So it was with more than a little shock that I realized four of the most influential shows of my millennial adult life are coming to an end in 2019:
My Jewish sisters created a masterpiece of unpredictable comedy. It's hard convincing people to watch this show - remember how the premiere had Abby Skyping with a mid-coitus Ilana? But it was that precise sense of sexual freedom, coupled with what is almost a neo-hippy free love, that somehow, magically, appealed to every walk of life. It's such a sweet show. It's also authentic and a great example of a small story having big payoff. Like You're the Worst, Broad City has distinct characters whose actions and decisions are always based in their uniqueness. The comedy petered off somewhat in the last couple of seasons, but I will never not be grateful for this clip:
Straight up: I haven't watched CXG with any real consistency since Season 2. When the show started it felt like all of my insecurities and idiosyncrasies had been copied and pasted onto the screen. But as it progressed and Rebecca Bunch's antics were less slice-of-life and more melodrama, the "crazy" became less and less nuanced and I didn't feel the need to watch every episode as soon as it was available. Nonetheless, I still think of this show as a sample of how autobiographical work has to push the envelope in order to develop into something new. (Don't ask me about the finale, my brain is refusing to process it.)
The huge draw of this bad-people-dating-each-other show was the writing (duh) and how each character was super distinct, articulate and terrible in his or her own way. There was a little bit of superiority baked in, since we're obviously better than the characters we're watching. But one of the things this show did best was the one-upmanship. Scenarios getting bigger and bigger, more and more ridiculous. It was massively entertaining. But somewhere around the focus on Gretchen's mental health and Lindsay's solo "abobo" decision, the show started trying to one-up itself, which ended up being its undoing. The finale, though, was satisfying in ways that the last couple of seasons weren't.
Last but not least, the juggernaut that took over the world. It was not easy to love this show. It was long, there was a gigantic map I was supposed to understand, my loved ones died all the time, and I didn't care about the same things everyone else on this planet cared about. (See: After Ned Stark, Catelyn- and Robb's deaths didn't feel monumental, the rape scenes felt par for the course and a weird thing to get stuck on, the boobies were unremarkable.) But it's an epic story. We make allowances for ambition. After sludging through the past couple years, Season 7 picked up the pace and promised delivery on many, many story threads. Season 8 starts this Sunday and man, am I ready for the catharsis of conclusion.