Broad City: Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer tease 'bittersweet' final season
Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer would never let their fictional counterparts end their series with a whimper. And so, for their final season, they’re aiming, well, high: They’ve ambitiously structured the premiere to follow Abbi and Ilana solely through an Instagram Stories-like format, recruited bold-faced names (Alan Cumming! Mark Consuelos! Amy Sedaris!) to guest-star, and created a bucket list of New York landmarks to visit (think the Staten Island Ferry, Sleep No More) before they — sniff — wrap things up. “It’s bittersweet,” Jacobson says of leaving the City, “but it’s really uplifting, too.” Glazer agrees: “It’s so scary and already such a loss, but we chose to end the show now because we needed to grow in other ways.”
Below, the pair talk about wrapping up the series.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When you guys started the show a decade ago as a web series, did you ever have an ending in mind?
ILANA GLAZER: I don’t think we had an idea about the ending when we started the web series, but it’s been forming over the past few seasons, for sure. When we started, we didn’t even know it was going to even be a TV show that would have an ending, you know what I mean? But, for the past two or even three seasons, we’ve known what the ending was going to entail and also what it was going to look like and feel like. Abbi, I’m just thinking, the way we executed it, we kind of knew we were going to do this thing for years.
ABBI JACOBSON: Yeah, we knew how it would end. We weren’t sure exactly how we would get there.
Abbi, a couple months back, you said you hope the final season would distract people from the “f—ing insane” state of the world. For you—
JACOBSON: I’ll clarify that a little bit. I just meant I hope that it’s both a distraction and also a way to think about what is going on. I think comedy’s so important, but I also think we try our best to comment on stuff going on that we’re thinking about and talking about, so I hope it’s a little bit of both.
In that case, how would you describe the tone of the final season?
GLAZER: It’s bittersweet right now in real life, but it’s more… I think the first third of the season feels like classic Broad City, but then we do move into a little bit of a richer tone. There’s more character development, and then the last three episodes are totally that bittersweet vibe. We’re in the edit right now, and for the next couple of months. I’m excited to see what “bittersweet” looks like on our show.
JACOBSON: We’re both definitely in the mode of it being so bittersweet, because we know it’s the last time we’ll do everything while we do it. We love the show obviously, as creators of it but also as audience members. We care about these characters so much. They’ve meant so much to us.
What are some of the adventures in the final season that you can tease?
GLAZER: One thing that we’re really excited about is our premiere episode, which takes place all in the context of Instagram stories. It’s not quite the same [laughs], just legally not the same thing. But we’re really excited about that. It feels like you’re with these characters, in a bizarre way. What else, Ab?
JACOBSON: I mean, yeah, we really are commenting on social media while blowing it completely off. You’re fully in it while you’re watching the show. It will be as if you’re watching an Instagram story the entire time. We’re giddy every time we see the episode, so I hope you guys feel the same way.
Jumping ahead to the very end, what’s the one word you would use to describe the series finale? Can be any word.
JACOBSON: I’m going to say “change.”
GLAZER: And I’m going to say one word about it: “bright.”
JACOBSON: Oooooh, yeah. [Laughs]
Good to know and to chew on! Before I let you get back to editing the final stretch of the season, one last thing: What will you miss the most?
GLAZER: The thing that I am going to miss the most is why we had to end it, I think, which is exploring ourselves, our true selves, through these characters. It’s so scary and already such a loss, but we chose to end the show now because we needed to grow in other ways. That was becoming a pattern that I think we needed to break.
JACOBSON: I agree.
All that said, you’ll both be back soon enough. What are you working on next through your deal with Comedy Central?
GLAZER: We have a live-action show and an animated show that we’re at least writing the start of. And then we have separate projects we’re producing that we’re excited about. What about you, Ab?
JACOBSON: Yeah, separately, I’m doing this show with Samantha Irby based on her third book that I’m super excited about. I’m kind of excited to not exactly know [my next steps], to be honest. [Laughs] I think that might be the most exciting thing, to not fully have my year planned out.
Broad City returns Jan. 24 at 10 p.m. ET on Comedy Central.