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Thanks for joining us. Eric, thanks for being with us. PAGE Jen, let's start with you. What -- what strikes you about "Broad City"? Why has it been a success, what does it -- and what does it reflect in terms of what TV is doing these days? CHANEY Well, you had asked Abbi earlier about whether it's a girl's show, and I think it's correct that it's just a great show and a very funny show period. But I do think it's representative, as you were discussing earlier, of a lot of shows that are not only featuring women in starring roles but really where the women are creating the shows, and they're driving the narratives.
She's the star, but she along with Louis C. CHANEY So I think it's really at the vanguard of seeing more and more female voices as the auteurs of these shows, in addition to being the stars of them. PAGE Well Inkoo, it's really amazing that we now have several shows that started out as Web series, where as we heard Abbi Jacobson describe it, it was just her and some friends paying each other with food, and now it's a show on Comedy Central.
KANG I mean, one would hope, right? I think that's the thing that they're all sort of aspiring for, all these amazing people on the Web. I think it sort of gives rise to the hope that if you're good enough, if you have an important enough voice, you can make it to the big leagues. I think it's probably still a bit of a -- you know, like playing the lottery, but on the other hand, I'm so glad that we have these voices and that they were able to sort of hone their voices and hone their filmmaking skills eventually through all of the Web series work that they had put into it and into sculpting their persona.
We're going to take your calls, Well Eric, let me go to you. Do you like the show, "Broad City"? DEGGANS Yeah, I do like the show, and I do think it's emblematic of a trend that we're seeing where we've gone from shows like "Sex and the City" that seem to capture women's voices, but they were created by men or run by men, to shows where women, women of color, people of color, are getting the kind of creative agency to really create authentic expressions of how their world works, how people who look like them and think like them talk and relate to each other.
DEGGANS You think about shows like "Insecure" on HBO, you know, shows like "Queen Sugar" on OWN, you're really getting a sense that these are very specific experiences that are created by very talented people who five years ago would never have been given the level of resources they've gotten to make the kind of shows that they're making.
And I think TV is all the richer for it. They're a little rawer. They're -- they take more risks. They -- I think they risk offending some people. Is that a change from what we've seen before in programming? CHANEY Well, I think again, to bring it back to women, I think you're seeing women maybe being a little bit more -- and people of color, too, as Eric was saying, up front about their specific perspectives and, as Abbi Jacobson was saying earlier, being more honest.
I mean, the entire -- to use "Broad City" as an example, their last season finale, like most of the episode was about Abbi trying to find a tampon on an airplane and being mistaken for being a terrorist because of what, which is just a funny premise, but the subtext of that is really a feminist thing going on there. CHANEY So I think people are being more forthright and speaking their own languages and being given the room and permission to do that.
PAGE Inkoo, what do you see happening when it comes to being able to be maybe a little more outrageous than TV could be before? And I think this sort of image that we've had of women as wives and as daughters and as docile girlfriends, we've had that image for so long on TV, and so that really restricted the breadth of female experience that we were able to see on TV.
In the same episode that Jen was just talking about, you know, a big part of that airport episode involves something called period pants, which involved a pair of jeans that had a big, red stain on it. And the thing is that you were just supposed to go along with it and laugh, and if you belong to a sort of older generation that goes ew, menstruation, then you're not really a part of this beautiful, goofy vision anymore that "Broad City" lays out.
We're going to take a short break, and when we come back, we're going to talk about some other shows that are coming up, what do they recommend, what is their must see show this fall. Stay with us. We're talking about the new TV season and some of the interesting and different kind of shows that are available on different kind of platforms. So do y'all have any questions?
Don't be shy, guys. Fire away. I'm rocking black face. Any other questions? Let's stick to questions about the program.
I -- but I got this job after college and it fit my interests at the time. And so she was trying to set up a really helpful after-school program for these high school kids in a, just a Spanish neighborhood in Los Angeles.
And basically she was trying to get a read of the room, seeing what they need. And all -- of course, all the kids want to do is make fun of her. And so, you know, they make fun of her hair, they make fun of her -- they make fun of the way that she talks, etcetera.
