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Every few years a show comes around that builds on the buddy comedy trope, bringing something completely new and fresh. In 2014, it was the viral hit-turned Amy Poehler-produced Broad City, created by comedian and writers Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer.
In 2017, the latest comedy to arrive on the small screen worthy of a cult-following is Detroiters, a joy-filled, bromantic series about small business advertisers Tim and Sam, whose love of their home city of Detroit is trumped only by their love of one another.
When Broad City debuted on Much and Comedy Central three years ago, the series starred then relatively unknown improv veterans Jacobson and Glazer. The women portrayed their alter-egos on-screen, acting as the hyper-simulated versions of themselves, keeping intact their love of New York City, pot, friendship, and Bed, Bath and Beyoncé.
In a similar fashion, Detroiters creators, writers and co-stars Tim Robinson and Sam Richardson met while performing improv at Second City. Lending their friendship to the TV series, many of the interactions between their on-screen characters are inspired by their real-life friendship.
While Broad City had ties to heavyweight celeb Amy Poehler, Detroiters has fellow SNL veteran Jason Sudeikis, who appears in the Season 1 premiere as an ad executive for Chrysler, a company that doubles as the most fitting series sponsor in TV history. Also a former writer for SNL, co-star Robinson’s connection to the famed sketch series extends throughout the show, with Lorne Michaels also a producer on Detroiters. Other big names have appeared on the series, with Season 1 featuring guest spots from Keegan Michael-Key, Steve Higgins, Cecily Strong, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner.
Where Broad City provided its audience with a show that depicted what it’s really like to date (awful) and pursue career goals (even worse) in your 20’s, Detroiters shines a light on the often unseen, less glamorous hustle that is ignored in the age of social media smoke and mirrors. Not everyone wants to be Insta-famous. Some people just want to do a great job at in a ‘regular’ career path. Don’t knock the hustle.
Don’t expect Sam and Tim to pack up shop anytime soon. pic.twitter.com/B9DPW6Um8p
— Detroiters (@Detroiters) February 13, 2017
Cementing their larger than life characters in relatable scenarios gives both series a sense of technicolor living, showing situations that are likely more mortifying than funny IRL. For example, see below—the face of a man whose pooping bathroom has been taken over at work. It’s possibly the most accurate description of a human emotion ever seen on a half-hour series.
Both shows have doubled as love letters to the cities where they shoot, and while Jacobson and Glazer have the easy task of making New York City look cool, Robinson and Richardson have used their series as a tourist ad for their hometown. Sure, we all want to go to NYC, but one episode into Detroiters and most viewers will likely be adding the Michigan city to their next road trip.
And while Detroiters has less of the R-rated sexual content than Broad City, they’ve still got stuff.
The focus on being young and cool by being not that young and not that cool and therefore the coolest (still with us?) is a theme running throughout both groundbreaking series. Much like Broad City’stheme song, the Detroiter’s opening musical number is the perfect kick-off to the 22 minute joy-fest that is about to transpire. Detroit City is getting back on its feet, yaaaa!
— Detroiters (@Detroiters) March 9, 2017
Broad City and Detroiters have managed to achieve the difficult balance of creating characters that are equal parts self-deprecating and full of happiness, sarcastic without being mean, vulnerable without turning into an afternoon special, and likable while still doing really, really stupid stuff. We all want an Ilana to our Abbi, a Tim to our Sam. But if we don’t have that, feeling like we’re part of the friendship circle through the series is the next best thing. By including the audience in the inside jokes and friendship handshakes, Broad City and Detroiters have successfully created a safe-space for viewers to let their guards down and be silly, an activity that grows increasingly more difficult to fit in upon entering adulthood. They’re shows that make you feel happy and what could be better than that?
Detroiters airs Tuesday’s at 10:30 pm E.T. on Much and has just be renewed for a second season. Catch up with episodes on Season 1 online at Much.com. Broad City will return with Season 4 in summer 2017.