Broad City just wrapped up its inaugural season on Comedy Central. Girls just aired the finale of its third season. I have seen each episode of both series, despite the fact that I still, after three years, do not get all that much enjoyment out of watching Girls.
And I can say with confidence that Broad City is a much better show, if you judge shows by how much you actually look forward to watching them. That’s my main criteria. I can give you five high-level reasons, too.
Broad City is better than Girls because:
It’s funnier and comprehensively more entertaining.
For some reason, Girls is often billed as a comedy, but I don’t understand why. Maybe it’s because Judd Apatow is affiliated with it, so the public’s perception is it has to be funny (even though Apatow has really fizzled out in recent years when it comes to writing and/or directing funny films — instead making them uncomfortably dark and way too long). But I don’t really laugh at Girls very often at all. It may be considered dark humor to some, but I still don’t find much mirth in the show at all. Broad City has totes made me LOL on a few occasions, even while sitting in a room all alone. Llana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson do and say hilarious stuff regularly in each every episode. AND THAT’S HOW COMEDY IS DONE.
It’s more realistic.
I’m so sick of people telling me that Girls mirrors the lives of broads in their 20s growing up in New York City. Many of the women I know who live here contradict — and take offense to — that assertion, and I personally don’t have much in common with ANY of the dudes on the show. Nor do I associate with many people like them. (Though this may be because most of the people on Girls suck. If they’re going for realism for people who suck, then I guess Girls is kind of realistic.)
Llana and Abbi, however, often find themselves in situations that are absurd, yet totally plausible.
[I was writing a list of examples here, but will refrain from spoilers. If you watch both shows and have a grip on the reality of what it’s like to be a “20-something” then you don’t need me to tell you what is plausible and what isn’t.]
The main characters actually act how friends should — and do — act.
Llana and Abbi genuinely like each other and love spending time together. They always have each other’s back. Hannah and those other broads on Girls are more like frenemies than anything else. They are “friends” because they say they are, not because they actually are. And that’s not a lot of fun to watch. It is certainly not uplifting.
The supporting cast is superior.
On Girls, the supporting cast members rarely bring much of value to the overall show. They’re either mean or weirdos or both. Broad City has Hannibal Buress, whose performance is one of the show’s many hilarious treats. There are also cameos by producer Amy Poehler on Broad City, and she’s always funny. ALWAYS.
The most talked about aspect of the show is not gratuitous nudity.
When you think about Girls, you probably think about all the controversy surrounding Lena Dunham being naked very often on the show. Whether you think she’s being brave or stupid is not something that can be explored in this short space, but it’s also irrelevant to the argument I’m making, which is that her nudity distracts people from other aspects of the show that should be more of a focus. Maybe there would be nudity on Broad City if nudity were allowed on Comedy Central, but it would be in the name of comedy, not normalcy, which is the defense Girls always uses.