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Television’s quirkiest comedic duo, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, are ready to sign off on their Comedy Central critical darling Broad City.
The New York City-based comedy has gained a cult following since its debut, with fans such as Hillary Clinton and Kelly Ripa making appearances as themselves during its five-season run.
The show’s ending is bittersweet, according to executive producer/writer/star Paul W. Downs, who attributes much of the collaborators’ success to the dynamic they’ve created on set.
“We’ve been so lucky to make a show with our friends. Abbi, Ilana and I have been collaborators and friends for over a decade,” the actor told The Hollywood Reporter In Studio. “Making this show has been a real labor of love.”
Downs is known for his recurring role as Trey Pucker, an overenthusiastic trainer and Abbi’s boss, as well as later love interest at Soulstice, a parody of SoulCycle and Equinox. The actor noted that the aging characters were more than ready for a proper sendoff as they slowly creep into adulthood and leave behind a few of their wilder antics.
“It feels like the right time. We’ve all grown up, and it’s about a very specific time in your 20s in New York. So in a way, it feels like a perfect graduation to the characters,” Downs said.
Many fans have been curious to see if Downs’ character will reunite with Abbi after a falling out, but the actor teased that it will continue to be a guessing game up until the series finale.
“To the last moment, there is a ‘Will they?/Won’t they?’” he revealed in regards to their pending relationship.
Downs, a firm believer that truth is stranger than fiction, noted that Broad City’s large appeal stems from the writers’ ability to capture authentic messages represented in each of the respective stars.
“I think it’s hard not to be political or civic in the characters since all of [the actors] that make the show are,” Downs said. “It’s such a privilege to have a platform to reframe the way we talk about certain things, even if not overtly political, but the way we talk about friendship, women or people without homes.”
Broad City’s creative team geared up for the final incarnation by rewatching the debut season to remind them of their roots, Downs noted. As a call to action, it was important for the creators to go back to the basics and highlight their well-known kooky, adventurous format.
“In the past, we’ve had some big names do the show, but this year it really is about the people that inhabit [the world we’ve created],” he said. “There was the matter of knowing this was the final season and finding a way to close the curtain. It gets emo.”
Broad City will return for its fifth and final season on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 10 p.m.
Watch the video above to hear Downs discuss the parameters around airing outlandish content on network television, future projects he has in the works and more.
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