“Broad City” has strong gay lady appeal

Comedy Central has really upped their game in the last year with two new shows starring hilarious women. First Inside Amy Schumer, and now, Broad City. The Amy Poehler-produced series began on the web and was picked up and premiered with half-hour episodes this winter. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer play best friends trying to make it in the big city (New York, duh). Abbi dreams of being an illustrator but is stuck as the janitor at a gym. Ilana goes from job to job, wearing and saying inappropriate things. In a video interview, she says her career is “being me.”

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Last week’s episode, “Hurricane Wanda,” had a possible lesbian-identified character, based only on my gaydar. Comic Shannon O’Neill played Marla, a very butch-presenting woman with an extra toe and a love of potato salad.

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And on last night’s episode “Destination Wedding,” Ilana finds out from their high school friend Morgan that Abbi, the more sexually inhibited one, has made out with another girl, and it wasn’t her. Morgan, a perky blonde who won’t stop talking about her brother, begins to reminisce about a time she and Abbi went to a bar called The L in the Hamptons. Abbi immediately tries to steer the conversation elsewhere, but Ilana says that this bar sounds pretty cool.

Morgan: When we went to the Hamptons, Darcy and Abbi made out!
Abbi (to Ilana): It was before I knew you!

Commercial break. When we come back, Ilana cannot get over this terrible devastation.

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Abbi: Ilana, it’s not a big deal.
Ilana: It’s a huge deal! You said if you were ever going to do same-sex experimentation, it was going to be with me!
Abbi: I have never said that to you.
Ilana: It has been implied.
Abbi: By you.
Ilana: Well implications get responses and it takes two to tango.

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Ilana refuses to sit by Abby on the bus, which is full of dirty, slobby, animal-toting people. Ilana plops down next to a man who appears to have a taste for meth and tells her new seatmate about the betrayal, despite the fact he’s a stranger. Abby wants her BFF to sit by her, but when Ilana refuses, Abby tells the truth: “You know what else Darcy and I did? We touched boobs.” Ilana screams and her stranger seatmate cheers.

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Once they get off the bus, Morgan is upset that Abby is trying to “ruin the trifecta.” But Abby gives Morgan some real talk: “There is no trifecta! It’s more of a duo.” Which, in turn, makes Ilana tear up.

“Have fun doing all your drugs together, you druggie lesbian Jews!” Morgan shouts.

“Go fuck your brother, dude!” Abby shouts, and together, the duo laughs. (They share a wicked sense of humor, and I’m going to audition to be part of the trifecta.) But things aren’t officially OK between them until Abby says she’s going to change out of her stinky clothes, and Ilana asks if she can peek. Abby relents: “This one time.”

The last scene has the friends walking down the street together in suits. They happen upon a gentleman’s club called Thrusts, deciding they are dressed like perfect gentlemen. Of course Ilana notices they’ve remodeled. She’s been there before.

One of the characters could very likely be bisexual, as in another episode she and Abby made a list of past crushes that they want to reconnect with and it was said to include “one lady.” My bet’s on Ilana, who also dated a bisexual guy on the show and had no qualms about it. She just couldn’t stand his improv show.

Both Ilana and Abbi date and have sexual relationships with dudes, so I don’t expect either of them to come out as a lesbian anytime soon, but they have definite queer appeal and, goddamn, that show is hilarious. And maybe Ilana’s wish of kissing Abbi, or touching her boobs, will come true on camera.

Broad City airs Wednesday nights on Comedy Central.

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