vulture tv awards 2015

The Best Female Comedy Performers of the Year Are Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer

Photo: Maya Robinson and Photos by Comedy Central, HBO, Netflix and ABC
Announcing...The Best Comedy Performer, Female
Photo-illustrations by Maya Robinson

All this week, the Vulture TV Awards honor the best television from the past year.

The nominees are:

Constance Wu, Fresh Off the Boat
Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, Broad City
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback

And the Best Female Comedy Performer is …

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, Broad City

I don’t know that I’d tend to an actual friend after he or she had dental surgery, but I wanted to spend every waking second with Abbi in her post-wisdom-teeth haze. I’m not a big kiss-and-tell these days, but if I thought Ilana’s twerking might encourage me to be more sexually adventurous, I’d give her a call. I believe St. Marks Place is a grotesque wasteland (except for that one good bar), but I’d happily walk down it, flipping the bird, alongside the heroines of Broad City.

It’s not just clever writing and dazzling emotional specificity. Broad City works because even at their most neurotic or extreme, Abbi and Ilana feel like the besties you wish you had — because the show is fundamentally driven by the warmth of their performances. There’s a gentle simplicity and breeziness within the show, a sensation that not only are the characters okay but that you will be, too — if these two can love each other so totally and supportively, perhaps there’s hope for the rest of us.

Broad City has plenty of physical punch lines, and they’re all terrific. But none is as important as the subtle physical ease the characters have with each other. That’s how people really sit when they sit next to someone they love; that’s how you really walk down the street with a friend; that’s how you sit on a couch with someone who could never make you nervous. Think of how often other show have, for example, visibly empty cups, or weird spaghetti-arm hugs, or how no one ever sweats. TV’s full of physical bullshit, and yet never on Broad City. The show’s loopiness and desire for realism ebbs and flows within each episode, but the performances anchor everything with a body-driven certainty. Yassss, queen.

Vulture TV Awards: Best Comedy Performer, Female