And it's one of the very few black-driven shows on HBO, which is really refreshing. PAGE Yeah, so you like this show. What do you like about it? I think one of the things that things that just really speak to me, as a viewer, is that it's a show about female friendship that I don't really see very much. It's interesting that the first half of this hour was about "Broad City," which is another show about female friendship.
Because they are actually quite rare.
And weirdly real
And the thing that I love about the relationship between the character of Issa and the character of Molly is that so much of their friendship is sort of culturally dependent, in a sense. And that they are both people who grew up in a not-so-great neighborhood in Los Angeles. And they're sort of still toddling back and forth between their, I guess like, "blacker" selves and also their professional lives.
And the fact that they are able to -- the fact that so much of their friendship is actually about that sort of cultural clash that they feel within the one city, that really spoke to me because it's something I could relate to as a person who also grew up in Los Angeles. PAGE So we talked about -- when we were talking to Abbi Jacobson earlier in this hour, we got an email saying her show was often accused of being a show for girls. Here's an email from Dillon who says, "We were big fans of "30 Rock," when it was on.
How much of an influence did Tina Fey and company have in ushering in the female voice in the mainstream media? And I think it was a breakthrough not only because Tina Fey is female, but also just in terms of that type of comedy. That show and I also think, "Arrested Development," which were very, very super fast, you had to really keep up. A lot of quick pop-culture reference type of jokes. You almost had to watch an episode twice to completely absorb all of the humor in it.
And I think a lot of the really great comedies -- although now a lot of them are skewing more toward drama in a lot of ways. And tell us a little about it. Well, okay. And they're all African-American. One of them is an up and coming rapper.
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Donald Glover plays a guy who wants to be his manager. And then they have a third guy who's kind of this dysfunctional friend. DEGGANS And they're all having these adventures in Atlanta where essentially they're trying to get out of their hum-drum lives and build something for themselves in the music industry. And what it really is though is this comedy about young black men, at this point in time, and they're just being themselves.
And that's the great thing also about "Insecure" on HBO. Because often when we see shows centered around black characters, you know, there's some sort of oppressive and huge thing attached to their race, you know, particularly if we're talking about like the slavery dramas, like "Underground" and things like that. They're great shows, but we don't get to see many shows where black people are just being people. Sometimes it's just about wherever you're living, it's about the socioeconomic circumstances you find yourself in. And "Atlanta" and "Insecure" both sort of articulate that very well for black men and black women in different ways.
And also "Atlanta" has this freedom that you also saw in another FX show, "Louie," where Louis CK had this show where, you know, one moment he would cast one actress as his sister and then you'd never see that actress again. Whatever he wanted to do to sort of tell the story at hand he would do it. And Donald is doing a bit of that on "Atlanta" as well. And it's made the show very creative, very interesting, very unpredictable. One more thing I wanted to note to sort of go back to what we talked about earlier.
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I think one reason why we've seen these comedies be very explicit is because it's a generational thing. DEGGANS And it's a way to sort of separate these comedies that are aimed at millennials and aimed at younger viewers away from the more traditional comedies that, you know, some of us have grown up with, like maybe "Friends" or "Seinfeld" or something like that.
One way that "You Are The Worst" or "Board City" or "Girls" or "Insecure" or "Atlanta" can go places that shows before them haven't gone, is by being more explicit and really talking about life the way young people live it right now, which is a bit more explicit, I think, then maybe previous generations have lived it. Also, could you pick up Lottie sp? I'm getting a job and Van's on a date. And thanks, Mom.
I'm your son, Earn. I used to live in there with you. He has a daughter with a woman, with his girlfriend. And he's often asking his parents to watch his kid or loan him money. And so when he stops by the house to talk to them, they're on guard. They won't even let him in. And then there's a, you know, so -- and I think, again, you know, that's something that everybody can kind of relate to.
DEGGANS Trying to find your way, trying to establish yourself, trying to figure out if college is for you or not and then trying to survive if you're trying to find a way that's unconventional and different than maybe, you know, most people expected for you. And that's what Earn is facing as the show kind of kicks off.
'Broad City' episode 9: The Other Women
PAGE Yeah, let's go to the phones, let some of our listeners join our conversation. Rich is calling us from Cambridge, Md. Rich, hi, you're on the air. RICH Good morning.