February 18, 2020
“Broad City” has helped me through rough times but also stayed with me in the best of times. It serves as a reminder of how good we can have it, and how much we should appreciate our friends.
Friendship is one of the most important parts of humanity. Who can argue that? “Broad City,” the brainchild of real-life friends Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, says exactly what the world needs to know about the bonds we can make with our friends. I can only summarize it in this quote from the show: “To my frond till the end.”
“Broad City” has helped me through rough times but also stayed with me in the best of times. It serves as a reminder of how good we can have it, and how much we should appreciate our friends. Even though Abbi and Ilana (as characters) prefer less wholesome activities (e.g smoking weed, getting drunk and having sex), they find themselves whole when they are together.
Abbi and Ilana’s story revolves around their shenanigans living in New York City. NYC is often painted as the romantic, American paradise, but we all know how dirty and gross the Big Apple can be. “Broad City” chooses to glorify that aspect, rather than step all over it. They prefer the quirky, endless possibilities in New York, and that is what makes the show so hilarious.
The series finale, which premiered in 2019 at the end of the fifth season, has a short storyline of the two kweens (as they call themselves) carrying a high-dollar toilet across the Brooklyn Bridge. What more can you ask of a friend? I will also reference the moment when Abbi carries Ilana out of a fancy restaurant, Ilana having intentionally ingested shellfish, which it turns out she is allergic to. It is funnier when you watch it, trust me.
Glazer and Jacobson carry so much of themselves into the show because of their real-life backgrounds, and it is so obvious. It does not even seem like they are acting. They are actually friends, they know how Jewish people live (they call themselves “Jewesses” in the show and always have some jokes about their religion) and they know the ins and outs of New York. You cannot get any more realistic than that. Truly. They are not acting.
Most important for me are the memories you hold watching the show or finding ways to relate to the show. We all have that one friend in our life, or at least we want to find that one friend. The Abbi to our Ilana or the Ilana to our Abbi. We see ourselves in the characters. (Personally, I’m an Abbi. No doubt about it.)
I watched this show with my best friend at the time (my dear Ilana, I miss you), and that became a huge bonding point between us. The ending was also extremely relatable and sad: Abbi moves to Boulder, CO. And what am I doing? Moving to Boulder. I will miss the friendships I have made out here, but I will never forget the best and most important people in my life. “Broad City” tells us that we need to keep moving, but to never forget those friends, to cherish them while you can and to hold onto the memories that made your friendship so great.
The very last shot of the show is an aerial shot of the city. Ilana is talking to Abbi over FaceTime. We see two more friends walking side-by-side, then another couple of friends, until the screen is nothing but friends walking together and having their own shenanigans. That is why it is important as a show. Ilana and Abbi are no different from us. We just need to recognize that in ourselves and in our friends. We all live in our own “Broad City.”