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Broad City is an American television sitcom created by and starring Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. It was developed from their independent web series of the same name, which was produced between 2009 and 2011.[1] The web series began after Jacobson received poor feedback on a project she and a partner had been working on. Jacobson expressed her frustration to Glazer, and the two decided to work together on a project that became the web series.[2] The sitcom, like the web series, is based on Glazer and Jacobson's real life friendship, and their attempt to "make it" in New York.[3] Amy Poehler is an executive producer of the sitcom, and appeared in the web-series' finale.[1]

Broad City
Broad City Logo 2014-02-07 20-26.gif
GenreSitcom
Created by
Starring
  • Abbi Jacobson
  • Ilana Glazer
Opening theme"Latino & Proud" by DJ Raff
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes50 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Lilly Burns
  • John Skidmore
Running time22 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorViacom Media Networks
Release
Original networkComedy Central
Picture format1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Audio formatStereo (2014–15)
5.1 surround sound (2016–19)
Original releaseJanuary 22, 2014 (2014-01-22) –
March 28, 2019 (2019-03-28)
External links
Website

The sitcom premiered on Comedy Central on January 22, 2014.[4] Its fifth and final season was broadcast in 2019, beginning on January 24 and ending on March 28.[5] Broad City: High Score, a mobile game developed and published by Built Games, was released on April 20, 2018.[6]

SynopsisEdit

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

CastEdit

Main castEdit

 
Jacobson (left) and Glazer (right) at Internet Week New York in May 2015.
  • Abbi Jacobson as Abbi Abrams,[4][7] who was born in 1988 and is from the Philadelphia Main Line. Like her best friend Ilana, she enjoys smoking marijuana, albeit less often. During the first season and most of the second, Abbi works as a cleaner at a fitness center called Soulstice (a parody of, and named for Equinox[8] and SoulCycle).[9] She is 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 lives in Astoria, Queens[10] and has a roommate, Melody, who is never seen. Melody's freeloading boyfriend Matt, called by his last name "Bevers", spends most of his time at Abbi and Melody's apartment. Abbi has a huge crush on her neighbor Jeremy, but manages to embarrass herself every time she is around him. They eventually have sex, but break up soon after Abbi accidentally melts his expensive custom strap-on dildo when she tries to sanitize it by putting it in the dishwasher. In season 3, she has sex with her boss Trey, and they then later go on a date, but she 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. She is an aspiring artist, and her earnestness is palpable.[11] She has an alter ego, Val, who only appears when Abbi is black-out drunk.
  • Ilana Glazer as Ilana Wexler,[4] who was born in 1992 and is a New York University graduate from Long Island. She is an extraverted slacker and marijuana enthusiast who is often oblivious to how others react to her self-absorbed antics. For the majority of the series, Ilana works at a nondescript sales company called Deals! Deals! Deals!, but rarely does any work and often takes breaks lasting hours. She is disdained by her coworkers because of her lazy attitude, but her passive boss Todd keeps her employed due to his submissiveness. She is finally fired after posting the bestiality video "Mr. Hands" on the company's Twitter account. She shares an apartment with gay Guatemalan immigrant Jaimé, and has 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, sexually-liberated, and much more bold and confident. However, every escapade has unintended consequences—which usually impact Abbi, who is reluctantly dragged into Ilana's schemes. It is revealed that Ilana is bisexual, allergic to shellfish, and that she takes antidepressants.

Recurring castEdit

  • Hannibal Buress as Lincoln Rice, DDS – a pediatric dentist with whom Ilana has a casual sexual relationship. He has romantic feelings for Ilana and wants to take their relationship further, but Ilana, who is afraid of commitment, wants to remain sex buddies. He is a funny, easygoing guy and often plays games and tells jokes with his patients. He is also a loyal friend to Abbi. In Season 3, he decides that in order to be monogamous with his new girlfriend Stephanie, he can no longer have sex with Ilana, and does not feel they can be friends either. In Season 4, Ilana and a newly single Lincoln decide to try being in a serious relationship for at least a year, after which they will check-in with each other to see if they wish to continue the relationship.
  • 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 Matt Bevers – Abbi's roommate Melody's boyfriend who rarely leaves, in contrast to Melody herself, who is never actually seen on-screen. He is a messy, lazy, obese 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 (although this often manifests as him generally overstepping Abbi's boundaries). 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, Bevers was unselfish and in good shape, and implied that his gross ways came about because Abbi unwittingly encouraged him to be that way. He has a sister, Marla.
  • Arturo Castro as Jaimé Castro – Ilana's gay roommate. Jaimé is a Guatemalan immigrant; 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. Jaimé is even more neurotic and commitment-phobic than Abbi, but becomes more confident over the course of the show.
  • 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 have sex, but break up after she ruins his custom strap-on dildo and cannot 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 ineffective 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 Wexler – Ilana's gay brother who got a promotion at work requiring him to move to London, England. The actor is Ilana's brother in real life.
  • Susie Essman as Bobbi Wexler – Ilana and Eliot's mother who lives on Long Island and loves gossip and high quality knock-off handbags.
  • Bob Balaban as Arthur Wexler – Ilana and Eliot's father who lives on Long Island.
  • D'Arcy Carden as Gemma – One of Abbi's former co-workers at Soulstice. She is a trainer and seemingly eager to befriend Abbi and Ilana despite having little in common with them. It is implied that she and Trey have some unresolved sexual tension.

