Broad City is an American sitcom that premiered on Comedy Central on January 22, 2014. Broad City is about two friends in their twenties living in New York City.
The series was created by Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, who also star as the series leads, and was developed from their web series of the same name that was produced from 2009 to 2011. Amy Poehler is one of Broad City's executive producers, and had previously appeared in the webseries finale. On January 14, 2015 it was renewed for a third season.
Broad City follows Ilana and Abbi, two Jewish women in their twenties, who experience misadventures 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 hijinks.
- Ilana Glazer as Ilana Wexler, a twenty-three-year-old slacker and marijuana enthusiast who is often oblivious to (or apathetic about) how others react to her self-absorbed antics. She 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 lives with an immigrant named Jaimé and has a persisting sexual relationship with her and Abbi's friend Lincoln (a dentist). Although Ilana regards this relationship as "purely physical" (much to Lincoln's dismay), 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.
- Abbi Jacobson as Abbi Abrams, a twenty-six-year-old who works as a lowly custodian at a fitness center called Soulstice. She hates her job and thinks she's qualified to be a trainer, but opportunities elude her. She is also a struggling artist and 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 the roommate's freeloading boyfriend Matt, called by his last name "Bevers", is always around. She has a huge crush on her neighbor Jeremy, but manages to embarrass herself every time she's around him. Like her best friend Ilana, she enjoys smoking marijuana, albeit less often.
- 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 the relationship to the next level, but she has thus far been 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.
- John Gemberling as Matt Bevers – Abbi's (always-absent) roommate's boyfriend who seems to never leave. He is a messy, disgusting freeloader and a constant nuisance to Abbi. In spite of this, he has been shown on a couple of occasions to have a sweet, sensitive side.
- 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.
- Arturo Castro as Jaimé Castro – Ilana's drug dealing gay roommate. Jaimé is a Venezuelan immigrant who exhibits extreme guilt over what he perceives as wrongs he has committed against his friends; however, they are usually minor transgressions.
- Paul W. Downs as Trey – Abbi's boss at Soulstice. He is a hardcore health and fitness enthusiast. Although a nice guy, he is oblivious to Abbi's desire to be a trainer and badgers her to clean things around the gym (running gags such as cleaning pubes or vomit in the changeroom). Paul is also a writer on Broad City, having written "Working Girls" (episode 1.3) and "Knockoffs" (episode 2.4).
- Chris Gethard as Todd – Ilana's boss at the web "deal" company. He is generally submissive and ineffectual at attempting to curb Ilana's lack of commitment to the job.
- Nicole Drespel as Nicole – Ilana's co-worker who is a serious worker and secretly documents her activities.
Guest stars and cameos
- Kelly Ripa as herself, an attendee of a charity in which Ilana and Abbi are working the coat check.
- Amy Poehler as Cheryl, a chef at the fancy restaurant where Abbi and Ilana eat to celebrate Abbi's birthday.
- Seth Morris as John, a waiter at the same restaurant. He is in an unhappy relationship with Cheryl.
- Amy Sedaris as Pam, a manic real estate broker who tries to find Abbi an apartment.
- Rachel Dratch as Linda Lodi, a temp agency owner who temporarily hires Ilana.
- Matt L. Jones and Jason Mantzoukas as two mediocre DJs with whom Abbi and Ilana hook up.
- Janeane Garofalo as Monica, veterinarian whom Ilana seeks help from.
- Fred Armisen as David, a man who acts like a talking baby in order to avoid paying Abbi and Ilana for an "odd job".
- Steven Ogg as a creepy locksmith.
- Shannon O'Neill as Marla Bevers, Matt's eccentric sister.
- Seth Rogen as Male Stacy, Abbi's "hot and sweaty" date.
- Kumail Nanjiani as Benny Calitri.
- Susie Essman and Bob Balaban as Bobbi and Arthur Wexler, Ilana's parents.
- Kyp Malone from TV on the Radio as a music store employee.
- Amy Ryan as the mother of a child Ilana babysits.
- Kimiko Glenn as a surly second-hand clothing store employee.
- Alia Shawkat as Adele
- Aidy Bryant and Conner O'Malley as an annoying couple who are acquaintances of Abbi and Ilana's.
- Patricia Clarkson as the mother of a man who steals Abbi's bag.
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 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.
Critic compiler website Metacritic noted season 1 received "generally favorable reviews," giving it a score of 75 out of 100, based on 14 critics. Season 1 of the show received a 96% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus reading, "From its talented producers to its clever writing and superb leads, Broad City boasts an uncommonly fine pedigree." 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." The site also named Broad City the second best TV show of 2014 for its first season.
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.”
Karen Valby from Entertainment Weekly describes the show as a "deeply weird, weirdly sweet, and completely hilarious comedy."
The show debuted with strong reviews, although it only started off with approximately 914,000 viewers.
Season 2 was met with better reviews than the first, with a score of 89 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim." On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season has a rating of 100% with a consensus of: "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."
"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") 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 and quickly went viral, reaching the home pages of Buzzfeed, CNN, Vice News, and was also featured as the Moment of Zen on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Ilana Glazer responded by tweeting, "I love you, daniel podolsky," along with a link to the Blaze's story.
Awards and nominations