This year, comedy duo Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have snapped up three Emmy nominations for their short form web series Hack Into Broad City—one each for acting, and a shared nod for the show itself. Such is the beauty of short form, that despite evolving into Comedy Central’s hit half-hour show Broad City, which celebrated its fifth and final season this year, the web series continues to have its own separate value.
First launching in 2010, Hack Into Broad City became a cult comedy phenomenon. With episodes posted to YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat, the pair expertly cultivated their Millennial viewership, as Glazer and Jacobson’s onscreen stoner alter egos Ilana Wexler and Abbi Adams famously proclaimed, “Yaaas kween,” and brought us with them into their video chat sessions.
So strong was the pair’s work, the web series attracted Amy Poehler, who founded the Upright Citizens Brigade, where Jacobson and Glazer had first met. Poehler appeared in the web series’ season finale. Then, Jacobson and Glazer asked Poehler to come on board as an EP. In 2014, the television show Broad City began, and with their web following in place, the women produced a hit half-hour comedy show centering around its two best friend characters.
At Deadline’s Contenders event, Poehler said, “It’s such an extremely beautiful exploration of female friendship. I know the people relate to that show and felt the same way. They own part of that friendship.”
As women making a show about women, they dealt with knockbacks along the way. In her 2018 book, I Might Regret This, Jacobson said FX had dismissed their first shot at the TV show as being “too girly”. This came after a year of development work, and Jacobson wrote, “We were devastated. This thing that was once so far-fetched has actually started to come to fruition, and then was abruptly taken away.”
These nominations in the short form category also seem especially valuable, since the television series didn’t receive any Academy recognition in this, its final year, nor in any of its previous seasons. However, despite this year’s latest Broad City snub, it’s fitting somehow that the short form web production that started it all got nominated again this year, in addition to 2016 and 2017.