Broad City: The Real NYC
We often see New York City romanticized in TV shows and movies. They typically show the good parts of the city, rarely depicting the dirty and less-than-glamorous side of New York. A few well known of examples of this romanticism are the NYC based romantic comedy holiday movies that come out every year, as well as hit shows such as Gossip Girl, Friends, and How I Met Your Mother.
Broad City is a rare exception from this glamour. This comedy follows Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler, a pair of twenty-something best friends living in NYC. The show began as a web series and then was picked up by Comedy Central, which expanded it to five seasons. The fifth and final season began airing on January 24th, 2019.
“Before I moved to New York City I expected the subway to be a fun and exciting way to travel around, but in reality the trains are very dirty and always delayed,” says NYC resident and LIM student Nina Zwick.
The show is filmed in NYC and follows the chaotic daily lives of Abbi and Ilana. The actors have explained in interviews that they based many of the scenes on their real-life experiences. “The muck that you have to wade through in this city. ... It is this sick, masochistic romance that New Yorkers — permanent New Yorkers — have with the city, where they love how tough they are,” said Ilana Glazer from her interview with NPR. In the show they have small apartments with roommates, take the subway, and share a love for hanging out at Bed Bath & Beyond. These are common themes for real women living in NYC in their 20s.
All of the scenes are actually filmed in NYC. One episode depicts what it is really like to go apartment hunting, something all New Yorkers have to do through. The episode depicts the struggle of trying to find an apartment on a tight budget, a common experience for many New Yorkers. Abrams is a struggling artist who works part time as a janitor at a gym for most of the show, while Wexler works as a waitress, therefore the girls are strapped for cash like most young adults in the city.
“I went through the apartment search last year and it was a very long and hard process to find something in my budget that had enough space,“ said fashion marketing student Emily Boyle.
While many of us love to indulge in NYC-based sitcoms and dramas such as Gossip Girl, Girls and Friends, Broad City is a refreshingly realistic depiction of the city we all love.
To see the true New York City in an entertaining comedy, watch Broad City on Comedy Central.