FUNNY AND VERY NOW

Los Angeles Times - - THE ENVELOPE - By Glenn Whipp glenn.whipp@la­times.com

“Mod­ern Fam­ily” has won the com­edy se­ries Emmy for each of its five sea­sons. It’s a fine show, funny and ex­pertly crafted, and be­cause it of­ten has some­thing to say about the joys and ab­sur­di­ties of to­day’s ex­tended fam­ily, vot­ers feel good about re­ward­ing it. It owns (but doesn’t bur­den you with) a cul­tural rel­e­vancy that all but guar­an­tees “The Big Bang The­ory” will never beat it at the Em­mys.

But we’re six years in now, and maybe it’s time to no­tice an­other show that speaks to th­ese times in ways both ob­vi­ous ( those mil­len­ni­als sure smoke a lot of

weed!) and sub­ver­sive (an un­spo­ken dis­missal of bound­aries, norms, judg­ment). That se­ries is Com­edy Cen­tral’s “Broad City,” and it ab­so­lutely be­longs in any dis­cus­sion fo­cus­ing on tele­vi­sion’s best come­dies.

I’m un­der no illusion that this funny, funny show that cel­e­brates fe­male friend­ship, in­dis­crim­i­nate hook-ups and the per­ils of buy­ing coun­ter­feit bags on the streets of Man­hat­tan will el­bow “Mod­ern Fam­ily” aside for the win, though the men­tal pic­ture of “Broad City” cre­ators and stars Abbi Ja­cob­son and Ilana Glazer hold­ing Em­mys on­stage fills me with a joy akin to free air-con­di­tion­ing on a swel­ter­ing Man­hat­tan sum­mer day.

“Broad City” should at least earn a nom­i­na­tion, though, both for the con­sis­tent ex­cel­lence of its 10-episode sec­ond sea­son and for the way it speaks to the

now in a way that no other tele­vi­sion com­edy does. Play­ing height­ened ver­sions of them­selves (slightly younger, vastly more ir­re­spon­si­ble), Glazer and Ja­cob­son tol­er­ate bor­ing jobs and has­sling men if only be­cause of their abid­ing friend­ship. They are god­desses, in their own eyes (some­times) and in each other’s (al­ways!), and that’s a pow­er­ful mes­sage to be send­ing out into the world. Here are two women not com­pet­ing but sus­tain­ing each other.

That un­der­ly­ing mes­sage is wholly in­ten­tional, though you won’t see the show’s cre­ators con­grat­u­lat­ing them­selves for its de­liv­ery. When Ja­cob­son and Glazer came to The Times for a video in­ter­view not long ago, Glazer lamented the re­al­ity that “Broad City” had be­come so no­table for the ground­break­ing way it rep­re­sents women on tele­vi­sion.

“It’s scary how re­mark­able it is,” Glazer said. “It shouldn’t be this re­mark­able. It’s up­set­ting. It’s weird.”

But per­haps that’s chang­ing. Af­ter “Broad City” ended its sec­ond-sea­son run, an­other Com­edy Cen­tral se­ries, “In­side Amy Schumer,” ar­rived, de­liv­er­ing scathing and hi­lar­i­ous broad­sides tar­get­ing the of­fen­sive non­sense women hear about their bod­ies and self-worth. Be­ing a sketch se­ries, Schumer’s show has its own Emmy cat­e­gory and, thus, an eas­ier path, though that shouldn’t pre­clude the Tele­vi­sion Academy from also nom­i­nat­ing its star in the com­edy actress cat­e­gory.

Yes, you have to pos­sess a cer­tain open­ness to ex­per­i­men­ta­tion (in both form and con­tent) to be fully on board with th­ese shows. But you don’t have to be young or fe­male or know why a cer­tain crowd cel­e­brates April 20 as a spe­cial day.

“We tend to not be drawn to things that la­bel us,” Ja­cob­son said. “Like fe­male dis­claimers,” added Glazer.

“Broad City’s” joy is all-in­clu­sive. It’s the best gift ever. Kind of like that spoon­ing Tu­pac com­forter seen in the sea­son fi­nale com­bined with the sat­is­fac­tion of fi­nally keep­ing a plant alive for more than two weeks.

Yes, that big. Re­ally. An Emmy nom­i­na­tion feels en­tirely in­ad­e­quate as re­pay­ment. But it’d be a start.

Ri­cardo DeAratanha Los An­ge­les Times

ILANA GLAZER, left, and Abbi Ja­cob­son are the cre­ators and stars of the Com­edy Cen­tral sit­com “Broad City,” where they play em­bel­lished ver­sions of them­selves carous­ing and work­ing, mostly carous­ing, in New York City.

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