EpisodesEdit

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
110January 22, 2014 (2014-01-22)March 26, 2014 (2014-03-26)
210January 14, 2015 (2015-01-14)March 18, 2015 (2015-03-18)
310February 17, 2016 (2016-02-17)April 20, 2016 (2016-04-20)
410September 13, 2017 (2017-09-13)December 6, 2017 (2017-12-06)
510January 24, 2019 (2019-01-24)March 28, 2019

ProductionEdit

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[12] 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).[13]

ReceptionEdit

RatingsEdit

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.[14]

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.[15]

Broad City : U.S. viewers per episode (thousands)
 
SeasonEpisode numberAverage
12345678910
1914867897793784924857854875812858
2863845659771760744661684763672742
3772633599574640569631591530626617
4879614709516548602563561450401584
5408386313269251291304327274299312
Audience measurement performed by Nielsen Media Research.

Critical receptionEdit

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.[16] Karen Valby from Entertainment Weekly described the show as a "deeply weird, weirdly sweet, and completely hilarious comedy."[17] 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.”[18] 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] Critics have compared the show to Seinfeld, especially due to the characters' perceived lack of personal development as well as humor involving the minutae of daily life.[19][20][21]

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."[22] The A.V. Club named Broad City the second best TV show of 2014 for its first season.[23]

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."[24] 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."[25]

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."[26] 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."[27]

In their final season, Glazer and Jacobson open with an episode that unfolds likes a long Instagram story. Over the course of the season, the characters go to MoMA[11] as well as drag brunch. It is Glazer and Jacobson's way of saying goodbye. Of their final season Glazer said: “I feel like we’ve raised these kids, Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler, and we’re sending them to college,” Glazer says. “We didn’t want to just go until it got canceled. We wanted to choose to end it so that it could end as strong as possible. We chose this ending to honor the characters.”[11]

Awards and nominationsEdit

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
2018 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Motion Design Mike Perry (animation director) Won

Home mediaEdit

DVD title Episodes Release date Rating Additional
Region 1[28] Region 4[29] MPA-C[30] ACB[31]
Season 1 10 December 2, 2014 November 4, 2015 14A MA15+

Features:

  • 2-disc set
  • 220 minutes
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0
  • English subtitles SDH
  • Special features:
    • Outtakes & deleted scenes
    • Video commentary on select episodes
    • Photo gallery
    • Includes map of "Broad City" drawn by Abbi
Season 2 10 January 5, 2016 April 6, 2016 14A MA15+

Features:

  • 2-disc set
  • 220 minutes
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0
  • English subtitles SDH
  • Also released on Blu-ray (Region A only - January 5, 2016)[32]
Season 3 10 January 10, 2017 March 8, 2017 14A MA15+

Features:

  • 2-disc set
  • 210 minutes
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0
  • English subtitles SDH
Season 4 10 April 16, 2018 July 3, 2018 14A MA15+

Features:

  • 2-disc set
  • 215 minutes
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0
  • English subtitles SDH
Season 5 10 July 9, 2019 Not Sure 14A MA15+

Features:

  • 2-disc set
  • 222 minutes
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0
  • English subtitles SDH

ReferencesEdit

  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. ^ Nemetz, Dave (April 12, 2018). "Broad City to End With Season 5". TVLine. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  6. ^ "Abbi and Ilana Get the Mobile Game Treatment in Broad City: High Score".
  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. ^ s3 e7
  11. ^ a b c "Broad City's Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer Bring the Art World Back to Earth". Cultured Magazine. 2019-02-04. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  12. ^ "Pilot episode script" (PDF). Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "Comedy Central Renews 'Broad City' for Second Season". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  15. ^ "Wednesday cable ratings: 'Broad City' falls". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved 2016-03-14.
  16. ^ Broad City at Metacritic, Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  17. ^ Karen Valby (2014-03-13). "Broad City". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  18. ^ Angelo, Megan (14 February 2011). "The Sneak-Attack Feminism of 'Broad City'". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  19. ^ Kornhaber, Spencer (13 September 2017). "Darkness on the Edge of 'Broad City'". The Atlantic.
  20. ^ Framke, Caroline; Caswell, Estelle (17 February 2016). "A guide to Broad City's weird and wonderful world of jokes". Vox.
  21. ^ Molotkow, Alexandra (January 16, 2015). "Why Broad City is both good art and responsible pop culture". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  22. ^ "Broad City: Season 1". rottentomatoes.com. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ "Broad City". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  25. ^ "Broad City: Season 2". rottentomatoes.com. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  26. ^ "Broad City". Metacritic. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  27. ^ "Review: 'Broad City' Season 3 Prevails as a Singular and Innovative Comedy of the Now". rottentomatoes.com. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  28. ^ Region 1 DVD:
  29. ^ Region 4 DVD:
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Broad City: Season 2 Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 20 October 2017.

External linksEdit