Abbi And Ilana End Broad City's Second Season By Giving A Parting Gift To Female Pedestrians Everywhere
Deploy it on an intrusive stranger today!
In the past year or so, the questions of rape culture and who "gets" to joke about experiences that, to the women who experience them, are not really that funny have taken lots of different forms, which I won't run down in any kind of exhaustive way because we'll be stuck in a flurry of mansplanation all damn day (except to say that Louis C.K.'s "You can't even rape well" gag on Louie is still bullshit of the highest order). Just when we thought we were past it, along came Patton Oswalt's "Peace Summit" with Salon, in which the widely beloved liberal comedian moved millions to beg him to get off their side as everything he said broadcast how little he's ever, ever thought about his own privilege. As much as I have loved everything about Broad City's second season, if I had one criticism, it would be that this finale didn't air the night of Oswalt's latest embarrassing word puke.
The reason diversity is so important in pop culture (and...everywhere, but we're talking about TV) is that it gives minority voices the chance to dramatize their specific experiences and change viewers' perceptions with their art. And like, I've never had a problem with the way Tina Fey's characters have responded to street harassment on 30 Rock ("I want your feet in my mouth!" "When it rains, it pours!") or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ("Hey Red, you're makin' me wish I was those jeans!" "I wish I were your yellow hat!"). But they seem to come from a spirit of resignation and disgust. Whereas the cold open of the Broad City season finale portrays an encounter between Abbi and Ilana and some random piece of garbage ordering them to smile, and there's nothing resigned about their reaction.
That's not resignation: it's fury. It's exactly the kind of response I'd expect from a couple of fearless young women whose Executive Producer is on the record telling at least one man she doesn't fucking care if he likes her bits. It's silent. It's contemptuous. It's perfect. I can't wait to shut some man up with it.