Third season keeps progressive social commentary, mediocre humor

Four and three and two and one, one. “Broad City” premiered its third season on Feb. 17 for yet another round of hilarious mishaps. Starring real life best friends Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the show follows the crazy, quirky lives of the dynamic duo as they use their creativity and wit to navigate their way through New York City. With an overall successful first two seasons and a quickly growing fan base, “Broad City” had high expectations to live up to. The trademark of the “Broad City” humor is the pure ridiculousness and exaggeration of normal life situations. One episode portrays co-ops as cults, led by a woman fertile into her 60s from organic produce. Ironically, the realism of the show is a defining characteristic that separates “Broad City” from other, similar shows. The girls are college graduates with liberal arts degrees, stuck in dead-end jobs with no money, no boyfriends and basically no friends besides each other. Surprisingly, they find a way to be happy with it all.

In addition to their painfully average lives, their outfits are representative of affordable, mainstream fashion. For example, Jacobson wore a romper from Urban Outfitters in episode five that I personally own. Typically, other shows dress their characters in name-brand clothing that the character may not be able to actually afford.

The feminist representation on this show is phenomenal, as well. Too often, the entire feminist population is viewed as radical men-hating misandrists. While there certainly are feminists that fall under this category, it’s untrue to assume that a large majority of feminists behave in this manner.

“Broad City” humanizes today’s modern feminists by reversing gender roles. In one scene, Glazer is seen sitting on a bench in a park, catcalling both men and women walking by. The show playfully pokes fun at activities that society frowns upon by placing a woman as the culprit instead of a man.

In addition, the plot of “Broad City” involves both Jacobson and Glazer rejecting men—men that desire loving relationships with them—due to the fact that both women are only interested in sex. Characteristics usually assigned only to men are embedded into Jacobson and Glazer’s personalities. By portraying women with stereotypically masculine values, “Broad City” takes the edge off the cliché radical feminist and even makes feminists funny and lovable—something that has proven to be difficult in the past.

That being said, while the third season did have a few good episodes, many turned out to be flops compared to the first and second seasons. The plots of the episodes were decent and had a lot of potential; the jokes, however, often fell short. Uncomfortably funny situations embody “Broad City’s” wit and whimsy, but many ended up being just plain awkward in season three. The season finale was probably the most disappointing episode of the season, with Jacobson getting her period on a plane, where she has no tampon. The writers of the show could have done so much more in terms of humor.

“Broad City” is written in a fashion where each episode is jam packed with jokes from start to finish. Watching episodes a second or third time still proves to be enjoyable due to the fact that viewers can catch jokes that they may have previously missed. While the humor may not have lived up to the expectations set by previous seasons, the themes in the show continue to be incredibly progressive.