"Broad City" end its successful run after this current season, leaving a legacy for ladies of comedy to follow.

Image By: Channing Smith

Relatable, revolutionary, respected: Female representation finds a home in ‘Broad City’

“Broad City,” the beautiful brainchild of comedians Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, will come to a close after the current fifth season. The show centers around the female duo who play exaggerated versions of themselves as they struggle to pay New York City rent, make the most of their 20s and maybe smoke too much weed. 

The show began as a web series, and when season one aired on Comedy Central in 2014, the premise was groundbreaking. Never before had two female characters been so sex-positive. Abbi and Ilana’s relationships are not fairy tale romances.

"The Big Apple of “Broad City” is not the same one found in shows like 'Gossip Girl' or 'Sex and the City.'"

They are regrettable one-night stands and awkward make outs with coworkers. They are polyamorous and bisexual, but that doesn’t mean they are promiscuous. The show works to portray these women positively when it comes to the fluidity of sexuality.

The series succeeds because of the refreshingly real and gritty characters against an absolutely surreal setting. The Big Apple of “Broad City” is not the same one found in shows like “Gossip Girl” or “Sex and the City.” The assorted bizarre characters that Abbi and Ilana come in contact with make the city itself a running joke. Despite this absurdity, the show is inherently relatable by their unbashful, unique personalities.

When watching, it’s easy to feel like this show was made for you. Abbi and Ilana deal with some of the very unglamorous problems women deal with day to day. Beyond that, the show really is written for the fans. “Broad City’s” use of callbacks, Easter eggs and running gags acts as a homage to long-term, die-hard fans, making it that much more satisfying and hilarious. 

The more you watch, the more you notice — like how Ilana always references locations where something devastatingly unfortunate has happened to Abbi: Meet me at the ATM where the guy threw up on you in 10 minutes.

"Since the first season, “Broad City” has empowered women to be just that: women."

When “Broad City” announced it would be entering their last season, I was both heartbroken and confused. After five seasons, the show has attracted a loyal fan base, as well as an assortment of notable guest stars. Abbi and Ilana continue to rise to fame with the recent publishing of Abbi’s book, “I Might Regret This,” and Ilana’s featured role in “Rough Night.”

So, why stop now?

Since the first season, “Broad City” has empowered women to be just that: women. Beneath all the insanity is the fundamental truth that women should be free to be who they are. We’ve come a long way since 2014; this isn’t a groundbreaking premise anymore. “Broad City” has served us well, combating sexism and judgment on mainstream television while disguising it as humor. 

According to a study by Boxed-In, women made up only 27 percent of all creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and directors of photography working on  broadcast network, cable and streaming programs in 2017-18. “Broad City” employed women in all of these positions, including two strong women as the faces of the show. 

This is why it’s okay that “Broad City” is ending. It’s not to say we are done diversifying and balancing out the television and film industry, but it’s a start. The novelty of the loud-spoken, spunky girls has faded, but the show’s legacy inspires others just like them.

Channing Smith is the graphics editor for the Daily Cardinal. To read more of her work, click here.

All content © 2024 The Daily Cardinal | Powered by SNworks