SXSW 2019: ‘Broad City’ Creators Bid a Heartfelt Farewell at Series Finale Screening Q&A

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Broad City Series Finale Q&A

Broad City, a female-led comedy series starring creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer just aired its series finale. It started as a web series in 2009 and was later picked up in 2014 by Comedy Central. Throughout the show’s run, audiences have watched the characters’ (played by the Jacobson and Glazer) friendship go through some wacky adventures, while they attempt to navigate their 20-something lives, adulthood, and make it in the big city of New York. The series also touches on topics such as dating, LGBTQ+ representation, immigration, politics,  privilege, feminism, and much more, all done from a humorous lens.

As someone that’s been a long-time fan of the series and the creators’ work, it was an immense pleasure and opportunity to attend the SXSW screening of the final three episodes and Q&A.  It was great to hear Jacobson and Glazer put their feelings about what the show has meant to them overall and what it means for them as it comes to an end. 

After the last episode aired for the first time at South by Southwest 2019, the creators, joined on stage by the moderator and Comedy Central President Kent Alterman, opened the Q&A portion of the screening. They started by recognizing the weight of ending the series, a project that’s been a massive part of their lives for the last decade. “The show in its own has been the defining thing in my life thus far,” Jacobson said. “I feel privileged and lucky to have been able to share so much of myself and of my friendship with Ilana with all of you.”

While Glazer, said she feels “more and more validated” in their joint decision to end the series, and that continuing the show any further after the fifth season wasn’t an option. She goes on to explain, “It would be strangling to hold on to this beautiful, spontaneous world and these characters. We tried to capture something, and we did it.” To go any further, she said, would be “perverting” the legacy.

Jacobson and Glazer accomplished something special with Broad City. They created characters that we, the fans, could grow and learn with. In the show, they portray fictionalized versions of themselves. Ilana is the progressive sexually fluid, somewhat of a slacker with a free spirit. Whereas Abbi, who’s also progressive, can be described as a struggling artist who is the more responsible of the pair who tries to find a balance with Ilana’s free-spirited shenanigans.

Personally speaking, I feel that the series has been a significant contribution to my growth as a person. This series featured topics that ranged from sexuality, underemployment, and politics through a comedic lens while making an effort for inclusion and featuring queer people, immigrants, women, people of color, and trans folks. Whether these subjects or characters directly applied to me all the time or not, they still made me a better person because I learned from the characters’ experiences and storytelling. Making me more aware of the world and other people who might be dealing with those issues and how I can be informed and apply those to my life.

The saying goes: “All good things must come to an end” and that has never rung truer, in this case, for Broad City. While I’m sad to see these characters and series go, I am also glad it’s come to an end on the creators’ terms. Who would’ve thought that a web series two friends started nearly a decade go would leave such a legacy and many fans tearfully screaming “YAS QUEEN!” as it comes to an end.

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