Broad City S1 Ep. 1-4: The SSL Review

Being the 1. Broad City is full of SSL Reviewable moments, 2. I didn't take good notes on my first viewings of Seasons one and two, and 3. I truly enjoy watching that show, I decide to re-watch Broad City and take good notes for SSL Reviewing this time. I will continue adding these reviews to the big ol' list of TV SSL Reviews HERE (and as always you can find all the movie SSl Reviews HERE).

As my die-hard readers already know, an SSL Review is a critique specifically of a depiction or discussion of female orgasm and/or masturbation. I look toward realism (for instance, were the physical things happening to that women while she orgasmed things that could realistically cause orgasm for a woman?) and to what the depiction/discussion reflect from and add to the larger cultural discussion around lady-gasms and female sexuality. A show could be good with a bad SSL review or vice versa, and I really try to keep and SSL review to the SSL reviewable scenes, but if I feel like it, I can talk about anything I want to - because it's my blog.

So here we go:

S1 Ep 1 "What a Wonderful World"

Planned Masturbation Scene

She episode begins with Abbi looking at a vibrating dildo (a purple one where the tip of the penis makes a twirly motion and there's little vibrating like bunny ears that would be positioned to stimulating the clit while the dildo's up in the vag) with a sticky note that says: "Tuesday 7am"

Ilana Skypes her a (I can't be sure that's the actual program they're using, but you get the point), and she puts it down to answer. Ilana's telling her about a badass plan for the night and Abbi's all like, 'sorry, I got cashew stir-fry to eat,' and Ilana's all like, 'bitch please, you need to have some fun.'
Ilana: You're so stuck in your little routine. I bet you schedule when you jack off.
Abbi: Schedule when I ja...phhssh.....

So later after their adventure we see Abbi put a sticky note with "Wednesday OR Thursday" on that ol' vibrating dildo.

So this is not a complicated one here. I'm gonna make this fast.

1. It is insinuated that a female main character masturbates
2. This woman's friend knows she masturbates, and they speak about it in a way that insinuates nothing wrong or wierd about that she masturbates (only about how scheduled her masturbation habits are)

Because of 1 and 2, the idea that women masturbate and that they can speak freely and unashamed about their masturbation is normalized for the viewer. This kind of relationship with male main characters to masturbation is pretty common in comedy TV and movies, but not for females, so this scene is progressive and important for orgasm equality, because normalizing lady-bation is crucial

  • to get more women masturbating and at a younger age
  • for there to be a larger cultural understanding that women crave orgasm in a similar way to men

I will say that there is no depiction of exactly how Abbi used that device to masturbate, so this scene could be a little mushier lesson for some. I say this because what she is holding is a dildo, something you put inside the vagina, and since there is a strong sense in our world that women orgasm from things (especially penises) stimulting the vagina, it might reinforce that idea for those that don't know any better (which is probably most people) because they assume she's just gonna ram it in and out to masturbate.

However, it's not a bad depiction. It is a realistic and sensible masturbation device. It is a vibrating dildo, so you could just hold it against the vulva/clitoral gland area to masturbate. Also, there are these vibrating ears on it that would stimulate the clit while the dildo is inside, if one wanted to go that route. Hell, you could just stuff it in a hole and masturbate the clit/vulva area with the hand if you really wanted to. So, what I'm saying here is it can be used in a variety of very realistic ways - because seriously, there really should be insinuation of clitoral glans/vulva stimulation if this is to be deemed realistic. As far as scientific literature is concerned an orgasm caused only by stimulation inside the vagina has never been observed or recorded AND almost all women who masturbate, do so by stimulating the clitoral glans/vulva area (Hite Report 1976 was a good survey on that) - you can find more about all that HERE.

Anyway, altogether a solid discussion of masturbation: Progressive with insinuations of realistic masturbation possibilities. I give this 4 1/2 Vulvas:

S1 Ep 4 "The Lockout"

Bonus Technically Not SSL-Reviewable Scene
So, there was no discussion or depiction of female masturbation or orgasm, but they spoke about receiving oral sex in a refreshing, progressive way. They were sitting on a porch waiting for a locksmith. Here's the scene:
Ilana:  OK, who would you rather have go down on you? Michael Buble or Janet Jackson....
Abbi: Oooo. okay, um what buble are we talking here?
Ilana: I don't know - the optimum Michael Buble
Abbi: 'cause his weight..fluctuates...
Ilana: yeah
Abbi: so does hers.
Ilana: yeah
Abbi: so does mine
Ilana: yeah
Abbi: but then again, Micheal Buble is like such a crooner I think he could do stuff with his mouth that like most people couldn't.
They get interrupted there, but the point I'd like to make is that these women express casual interest and joy in thinking about famous people giving them oral pleasure. Again this is a freedom males are allowed in movie and TV all the time, but not so much for women. It was refreshing and exciting to see that kind of sexual agency expressed in a female to female conversation, and although not technically SSL REviewable, I thought it worth a mention.

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