If you’ve ever felt that twentysomething struggle, at some point, Broad City will feel a little too real. Sure, you’ve probably never cleaned the apartment of an adult baby in your underwear to get cash for a Lil’ Wayne show, but you’ve definitely had a run in with an ex that is so awkward that you want to disappear into a hole or had to work a job that kills your will to live. The world of Broad City is a heightened one, but it comes from a genuine place.
While it started out as a web series about two stoners in New York City, Broad City has since grown into a generation-defining, and progressive, comedy. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the stars, creators, and eventual showrunners of Comedy Central’s cult hit have created a pair of hilarious and failure-prone kweens with Abbi and Ilana, who are honestly just trying to get high, be heard, and make rent. Jacobson and Glazer have since expanded to other television projects, films, podcasts, and comedy tours, but Broad City is still the beating heart of this friendship and creative partnership.
With the return of Broad City for a fourth season, we spoke with Jacobson and Glazer about what to expect from the floundering twosome and whether or not they’re on the verge of growing up.
One of the first things that I noticed about the new episode was the seasonal shift. I’d previously associated Broad City with summer, so it was really interesting to see a sort of different side of New York living. Why did you guys do that change?
Abbi Jacobson: We felt like we had thoroughly examined what it was like to live in the summer in New York, and just always had thought, you know, oh, if we’re a show that is based in New York, we have to do at least one season that’s not in the summer, so it was exciting to us to get to explore the winter and what it’s like to live there in a different season. We thought that that would present us with a whole new set of situations and obstacles and feelings and it did. It’s exciting to see a different tone. I mean, it’s the same tone, but it’s a little bit altered.
Plus, it’s amazing to see Ilana adapt her outfits for winter weather.
Ilana Glazer: It’s true, it’s so funny.
Jacobson: Global warming made it easier for her to adapt her clothing, unfortunately.
Glazer: You know, New York is such a different city in the winter. There’s like such different vibes in each season, but we did find that there’s barely a winter anymore and that we were acting colder than we expected to. There was like one storm. You know, it’s not like it just makes things hotter, it just makes the ups and downs more drastic. There was this one storm that, it gave us a snow day, and then it was melted by the next day. It was a crazy lens through which to see global warming. I had never seen it like that before. It was creepy.
It also seemed like Abbi and Ilana were very slowly sort of crawling their way to a slightly more responsible adulthood. Like, Abbi is working at the corporate firm, and Ilana is making actual money as a waitress. I think that kind of compromise will really resonate with a lot of people, because all had that moment where you kind of had to grow up and take the job with health insurance, right?
Jacobson: You know, I think over the course of writing this season, Ilana and I really realized, like, this show can’t be one of those shows where these characters are just in the same place forever. We’re getting older and the characters are based on us, and now Abbi is 28, Ilana’s 26, they’re getting into their late 20’s and things just inevitably have to shift a little bit. They don’t shift all the way, or whatever, but we have to show how the characters are changing and reflect that in the storylines and in their struggles. Whether it is a mundane task at hand, you know, they’re just in a different place, and we haven’t been on the air for 17 months. That’s a lot of time when you’re in your twenties. We’ve been talking, you know, in interviews, just to reiterate that this show has existed over those 17 months. The world of Broad City has continued and we’re picking up not where we left off, we’re picking up now. Time has passed, and they are in a little bit of a different place.