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Top 10 Reasons Why Broad City is the Best Show on TV

Hands down, Broad City is the best comedy show currently airing.

I’m serious.

I could have written 50 reasons why it is the best thing to happen to television but typing is hard and I really need to disconnect from the matrix and passionately hug a tree.

Here is my top ten list that will hopefully convince you to tune in.

There are (only slight) spoilers and maybe some NSFW content. You have been warned.

Reason Number 10: It passes the Bechdel-Wallace Test. Every. Goddamn. Time. Even the “Hack into Broad City” shorts I watched have passed. Yeah, yeah. I know. The Bechdel test doesn’t make a show more feminist or less sexist or necessarily more interesting but I’d argue that it does make it better.

Statistics show that movies that pass the test, make more money. And if you are familiar with the show or it’s lead actors you know that Abbi and Ilana are extremely funny, bankable and badass.

Here is a video clip from the first season where Abbi finally gets a paycheck for selling an illustration she created. (IRL Abbi is an artist too.)

Reason Number 9: The cast and crew. Amy Poelher, is a feminist ninja and we love her. She is one of the executive producers on this show and like a good ninja appears without warning in one episode with a cameo as a chef.

Amy poehler Broad City

Poehler has also has directed at least one episode. We know that Parks and Rec is ending this year so it’s nice to know that she is helping to cook up some quality comedy on the side and that she has her hands in other progressive, women fronted, comedic programming. If Amy thinks it is smart and funny, it probably is.

The rest of the cast is brilliant as well. Whoever casted Hannibal Buress as Lincoln should be kissed on the lips, hard.

lincoln

There are some other great cameos you are sure to recognize.

A full cast list is here on IMDB.

Reason Number 8: Broad City is really sex positive and it’s from the perspective of women. There simply are not a lot of shows out there that are capable of discussing sex in a realistic and fun way from a woman’s point of view. Broad City manages to express the enthusiasm of sexually active adults with all its fun and awkwardness without constantly fetishizing the female form or the desire to be tied down. So many other shows on television depict sex from a woman’s perspective as simply a means to get married or to land a boyfriend. These gals are much more interested in having a good time and often reject the idea of monogamous relationships. Landing a single partner is not the reason they are shown having sex. They are having consensual sex and participating in relationships because they are enjoying themselves.

truly wet

abby dildo

Here is a promo clip that flips the objectification of women trope on it’s head.

Reason Number 7: It’s hilarious. It’s unpredictable. I have never watched a single episode where I thought to myself, “Oh, I KNEW that was gonna happen.”

Here is a clip from one of the strange places Abbi ends up.

Reason Number 6: They tell us some life truths. And not just about microscopic shrimp and penis size. Check out this Mashable post for some fact checking fun from season 2 and learn why no one in New York is technically vegan.

Reason Number 5: Speaking of truth, they show it like it really is too. Being a struggling artist in a big city is fucking haaaaard. Being young and trying to make it on a working class salary anywhere is hard. Too many shows on television depict over glamorized, upper class lifestyles that are not only unattainable but often unrealistic. It makes your own life seem sad in comparison. Broad City keeps it real. And I feel you Abbi, my first art show was in a vegan sandwich shop too. We all gotta start somewhere. Abbi and Ilana help us to laugh at our struggle up the ladder and you really feel like they would help nudge your ass up that ladder if you needed a push.

broad-citymaced

Reason Number 4. They openly participate in the use of recreational marijuana and have fun doing it. I’m not saying that the glorification of pot is an across the board a good thing. But it’s high time that marijuana should become legal as a recreational drug for adults in the same way that alcohol is. Just as with alcohol, responsible and safe use is the key. Broad City manages to show the good times you can have with weed while also pointing out why too much pot can be a bad idea.

Reason Number 3. Broad City reminds us that female friendship and love is a very important and positive thing. Too many shows pit women against each other in some sort of sexualized competition. Broad City shows what it’s like to have real honest friendships with other women. Abbi and Ilana remind us on each episode of how great it is to have a best friend and that women can truly love and support each other both on screen and off.

best friends

Reason Number 2. It’s wide open in how it portrays sexuality. There are characters that are into all kinds of different types of sex, kink and multiple partners and this is treated on the show the way it should be treated. Not as unusual or weird but as a normal part of life for many healthy, sexually active adults.

broad

Reason Number 1. This is a show that came from the minds of two women that started out as a web series and then found it’s way to a major network. That is some inspiring and empowering shit right there. And it is a reminder that if you have talent and a great idea, you really can make it happen on your own. Abbi and Ilana wrote and created a truly brilliant comedic series that not only allows us to laugh with and love these women, but will hopefully inspire many more genius DIY actors and creators in the future.

If there aren’t enough roles for women, you can make your own.

Bonus clip: Abbi and Ilana are “Feminist Heroes”

Broad City staring Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer is on Comedy Central and you should be watching it.

Amy Roth

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics and is the founder and president of the Los Angeles Women's Atheist and Agnostic Group: LAWAAG. She is also the fearless leader of Mad Art Lab and cohost of Mad Art Cast. Support her on Patreon. Follow her on twitter: @SurlyAmy or on Google+.

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7 Comments

  1. February 20, 2015 at 12:34 pm —

    On of my favorite shows on right now. Mainly as you pointed out it never let’s you know where it’s going, and I can say I can’t really think of a favorite episode because I love them all. But if had to I could come up with two, Destination Wedding with everything in the moving truck and Hashtag FOMO, the whole Val thing just came out of no where and was so great.

    • February 20, 2015 at 1:30 pm —

      The Speakeasy where Val is shown performing is a real place. I need to go there someday!

  2. February 20, 2015 at 1:58 pm —

    My girlfriend introduced me to this show, one of the many reasons I love her.

  3. February 20, 2015 at 2:42 pm —

    I could definitely get into this.

  4. February 21, 2015 at 8:16 pm —

    I just came here to agree 100% with this article. I try to get everyone I know to watch Broad City.

  5. February 25, 2015 at 1:56 pm —

    This show also had an episode in which Abbi has sex with an unconscious man and it’s played for laughs.

    • February 25, 2015 at 4:17 pm —

      Have you watched the show? Really, REALLY watched it? Nothing is played just for laughs.

      http://flavorwire.com/499179/from-broad-city-to-fey-and-poehler-when-female-comedians-tell-rape-jokes

      It’s subversive.

      Also, I note you didn’t mention that he didn’t start out unconscious.

      The rape joke can’t be considered outside its context and questions of agency, either — or the fact that the “victim” is Seth Rogen, living avatar of the kind of male-dominated stoner/potty comedy that Broad City gender-flips. I found the jokes amusing, in part, simply because they were coming out of Abbi Jacobson’s foul feminist mouth and I trust her. And because, as with Fey and Poehler’s Cosby routine, rapists — not rape victims — were the butt of the joke.

      Furthermore, the comedians and their characters clearly have a solid understanding of what rape actually is, which they transmit to the audience (sex with an unconscious partner, even if the unconsciousness happens partway through). And their characters hand-wring over it as much as any diehard feminist on Tumblr might, at least at first, before getting on with their narcissistic lives. That’s part of the humor, too, a mash-up of hardcore feminist talking points with inverted misogyny. Would a man in Abbi’s position have the same anguished regrets or epiphany about his transgression of boundaries? Not if recent surveys about male attitudes towards rape show us anything.

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