Each week for the month of June, Serial Optimist will post what we consider to be the best “web series” or “online comedy shows” or “really funny online comedic series” or “etc” over the past year. Most of the series we pick won’t be ones that went “viral” because that means you have probably already seen it, or it means it was just a show about an auto-tuned kitten shot by someone with too much time on their hands. Our first series on the list comes from Broad City. When we interviewed the producers, writers, and stars of the show Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer (both UCB alums) almost a year ago, I instantly fell in love with them and the show. It’s like a “Curb Your Enthusiasm” meets “Sex in the City (the show)” meets the perfect amount of an honest take on two best friends living in NYC. Now a year later, we asked them to pick their “Top 5” favorite episodes. This was a hard task considering how much of themselves they put in each show since it began in February of last year, and that there are two seasons and 33 episodes to choose from. We are super excited to start this off with the creators of the online cult classic that is Broad City. Enjoy!
*Each episode and descriptions were picked and written by creators, producers, writers, and stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer.
[youtube width=”450″ height=”350″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yH6ad4jC_8E[/youtube]
This was done in Union Square Park and is one of our favorites because it is so typical of the alternative comedy community or the ‘downtown’ comedy scene in NYC. It’s part of mainstream vernacular now to do bits, but in our community, the bits never end. Ever. So it was fun because it was relatable on a larger and more acute scale, and everyone can sort of laugh at themselves. Bluvband and Katey perfectly embodied the harmless but insane and annoying phenomenon of an endless bit, they were knee-slappingly funny.
“V-Chat” (Directed and edited by Lucia Aniello)
[youtube width=”450″ height=”350″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG6ObR17rng[/youtube]
The production for this episode was crazy because we were in two rooms in the same apartment, trying to project for the mic in our lap tops but not loud enough that we’d hear each other in the next room. Lucia is really special to us, one of our very best friends, and she is so Broad City, and after that episode came out, many women told us it was their favorite and that they v-chat with their friends, too. Ugh, love this one.
[youtube width=”450″ height=”350″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D9BoEP_kWE[/youtube]
The way this all came together was great because we saw Abbi and Jon together from before the episode was written, kept it in the back of our minds, but then when Hannibal came into the picture, he fit perfectly as Ilana’s opposite. This one is our favorite for a few reasons: kissing scenes make us laugh during and after the fact, Jon caressing Abbi with the sunflower cracked us all up SO many times in a row, Ilana was especially happy to slip that Nicki Minaj B-side in there, and Hannibal’s rambling about TV and commercials is priceless.
“Do The Right Thing” (Directed and edited by Tim Bierbaum, choreographed by , featuring Pat Carrington, Bob Officer, and Boris Khaykin)
[youtube width=”450″ height=”350″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfErkHGPJrA[/youtube]
We love Rosie Perez and Spike Lee separately and as a creative duo. Spike Lee is one of our favorite directors as well as Bierbaum’s, and Tim was beyond stoked to recreate Lee’s images from the original Do The Right Thing. We were excited/terrified to dance like Ms. Perez, but it was a liberating experience, and having it available on the Internet like that really forced us to let go. We’re jiggly and sweaty! And yet it didn’t matter at all, the product is so beautiful and beyond that minutiae. It was also liberating to put some of our anecdotes about cat calling to life and then defeat them with dancing — take that!
“I Heart New York” (Directed and edited by T.J. Misny, produced by Sunanda Sachatrakul and DP’d by Adam Newport-Berra)
[youtube width=”450″ height=”350″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXbyp-sdk7I[/youtube]
This episode is so fresh, it’s hard to narrow down what’s our favorite because it was an enormous experience, and we still feel like we’re in it! First of all, our team was absolutely phenomenal. T.J., from the start, before we had the dopest guest stars in existence on board, put himself 100% into this project. He completely understood the dynamic, that this was our baby, and he was so careful and thoughtful every step of the way, it was astounding as a creative collaborator and as a friend. There were more people than T.J., Sunanda, and Adam — many, many, many more, and the process of this episode was microcosmic of our entire experience of Broad City: New York is a magical place filled with generous, passionate, and kind-hearted people. Kristen + Amy were golden cherries atop a hilarious and glowing sundae. They were not only there and IN the episode, but during the filming they were both so invested and so sweet, and exactly the special people you’d want them to be. We will never forget the experience of making this episode; we’re getting verklempt just writing this.
SO Note: Thanks SO much girls! I can’t wait to see what you both do individually and together in the future. Broad City for life! Check out broadcitytheshow.com, and follow Abbi on Twitter @abbijacobson and Ilana @ilazer.