The creators and stars of Comedy Central’s Broad City, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, were on hand at the summer TCA conference to talk about some controversial topics thjat will be explored in the upcoming Season 4.
One thing that stood out during the discussion was the decision to bleep out the use of President Donald Trump’s name, a decision that came after the election.
“We didn’t originally write it like that,” said Glazer. “This season we did more rewriting than ever before, more creatively versus logically in the rewrite period because this election happened and the world changed.
“We got to a point where in real life we’re talking about the current administration, we’re talking about Trump and it sounds so gross, everyday saying it so many times. We didn’t want to share airtime. … It was a different kind of joke,” she added.
Adding to that, Jacobson said, our show always exists pretty much in the present. … we talk a lot about pop culture. It is political.” She continued, “This is happening in the [real] Abbi and Ilana’s lives. This is something that they’re going to be talking about all the time. For us to not be talking about it as friends in the show, would’ve been insane.”
The ladies also touched on the growing feminist underlying tone of the show, which, at its web series stage, was coined by the Wall Street Journal as a “sneak-attack feminism.”
“We’ve been using that phrase ever since because it helps define what the show is doing,” said Glazer. “It’s like you’re watching a show, with any kind of content, and you adsorb the messaging via osmosis rather than the message being told to you. That’s what I think our show is. It represents, hopefully, this feminist message, but it’s not part of the plot line; it’s just in the texture of the show organically.”
Another controversial topic raised in the room was the excessive drug use portrayed on the show, which Jacobson said is part of keeping the story authentic. “We’re trying to represent what we know from our own lives.”
Glazer later added, “The world is changing.” There is a taboo against women doing drugs. “You don’t see that as a feminist move, but it is one. It’s not really a conversation anymore. It’s more in the culture.”
Broad City follows two best friends as they navigate their 20s in New York City. The show was renewed for a fourth and fifth season early last year, with the former premiering September 13.