For pushing ultra-explicit dialogue more appropriate to a hard-core pornographic film over basic cable, the Wednesday, February 4th
episode of Comedy Central’s Broad City
(10:30 p.m. ET) deserves recognition for being the Worst Cable TV Show of the Week.
A television series about a pair of twentysomething promiscuous pothead “feminist” slackers who live in Manhattan does not appear to be one calculated to appeal to the vast majority of American viewers. But, following the entertainment industry’s narcissistic policies of today – “We only write what WE find interesting and care about, and the heck with the rest of the world!” – such a series has managed to shoehorn itself onto the Comedy Central basic cable network. Unfortunately, every cable and satellite subscriber in the country is forced to pay for Broad City
, whether they like it, watch it, or have never even heard of it.
But, some may say, the basic cable tier is both broad and deep, so why NOT a series that appeals even to a minority interest? (The fact that basic cable today contains little to appeal to the mass audience which doesn’t care about sex, graphic gore, or non-stop reruns of CSI
is apparently not worth mentioning.) This would be a fair argument…until such a program airs an episode that would be more at home on a hard-core pay-per-view channel than on a basic tier where everyone is forced to fund it.
And that’s exactly what Comedy Central did with the episode titled "Knockoffs." The episode picks up with Ilana and Abbi, the show’s sex-obsessed protagonists, having a typical conversation as they walk to meet Ilana’s mother.
Ilana: “Ok, we have to go back to the fact that you are finally going to vagina-swallow Jeremy tonight. He also definitely doesn't wear underwear. He's got his junk rolling around in there all smelly and stuff.”
Ilana complains about her mother.
Ilana: “This bitch is always late.”
Ilana’s mother Bobbi arrives.
Bobbi: “I can’t believe you beat me here. This bitch is always late.”
Abbi expresses her condolences that Bobbi’s mother has passed away.
Bobbi: “Don’t cry for Granma Esther. That woman lived 92 full years. She played for the Rockford Peaches. She sang at the Cotton Club.”
Ilana: “And she [bleeped f***ed] Little Richard!”
Later, Abbi and Jeremy are making out on his bed, Abbi in her bra and Jeremy shirtless. Abbi suggests that they switch positions.
Abbi “Do you mind if we switch? Mix it up a little bit?”
Jeremy: “You sure?”
Abbi: “Yeah. Why not, right?”
Jeremy thrusts a strap-on dildo into her hands and bends over on the bed.
Jeremy: “It's a Shinjo. Right in the butt!”
Abbi pauses in confusion.
Jeremy: “Oh, my God. You just meant switch positions! I thought you were suggesting that we SWITCH!”
Abbi: “Yeah. Um, it just caught me off-guard. I-I-I’m just…getting’ the feel…”
Abbi ducks into the bathroom and phones Ilana for advice. (Because what else do you do during sex but phone your best friend?) Ilana responds with the following ultra-graphic dialogue:
Ilana: “Cut or uncut?”
Ilana: “Ooh, elegant! And girth?”
Abbi: “Listen, dude, I'm freaking the [bleeped f***] out right now! We were doin’ it, and I said we should switch positions. And then he throws me a strap-on!”
Ilana puts the phone down and does a dance.
Ilana: “This is a dream come true! Thank you for sharing this with me!”
Abbi: “Dude, I'm calling for advice.”
Ilana: “Oh, so ok, start lubing up the head.”
Abbi: “I’m not even sure I’m gonna do it.”
Ilana: “What is not to know? This is once in a lifetime!.…All throughout college, I slept with a strap-on on, just in case the opportunity came along that you have handed to you on a silver [bleeped f***ing] platter!”
Abbi: “I dunno. I envisioned being with Jeremy in a lot of ways, but not this way.”
Ilana: “We are going to my grandmother’s shiva
. The reason why I'm, like, sitting and crying is because that badass bitch did everything she ever wanted to. Do you want to go to the grave dreaming about Jeremy's hairy, adorable little butthole? Or do you want to die knowing that you brought him pleasure by plowing it like a queen?”
Abbi: “I just don’t know, Ilana.”
Ilana: “Bitch, you know.”
A moment later, Abbi emerges from the bathroom. A camera shot from between her thighs shows the dildo dangling in front of her.
Abbi: “Turn around.”
The next day, Abbi puts the dildo in the dish washer and accidentally destroys it, then goes to a sex shop to buy another. A woman yells at the clerk: “Once again, these nipple clamps are not tight enough. They keep popping off.”
Clerk: “Well, I’m sorry, ma’am. That’s as tight as they get.”
Abbi approaches the clerk.
Clerk: “You tried to wash a dildo in a dishwasher?”
He holds up the dildo and examines it with a magnifying glass.
Clerk: “Let’s get to work!”
The viewer is then “treated” to an interminable sequence during which a wide variety of plastic phalluses are held up before the camera. After purchasing a replacement, Abbi hurries to the shiva
, where a cantor sings a religious song – during which the two women discuss anal sex.
Bobbi rummages through Abbi’s purse, finds the dildo, and waves the sex toy around. Ilana’s father asks what “pegging” is.
Ilana: “Pegging is when a woman with a strap-on, with a dildo, penetrates a man.”
Ilana's father: “Oh, but wouldn't that be more of a gay thing, Elliot?”
Elliot: “No. I mean, how would I put a dildo on top of my dick? Straight men and gay men alike both enjoy prostate stimulation.”
Ilana: “And it's very popular with married couples.”
Elliot: “Is it?”
Bobbi: “We were at the Miller's once, and it turned out it was a swingers party. Yeah, but we didn't have sex with anybody, just, you know, but we stayed 'cause the food was incredible…But Abbi, good for you for trying something new! That is terrific!”
Abbi: “I can’t really believe we’re talking about it.”
You’re not the only one, Abbi. As recently as ten years ago, such unbelievably graphic dialogue would’ve been unthinkable, even on a basic cable channel. But not today. Now, in the current “enlightened” age, anything goes – except maybe TV shows that non-sex-obsessed people can enjoy.
Those who disagree with the PTC often join sheep-like in bleating the refrain, “Just change the channel.” But this completely misses the point. The point is: even if you DO change the channel, you’re still being forced to pay for pornography. And, in a cable universe numbering literally hundreds of channels, why is there so little for people who don’t enjoy pornography to watch?
There is absolutely no reason that subscribers to cable and satellite TV should be forced to subsidize Broad City
’s content…just as there is absolutely no reason Comedy Central should be showing it. Is this sort of thing REALLY the best “comedy” a network entirely devoted to comedy can come up with? In this wide, amazing, varied world, isn’t there ANYTHING other than strap-ons and anal sex that is funny?
In the creatively bankrupt world that is today’s so-called “entertainment” industry, apparently not. And standing as Exhibit “A” in testimony of that bankruptcy, Comedy Central’s Broad City
is hereby named the Worst Cable TV Show of the Week
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