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A web series about being broke in L.A. puts a (funny) face on millennial struggles

By
Brittany Martin
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Quinta Brunson’s comedy web seriesBroke, follows three young people who are “first-world poor in Los Angeles,” as she puts it, struggling to get by as would-be comedians and creatives. The series is inspired by Brunson’s own life—and it seems to be relatable for a lot of other people, in L.A. and beyond, with her videos logging millions of views.

Problems faced by the characters in Broke include attempting to pay off student loan debt, negotiating with multiple roommates, and trying to figure out how to make a sustainable living off a creative career in L.A. Sound like anybody you know?

In 2014, Brunson was working part-time at an Apple Store and polishing her stand-up material. She did a bit one night at the Comedy Store and it seemed to be a hit. A friend suggested she turn it into a web video and “The Girl Who’s Never Been on a Nice Date” was born. That video went viral and eventually got her foot in the door at Buzzfeed, where she appeared in and contributed to various comedy shorts before being given a full-time position. Among the work she would go on to create for the media brand was their first scripted, narrative web series, When You’re Broke but Still Killing the Game, which became the basis for Broke.

“It broke a million views in a week. It was crazy because it featured three black characters. Notoriously, before, if you put black characters in your thumbnail, it wasn’t going to do as well,” Brunson told Vogue of her show’s instant success.

The first episode of the second season of Broke is below. If you get hooked, you’ll need to subscribe to YouTube Red; the paid subscription service picked up the exclusive rights to the show from Buzzfeed.

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