Millennial Stress, Female Blockage: Issues Facing The Nation

Depression, rage, fear, and anxiety can all be the basis of jokes, and now, thanks to the funny women of "Broad City," so can poop -- or the lack thereof.

Sorry to hit you right in the intestines, but Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have reunited for this new Miralax campaign, and just as they did in their Comedy Central series  (which ran from 2014-2019, for a total of 50 episodes), they are unbowed.

In their slyly genius but non-award-winning show, (they did win an Emmy for graphic animation), they created a much younger and rawer “Sex and the City,” with zero money and way more weed.

It was built on physical comedy, and often showed both women running through the streets of New York City in a way that seemed gymnastic and majestic, even in the squalor.

Imagine a 20something Mary Tyler Moore -- if she lived in Astoria in the 2000s, was frequently stoned, had casual sex, and told Mr. Grant where to go.



But mostly, the show was about the sustaining power of female friendship, the idea that men might come and go, but your “bestie” is forever.

And that was really sweet.

So what links them to the “Lax”? Again, it’s a stretch.

Apparently also unembarrassed to use the word “poop,” the corporate parent company Bayer has just issued research showing that younger women are more than “twice as likely as men to be pooping less than three times a week.”

The press release continued: “Stress may be a contributing factor to this constipation; in fact, the survey, which was conducted among 2,000 Americans aged 27-42, found a staggering 85% of millennial women report routinely having stress on their minds.”

Bayer said, “this high frequency of stress and constipation that American women are facing is what Miralax has coined 'The Gut Gap™.'"

I find that coinage a bit too cutesy, as if even our gastrointestinal systems are victims of sexism.

Abbi and Ilana address that in the campaign, which they co-wrote. I’m assuming the funny parts are theirs.

“Broad City” ended just as Abbi was turning 30 and leaving New York for an art residency in Boulder. That stressed out Ilana enough to declare it an “emergency.”   They worked through it and presumably grew up.

Now they are 32 and 35, respectively, which to me still seems too young to spend a lunch discussing their bowels, but that’s the point.

They give a millennial master class in blockage.

In this three-minute video, part of a larger campaign, they are meeting for their “quarterly Jewish food feast,” (and these days, I’m glad they’re so unabashed about the Jewish part).

But Abbi has a problem.

“Why aren’t you eating? You literally flew in for this,” says Ilana.

Touching her stomach, Abbi says she had pins and needles on the plane. Ilana asks if she wore compression socks. (Shout out to how old millennials are getting.)

 “What’s really going on is that I’m ‘CONSTIPATED,” Abbi finally says, which rocks the restaurant. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

 “Grow up, Abbi,” says Ilana. “Everyone enjoys talking about poop or not-poop.”

Abbi ends up giving a speech like America Ferrera’s in “Barbie” about how women feel they must make “everyone comfortable” but themselves.

They end up cheers-ing as they drink from one of the Miralax packets which Ilana had earlier laid out like flower petals on the table. When questioned about why she has the product at hand, she says, “it’s literally how I meet friends and a couple of lovers.”

So these two Upright Citizen Brigade grads did find a way to get the job done -- to make this kind of gross, downer subject funny.

Or, as Jacobson said in the press release, “We hope (it will) resonate with women everywhere and ultimately help spark a movement, pun intended.”

So by now, as she says in the video, “you’re preaching to the poopa.”

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