Do you know what’s really fucking insane? Broad City has never been nominated for an Emmy. Not one. Not ever.
Okay, they did win a “juried” award in 2018 for Outstanding Motion Design for their iconic animated episode, “Mushrooms,” but as far as I can tell, “juried” categories do not undergo the same nomination process as other Emmy awards. So, I repeat: Broad City has never been nominated for an Emmy. And that is an absolute shanda.
As qualified members of the Television Academy are currently voting on nominations for the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards this fall, I strongly encourage them to not fuck this up. It’s the last chance to nominate the audaciously funny, keenly feminist, and incredibly Jewish show, and failing to do so would be a huge slap in the face to young women and TV-enjoyers everywhere.
I have a feeling I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but let me put that high school persuasive writing class to use and argue why Broad City deserves all the Emmy nominations this year. All of them.
1. It’s really funny. Okay, so maybe this is too obvious, but shouldn’t anything nominated for Best Outstanding Comedy be really fucking funny? No offense to Modern Family or The Big Bang Theory (okay, some offense to them), no other show actually makes me laugh out loud more than Broad City. In the final season alone, we got “SheWork,” their brilliant send-up of an outdoor co-working space, that time Abbi lost her sweatshirt, posts missing flyers, and then is assumed to be missing herself, and Ilana’s disgusting pink eye that gets in the way of her would-be hair modeling career. Do I have to keep going? It’s just that every single episode is hilarious.
2. It redefined Jewish American identity. As Elana Spivack wrote for Alma earlier this year, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer successfully shepherded us from the stereotype of the anxiety-ridden Jew with shpilkes (think Jerry Seinfeld and Woody Allen) into something a lot more chutzpahdik. Whereas many previous Jewish characters on TV come with a host of negative attributes associated with their Jewishness, Abbi and Ilana are boldly unafraid and full of Jewish pride (Ilana literally sports these incredible “Jewess” earrings for most of the last season). The final season also saw one of their Jewiest — and possibly most sincere — episodes yet, in which the duo helps a Holocaust survivor bust out of his elder care home for a day of adventures. In a time when we’re finally learning the importance of representation, it’s nice to see Abbi and Ilana’s Jewishness not just played for jokes (though there are some very, very funny jokes) but actually as a vehicle to deepen their character development and show an authentic portrayal of American Jewish women on screen.
3. It’s feminist, but like, actually. A lot of shows have gotten hip to the fact that many people are really into this thing called feminism lately. They’ll spring on new characters that are meant to challenge the status quo, or add little asides that prove just how woke your favorite protagonist has always been. But Broad City has been a feminist undertaking from the very damn start, and it doesn’t just come through in the writing, but the actual people running the show. First off, the entire concept of the show is feminist — it gives the “lovable dirtbag” treatment (typically reserved for men) to a pair of nice young ladies, proving that yes, women smoke weed and do fucked up shit for money and have casual sex and get fired from their jobs, too. Broad City has also done a lot to take back certain terms previously meant as derogatory to women, like bitch and, well, broad. But Glazer and Jacobson also live out their feminist values in real life — let’s not forget the time Ilana fired a couple of dudes for sexual harassment on set.
4. The acting is damn fine. Of all the praise I’ve heard about Broad City, I feel like one aspect is grossly underlooked: It’s got some genuinely good acting. It may be hard to notice between the slapstick humor and laugh out loud moments, but Glazer and Jacobson’s chemistry is obviously off the charts, and they so fully embody their characters it’s no surprise that most people just assume they’re playing themselves (not changing their names doesn’t help). But I dare anyone to watch that Brooklyn Bridge scene in the series finale and not give these two a standing ovation for their moving performances. It made me cry so much I’d say go ahead and give them a drama nod, too.
I could go on (and on and on), but I’ll just stop here to say, it would be absolutely fucking bonkers if this show doesn’t receive at least one Emmy nomination this year. I’m not even talking about winning one (which it totally should!!!), but just finally getting the recognition it deserves.