From the feminine occult to blocking Trump’s name from your browser
We’re coming up on a year since Donald Trump was elected president, and it’s been a year of, well…coping might be the best word. When we’re not being enraged or disillusioned or frightened by the news, we’re also trying to take care of ourselves in the best ways we know how. Escaping via TV feels like one way to do that, though many new seasons of shows are having to figure out how they’re going to address the elephant in the room — there’s a president in the White House many people are deeply traumatized by. One way to wrangle this elephant is to address it head on — and give it the finger.
Broad City has been in the news for a minute now for how Abbi and Ilana are taking down Trump. As the magnificent Doreen St. Félix wrote in the New Yorker, “Prior to the 2016 election, when it came to politics, Broad City largely, and delightfully, stuck to the muddled matrices of identity…Respect for other cultures is dogma to the show, but so is the lampooning of righteousness.” That lampooning of righteousness is still there, but the muddled matrices are as good as gone. Glazer and Jacobson made news over the summer when they announced that the show, airing on Comedy Central, would censor Trump’s name on their new season. Just a few days ago, they took it a step further and announced a browser extension, the “Trump-No-More” tool, that converts every text mention of Trump to Tr**p.
Last Wednesday’s episode, “Witches,” was, as Felix writes, “the season’s explicit Trump sendup—a careful escalation, or exhalation, of this season’s disquietude.” The female coven has been, to the say the least, very en vogue lately, as demonstrated by the huge uptick in crystals and sage, and the modern-day witches who’ve cast spells on Trump. Harnessing the magnitude of witchy feminine energy feels essential in the tumultuousness of this year, from women’s healthcare rights being threatened to the Weinstein allegations (and the many other allegations against powerful men.)
In the episode, Ilana sees a single strand of silver in Abbi’s hair. Abbi’s terrified, but Ilana says, “Don’t you see? You’re becoming a witch—a dope and powerful fucking witch!” That is what Broad City can not only bring during this dark winter, but maybe help lead in — a coven we can find power and solace in, and one that makes us laugh, too.