Today when thinking about ideas for my free choice blog, I decided that I would write about how Judaism plays a role in both Abbi and Ilana’s comedy, identity, and the plot on Broad City. Researching to confirm both were jewish, I stumbled upon the maiden names of both of the stars’ mothers. Wexler and Abrams were both maiden names. This blew my mind as these are the last names of their characters on Broad City. As both characters keep their first names on the show, using their mother’s maiden names seems to be a clear nod to feminine power or something of the sort.
Rather than switch my topic to how being a woman affects the show’s comedy and plot, I am choosing to explore this new found trivia and its connotations. The fathers of both on the show do not represent the typical patriarchal role the father figure displays on Television. Ilana’s father is meek and defers decisions to the mother, and Abbi’s father dances with both women in the kitchen during the only episode he has featured in that I have seen thus far. Ilana’s mother is powerful and often loudly incorrect about things but never challenged.
Perhaps this is all leading back to my original direction for this blog entry. Judaism is matriarchal in the sense that having a jewish mother makes one jewish, but having a jewish father does not. Again though, this could just be a open yet hidden facet of the show, an easter egg of sorts, a nod to the representation of women apart from past barriers rejecting the symbolic ownership men had over women when women had to take the man’s last name. There names on the show differ from their names in real life, but only our social construct of taking the man’s last name makes this the case.
Here, Abbi and Ilana are shown boarding their birthright trip to Israel.