Co-Creator of Broad City
"Ilana Glazer is an American comedian, writer, and actress. She is best known for co-creating, co-starring in, and on some occasions co-writing for the Comedy Central series Broad City with Abbi Jacobson, based on the web series of the same name…
Glazer began taking classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in 2006 and performed around New York City doing improv and stand-up for the next several years…
In 2009, along with co-creator Abbi Jacobson, Glazer began shooting Broad City, a web series starring the two as fictionalized versions of themselves. The series was nominated for an ECNY Award for 'Best Web Series' and was positively received, garnering attention from major media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. The series caught the attention of Amy Poehler, who subsequently met with Glazer and Jacobson to help them shop a pilot script based on the series. Poehler also agreed to star in the web series finale.
In 2011, cable network FX, working with Poehler as the producer, purchased a script commitment for the series from Glazer and Jacobson. However, the network did not approve the script and decided not to proceed with development. Glazer and Jacobson then approached Comedy Central, who agreed to purchase the script from FX and order a pilot.
Broad City made its broadcast television premiere in January 2014 and was received with positive reviews and strong ratings, becoming Comedy Central's highest-rated first season since 2012 among the younger demographics, including adults 18-34, with an average of 1.2 million viewers.
The show has received critical acclaim from fans and critics alike. Review aggregation website Metacritic noted season 1 received "generally favorable reviews," giving it a score of 75 out of 100, based on reviews from 14 critics. In February 2014, Comedy Central renewed the show for a second season. Season 2 received positive reviews, with Metacritic giving it a score of 89 out of 100, based on reviews from 8 critics, indicating "universal acclaim." In January 2015, the series was then renewed for a third season, which premiered on February 17, 2016. In January 2016, the series was renewed for a fourth and a fifth season.” (1)
Ann Friedman writes for the Guardian that “I quickly realized why so many friends wanted to talk about the show with me. Ilana and Abbi are our people. They are truly casual about sex, not simply feigning detachment in the name of empowerment. They are feminists who call each other “dude”. They have so many inside jokes that listening to them can be like trying to decipher a code. They wear a combination of “flea market vintage, American Apparel, H&M.” They smoke so much weed. But for all of their immature hedonism, they manage to come off as not entirely selfish. As BuzzFeed put it: “Misery loves BFFs”. They are more obsessed with each other than they are with men.
This is a departure for women-centric comedy. In the past, most movies and shows with female protagonists focused more on their romantic relationships than their friendships. Sex and the City spent far more airtime on Carrie’s dating life than it did exploring the nuances of female friendship. Shining cinematic examples like Bridesmaids with believable relationships between women still couldn’t resist a romantic subplot. The girls of Girls don’t even like each other very much, they’ve just known each other a long time and seem unwilling or unable to make real friends. Ilana and Abbi demonstrate what I absolutely found to be true in my 20s: when your job is falling far short of what you hoped and men are nothing but disappointment, your life is about your best girlfriends.
Pop culture has nodded toward the imperfect female lead for decades. But usually these leading ladies are glossy caricatures, Kate Hudsons and Drew Barrymores, with problems like, “I’m too focused on my glamorous career to find love” or “I feign awkwardness when really I’m running around Manhattan in five-inch Jimmy Choos.” These protagonists’ supposedly relatable flaws were the exceptions that proved the rule: they were actually pretty close to attaining the unattainable holy trinity of perfect body, perfect job, perfect man.
In a way that doesn’t feel like obvious parody, Broad City sends up all of these tropes. In one scene, Abbi tells Ilana: “Glasses off, you’re fucking gorgeous.” It’s a nod to makeover montages in which women get a few new dresses and pluck their eyebrows and are suddenly model-beautiful. Far from worrying about the “day to evening” looks touted by women’s magazines, Ilana shows up to the office in a “shirt” the size of a napkin. Abbi doesn’t complain about making time to go to the gym; her job is cleaning up vomit in the bathroom after spin class. Ilana is dating a guy who just kind of … bores her. These are the sorts of problems that young women really deal with in the years when their personal and professional lives are still very much in development. But mercifully, Abbi and Ilana are not discussing them over $14 mimosas at brunch with a gay man who doesn’t appear have a life of his own. They are ignoring them while they get stoned, eat cereal, and shoot the shit on video chat.” (2)