We get it. The endless stream of NYC-based TV characters was shook when Hillary Clinton missed her crowning opportunity a second time around, this time to a brass, straight white male—a never more demonized figure in contemporary American society.
This week the popular, female-led show “Broad City” entered a fourth season. To those unfamiliar with the show, “Broad City” centers around two eclectic female friends maneuvering the grimy streets of New York in search of excitement and thrill. The first few seasons represented a somewhat odd, but tolerable take on toilet humor and existential wandering, coupled with two truly talented main actresses.
An Introduction to ‘Broad City’
Here’s a brief recap of the show’s main characters. Abbi’s occupation consists mostly of cleaning pubic hair, vomit, and other gross fluids in a tiny gym facility. She appears to be Christian and occasionally Jewish, perhaps even Muslim this season to account for the religious diversity quotas the policing audience demand. Her career prospects are low, contributions to society absent, rent high, and she can’t seem to build a normal tolerance for weed.
Ilana, on the other hand, has an admirable tolerance and appetite for weed, alcohol, casual sex encounters, and various other activities, all while being happily underemployed in the most expensive city in America. While most readers here need to look no further to recognize the unrealistic lives of these two gals, many young adults watching seem to believe that riding smelly subways, spending $1,000 or more monthly to live in a slum, and hopping from one hippy job to the other is not only realistic, but also sustainable and fun.
In addition to these pronounced shortcomings, there appears to be popular consensus claiming “Broad City” is a pioneer in bringing feminism and sexual liberation to television, and thus deserves our passionate praise. This assumption is misleading and ignores similar gynocentric TV entertainment popular throughout the past two decades. Most millennial journalists today seem to forget the cult show “Sex and The City” that aired for six full years with its solitary focus a group of charismatic women exploring their sexuality—in the Big Apple, of course.
Profanity, promiscuity, and the use of trendy slang is by no means an innovative approach to female-dominated television. Remove these elements, and “Broad City” is just another naive, worn-out show fused with the typical progressive characters, subtle political discourses, and located in the obviously unavoidable bubble of New York City.
We’re Still Not Over 2016
Last season’s episode in which Hillary Clinton graced the audience with her appearance was an ultimate example of how cringy, unoriginal, yet agenda-driven modern television can and wants to be. It was two aloof NYC girls fetishizing over a two-time failed presidential candidate solely based on her reproductive organs.
Promoting the image of Clinton as a caring, nurturing, and uniquely inspiring woman attempts to erase the well-documented reality in which Clinton is likely one of the most vile, corrupt, self-serving politicians in recent memory. It’s a prime example of ideologically oriented politics, in which celebrity status, identity, and vapid moral posturing reigns over actual policy and achievement.
Expectedly, the newest episode employs a similar style in which former President Obama is referenced along with his utopian vision of America—that is, until the current president ended that fantasy and the cruel, dark age of widespread oppression commenced. The formula is simple and effective. Take politicized, substance-free humor and mold it into some sort of intellectual form of rebellion. It’s hip, it’s funny—never mind that it’s also false and manipulative.
According to “Broad City’s” female writers—also the main characters—Trump’s America is so dangerous and repressive that they could simply not #resist to profit from that narrative. “Broad City” is not only capitalizing on a never-ending supply of anti-Trump hysteria but also cultivating a humor where women are reduced to vaginas, burps, and farts. The inability or unwillingness to portray women as anything other than mindless sexual objects is again central to the show’s newest season, where the audience is introduced to “anorgasmia.” That’s a chronic condition where one member of the famous duo is unable to orgasm as a result of the new presidency. Ilana even goes off camera to justify these juvenile scenes, claiming they represent “the perfect resistance art.”
The Resistance Is Good Business
Meanwhile, to many of us stationed outside the gritty and overpriced coastal incubators, these so-called art forms have never felt more insincere and uninspiring. That’s especially so if you consider the rising sea of comedians, singers, models, authors, and other careerists exploiting the anti-Trump narrative to further their own egotistical and financial aspirations, all in chorus claiming to fight some sort of imaginary tyranny against women, minorities, and all other grievance groups.
Simply put, if your strategy now is to monetize perceived or real societal oppressions and victimhood, why did you overlook the quite extensive list of issues, often inside the very bubbles of NYC and alike, that existed long before Donald Trump swept the presidency? Are these issues simply more important because a conservative leader is now at the helm rather than their actual root causes? The new season effectively demonstrates the uneven nature of political activism increasingly common across the television and film industry.
“Broad City” also effortlessly displays the homogeneity of what an ideal progressive society would look like. Overtly sexualized, consistently intoxicated, and completely carefree are the hive-minded youth whom “Broad City” so vividly attempts to popularize. This one-dimensional and excessively decadent approach to modern entertainment is truly concerning. Rabid intolerance and hatred towards any opposing view is camouflaged with “tolerance,” “openness,” and “love.” Virtue signaling, sanctimonious lecturing, and temper tantrums are the foundations of a newly emerging TV genre in Trump’s America.