Abbi and Ilana are the idols of a largely underserved and under-chronicled female id.Men have managed to get away with prolonged adolescence, on the screen and in life, in a way that women haven’t.“Women always have to be the eye rollers, as the men make a mess,” Poehler said. Young women can be lost, too.”The show has been credited for its “sneak-attack feminism,” with Abbi and Ilana as “femininjas.” The put them in the tradition of “unruly women,” like Roseanne and Lucy: “Unruly women have unruly bodies—they’re too big for their clothes, their hair refuses to stay down.
Glazer says that the characters are fifteen-per-cent exaggerations of themselves.
In some respects, this understates the embellishment.
The love affair at the heart of the show is between Abbi and Ilana. This “bra-mance,” as it has been called, is based on Jacobson and Glazer’s real-life friendship, and on the misadventures they’ve had together, or have witnessed or imagined, as they’ve tried to make it in New York.
They are a funny kind of Millennial duo, a Comden and Green for the Instagram age.
Jacobson and Ilana Glazer play best friends on TV, on a sitcom called “Broad City.” They are its creators, head writers, and stars.
Their characters, named Abbi and Ilana, are twenty-something stoners in New York—broke, horny, heedless, daffy, mostly benign, occasionally brilliant—who work crappy jobs, bump around town, get into mischief, and, with genial vulgarity and dirtbag charm, accidentally complicate their lives.
In other respects, the fifteen-per-cent number seems right, insofar as “Broad City” depends more than anything on the women’s personalities and on the chemistry between them.
“The rule is: Specific voices are funny, and chemistry can’t be faked,” Amy Poehler, the show’s executive producer, told me.
“There’s something about them that’s really watchable and organic and interesting.
There aren’t enough like them on TV: confident, sexually active, self-effacing women, girlfriends who love each other the most.” There are, of course, the girls on “Girls,” the show that serves as “Broad City” ’s most widely cited touchstone, but one might argue that the “Girls” girls lack both the self-effacement and the love.
She bumbles her way through a crush on a handsome neighbor and endures the offenses of a roommate’s foul, freeloading boyfriend, Bevers, played by John Gemberling, the co-creator of the series “Fat Guy Stuck in Internet.” She puts a Post-it on her vibrator as a reminder to masturbate. ”At first glance, Ilana is the alpha (the banana man) and Abbi the sidekick (the feed), but, in defiance of double-act convention, Jacobson and Glazer frequently subvert these roles, big-sis status shifting between them, or vanishing entirely, in part because, in the context of “Broad City,” neither aspires to it. James, in Suffolk County—“where guidos meet potato farmers’ grandchildren,” as she once put it. Then she realized that her brother, Eliot, and her mother were watching and laughing. “After a while,” Jacobson said, “we thought, Why are we trying to be on something that someone else controls?