Broad City Series Finale Review
What do Abbi and Ilana mean to us? We unpack the epic Broad City finale.
This Broad City review contains spoilers.
Broad City Season 5 Episode 10
There’s another “growth spurt” that happens during your life that’s less talked about then it’s flashier coming of age counterpart, and that’s the one that happens in your twenties. When Broad City premiered on Comedy Central, I was 23, had a semester of grad school under my belt, my anxiety was climbing, and I had no clue about a single thing. I’ve spent the past five years with Abbi and Ilana and to say I grew with them would be an understatement; they helped me grow.
I was them. I am them. Through the seasons, Abbi and Ilana were twenty-something Jewish women living in New York City just trying to figure it all out. I was watching them stumble along, and I was right there with them, a similar twenty-something trying to make it in the city I adore — that at times doesn’t share the same affection.
But for me it was more than just a connection to two women my age trying to figure life out — which is something I think most twenty-somethings go through. I connected to the fact that they were two Jewish women who didn’t shy away from it. I’ve written before about the way Broad City has depicted Jewish women, and applauded them for it. But now looking back at the series as a whole, I find just how important that was to me.
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I was ingesting everything Abbi and Ilana were while struggling to find my own path between the Jewish culture that I loved, and a community I felt I no longer belonged to. My level of observance, who I was dating or not dating, my purple hair, friends who chose paths that I ran away from; Did it mean that I wasn’t doing something right? Broad City, especially Ilana, taught me that I could be a strong Jewish woman, even if my life choices didn’t perfectly line up with the status quo.
Tonight’s episode started with a hunt for the perfect egg and cheese they never find and instead end up walking a $10,000 toilet across the Brooklyn Bridge. From there the episode is a series of heartfelt goodbyes, including a party where Abbi gets to bid a final farewell to some characters we haven’t seen in a bit like Trevor, Jaime, and Lincoln. Truthfully, the series finale couldn’t have been more perfect. The entire last season did justice to the run and all the fans who tune in each week. Whether cognizant of the fact or not, in the final episode Abbi and Ilana gave the viewers exactly what they needed—growth. They allowed these young women to come into their own without changing who they actually are. At one point in the finale, while Abbi and Ilana are schlepping the toilet across the bridge, they stop to look onto the water and share a rare genuine calming moment. Through tears, Ilana tells Abbi that even though things are changing “this is still going to be the most beautiful, deep, real, cool and hot, meaningful, important relationship of [her] life.”
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That brings me to another reason that a show like Broad City is so important. Often times in television and in movies female friendships are, well, not great. Growing up pretty much every teen drama had betrayal of some sort between women, and even in modern day that’s a trope that carries through. Or there’s judgement, secrets, bros before hoes more often than the reverse. Women in media are so often pegged against each other that it was so refreshing to see a show where two young women were constantly championing each other. I can confess to all of you, it made me question a lot of my relationships.
By the end of the episode, Abbi and Ilana are off living their lives in their respective cities, but nothing’s changed. To quote Ilana, they’re “still on the same schedule.” I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the finale or the series. So thank you Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, Lucia Aniello and all the superb talent behind Broad City for making a show for young women that always managed to feel like it was made just for me. Goodbye Abbi and Ilana. Yas Queen.