humour which, though not for everyone, was a perfect product of its time.







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