How Broad City Helped Me Come To Terms With My Faith

If you’re one of my good friends, or pretty much anyone who’s ever had a conversation with me, you have probably know that I am in love…
With a little Comedy Central show called Broad City. 
I know I’m not the only one who loves this show. After all, it has been nominated for many awards and has received acclaim from audiences and critics alike. 
Even Hillary Clinton is a fan–she guest starred on an episode last season. No matter what your opinion on that woman is, you’ve got to admit that that is impressive. 
The show’s concept is simple, maybe even a little overdone: 2 twenty-something besties in New York City, Abbi and Ilana, navigate their lives through various misadventures.
Now I’m not a fan of TV. I’ve never been one to become hooked on a series or binge watch on Netflix. I know, I know, I’m weird. 
But why am I so obsessed with Broad City? Why do I look forward to seeing new episodes of that show, but couldn’t care less about pretty much any other program?
The answer comes down to one thing. One thing that really shouldn’t matter, and is actually pretty superficial.
Abbi and Ilana are Jewish women, and they are not portrayed as being a joke. 
For a long time, I never understood how it felt to be misrepresented, even as a Jewish girl. 
Whenever my classmates would talk about their Christmas presents, I never felt left out. I just knew I was different.
When I would come across another Jewish person at my school, I would be pleasantly surprised. But I never wondered why I had to feel pleasantly surprised when I met someone like me. That’s just how I’ve always been: unfazed by things that could very well faze me. 
But growing up, I noticed a common pattern in Jewish characters in popular culture: they were, 90 percent of the time, nerdy boys that would constantly get picked on.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who can say that she watched Victorious when I was younger. It was the only show I liked at that age, the Broad City of my young years, if you will.
But there was a serious problem. One character, Robbie, a Jewish boy, was constantly picked on and belittled by the other people on the show. Looking back, I can’t help but wonder if his Jewish faith was a reason why.
It can be very easy to say I’m “triggered” after reading that statement. “It’s a TV show, calm down,” you’ll probably think to yourself. 
But I can safely say that seeing that kind of portrayal made me feel down on myself. For a long time, I hated to be open about my religion, because I was scared that I would be looked at as inferior to other faiths.
So feel free to call me “triggered,” but keep in mind that I have my reasons.
Anyways, when I was around 15 years old, I discovered clips from Broad City online. I laughed out loud, and immediately set the series to record on my DVR.
As I watched more and more of the show, I got to know Abbi and Ilana even better. I eventually saw episodes in which their Jewish faith was highlighted. 
Seeing that these two amazing and hysterical women and I had something in common ushered a change in me.
I realized that up until watching Broad City, I had indeed been misrepresented.
But I wasn’t too upset, because I had these fantastic ladies out there to assure my that I wasn’t alone.
Even though ugly stereotypes and antisemitism still permeate our society, they are not the only things out there. There are positive things, including Broad City.
And because of those positive things, I can now say that I’m proud to be Jewish.
After discovering that program, I became much more open about my faith. I joined a Jewish youth group, I worked at my temple, and I recently got my faith confirmed, all things that I would not be as quick to do if it weren’t for Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer.
So, thank you guys for helping me love myself. Thank you for bringing me out of a hiding place. Thank you for doing the same for other girls like me.
Women like you and shows like yours are the reasons why representation truly is a beautiful thing.

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