‘Broad City’ not just a ‘Girls’ do-over with Poehler at helm

Get over your obsession with “Girls” and high-tail it to “Broad City.”

Like the overhyped Lena Dunham phenomenon, this Comedy Central series sends up self-absorbed, New York City women making a halfhearted effort to pull themselves up by their Aldo bootstraps.

But in this case, our two heroines mercifully don’t waste a nanosecond pseudo-analyzing their careers, love lives or friendships.

Abbi, a custodian at an exclusive health club, sees nothing wrong with getting out of work early by telling the boss she may have AIDS.

Ilana, a low-level saleswoman for an online company, thinks texting 36 guys for hook-ups makes her a feminist hero. Their idea of an intellectual conversation is arguing over whether or not “What a Wonderful World” is a slave song or debating which is worse: diarrhea or constipation.

There’s a natural tendency to compare the characters to Laverne and Shirley. Resist the urge.

Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, who created the pair and play them, are more akin to Cheech &Chong, slackers oblivious to their surroundings and indifferent to whatever people think of them.

If you must evoke a female role model, Jacobson has a suggestion.

“‘Roseanne’ may be the most influential show for us,” she said. “I love how grounded that show was, how it took risks and could be really intense.

“She played an exaggerated version of herself, and so are we. I mean, we’re much more put together than our characters.”

Another heavy influence just happens to be an executive producer on the series. Amy Poehler, who, like Jacobson and Glazer, trained at Los Angeles’ Upright Citizens Brigade, became an overnight fan after she guest-starred on an earlier Web version of “Broad City.”

Poehler said she was attracted to the women’s gritty, unsentimental take on New York City, a world where the Upper East Side is viewed as more frightening than Harlem.

In other words, don’t expect Abbi and Ilana ever to have brunch at a “Sex and the City” hangout.

“We were excited about not doing a bird’s-eye view of what it’s like to live in the city or the boroughs surrounding it,” Poehler said.

“This show has a very street-level feeling, with a cast of crazy characters who still haven’t made it or don’t know what they want to do. I’d like to think you come and watch the show for the big comedy, but eventually you stay because you care about Abbi and Ilana and the real relationship between the two of them.”

Poehler’s support is likely the key reason the series has been renewed for a second season, despite the fact that it averages only about 860,000 viewers each Wednesday night.

Comedy Central executives must also believe what we early fans do:

Pay a visit. You won’t want to leave.

Watch it

“Broad City” airs at 10:30 p.m. Wednesdays on Comedy Central.

More in Life

Hear new songs from Josh Clauson at Saturday release party

The producer of the Summer Meltdown music festival and Flowmotion band leader has a solo album out.

Get schooled on Texas BBQ at this Monroe restaurant in a bus

Brisket, pulled pork, sausage, chicken and the fixin’s all await you near the Reptile Zoo on U.S. 2.

Spy comedy ’Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ is laugh-out-loud funny

It’s a superficial but energetic sequel to the 2014 film about a clandestine British secret service.

39th annual Arts of the Terrace attracts regional artists

The Mountlake Terrace juried show features paintings, drawings, photography, miniatures and more.

Ben Stiller was born to play title character in ‘Brad’s Status’

Writer-director Mike White’s script has plenty of Brad’s voiceover, so this movie feels like a novel.

See both versions of ‘The Odd Couple’ on Historic Everett stage

The Outcast Players perform Neil Simon’s classic comedy with alternating male and female casts.

The ‘Whimsical Woman’ shares what she learns on the trail

Jennifer Mabus came here from Nevada and Hawaii. She leads hikes and blogs about them.

‘Friend Request’ a horror flick about the dangers of Facebook

Though it’s a little behind the times, Simon Verhoeven’s film about social media is effectively done.

Branch out: ‘Tasting Cider’ recipes call for hard apple cider

Top cider makers share how they like to make hush puppies, bread pudding and the pear-fect cocktail.

Most Read