New York magazine's cover story profiles the patron saints of young, weird New York City: Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the real-life BFFs behind Comedy Central's hilarious Broad City.
For Abbi and Ilana, their newfound fame is, in general, a good thing. They enjoy surprise (and welcome) praise from middle-aged strangers and complementary dishes at restaurants. But it can also get weird, as it does in the course of this very magazine article. Lauren, a self-proclaimed "blasian" doctor, approaches the women with what writer Jada Yuan describes as a "drunk-seeming disregard for personal space."
The encounter is funny, but quickly grows unsettling. Lauren hugs Ilana as a means of introduction, repeatedly proclaims her love for the pair, excitedly offers to kiss their feet, pitches a series of increasingly offensive ideas for the show, invites them to have sex with her brother ("He loves Jewish girls"), and delineates her thoughts on various Asian stereotypes.
Afterwards, Glazer takes a cab rather than walking home as planned, because, she jokes — in a way that's not entirely joke-y — "I’m scared for my safety."
Yuan suggests that it's deceptively easy for fans to conflate the fictionalized, made-for-TV versions of Abbi and Ilana with their off-screen selves — there's a similar blurred line between Lena Dunham and her Girls character, Hannah Horvath.
One problem with playing fun females who are up for anything is that Jacobson and Glazer sometimes aren’t. “People think I want to blaze all the time with them,” says Glazer. “Which is like, I don’t. I’m obviously going to be so nervous about that right now.”
Please, everybody, leave Abbi and Ilana alone. They are one of the Big Apple's most precious natural resources, coming in only shortly behind dirty water dogs, the undisputed champ. Yes, part of Broad City's massive appeal is the sense of intimacy we feel with its relatably eccentric stars, but that doesn't give anyone the right to get up in their business. You don't actually know them, and they certainly don't owe you anything.
So, outside of being actively creepy, what's a fan to do? Fortunately, New York's story also provides a textbook example of an appropriate, non-invasive means of expressing one's admiration for Glazer and Jacobson (or, for that matter, for just about anyone):
As we walk near Gramercy Park on a chilly February night, a beautiful black woman serenades [Abbi and Ilana] from across the street with a tune of her own creation: “Broad City is the best in the wo-orld!”
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.