Hey guys!! Happy Wednesday! Why aren’t you watching Girls?
Okay, okay. Like 15% of you just said “but I am watching Girls!” But the rest of you were all, “I don’t have HBO!” or “Bleh! Lena Dunham is too successful for her age!” or “I heard it was like Sex and the City, and I hate Sex and the City!”
Okay, first of all? Only the people who said they don’t have HBO are exempt from my wrath. The rest of you need to check yo’self before you wreck yo’self. Let’s talk about Girls, shall we?
Girls tells the story of four New York 20-somethings who haven’t quite figured out how to be non-awful human beings. Remember your early 20s? Remember how you dumped your pretty awesome college boyfriend because he was smothering you with affection or how you dated that total asshole just because he paid attention to you or that time you had an affair with that gross 45 year old because he actually had a job and could afford to take you to dinner or when you were the only person your age who wasn’t having sex? That’s Girls.
Let’s be honest- we were all shitholes when we were in our early-to-mid twenties. (Still in your early twenties? Guess what! You’re an asshole! Don’t worry. You’ll grow out of it.) And that’s not as bad as it sounds. I contend that most women are raised with a variety of conflicting messages – keep yourself pure; sleep with him to keep him; be nice and never punch or kick; if someone tries to step up on your territory tear them down – and it all comes to a head in the early twenties. It’s that combination of heady freedom and complete confusion that turns every woman into a fucking crazy person. We make bad choices; we hurt our friends; we try our parents’ patience.
And that’s why I love Girls so much. Is anyone likeable on this show? Absolutely not. Hannah (writer/creator Lena Dunham) is obsessed with the douchetastic-yet-charming Adam (Adam Driver) and is spoiled to a ridiculous degree (the pilot episode begins with her being cut off by her parents; she counters with getting an allowance of only $1500 a month.). She’s a great jumble of a girl with tons of self-esteem issues who nevertheless seems fairly confident with her body (if only because she realizes the alternative is anorexia and a boob job) – without trying to sound pervy, the totally normal looking sex she has with Adam (body hair! weird positions! mundane moments of thrusting! wobbly bits!) is my favorite part of the show. (Adam’s occasional side trips into Old Pervy Man territory notwithstanding.) Hannah’s sarcastic and messed up and feckless – she actually uses the phrase “I have pre-cancer!’ to escape paying her rent. Quality. And Lena Dunham plays her fearlessly.
Marnie (Allison Williams), Hannah’s best friend and roommate, is a shitheel and a half. I actually hate Marnie the most because I was Marnie, straight down to my “you’re smothering me with affection” complaints to people who were too nice to me. She’s self-absorbed, shallow-but-thinks-she’s-deep and, frankly, a total shit. But she throws really great abortions.
And then we have Jessa (Jemima Kirke), the urban and beautiful Brit, and her adorable cousin Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet). Jessa is only interested in Deep People thinking Deep Thoughts and Fighting the Man . . . in other words, she’s completely insufferable. And Shoshanna is a celebrity-obsessed ditz who you just want to transport to summer camp so that she can avoid being crushed by New York. Lots of people compare Girls to Sex and the City until they actually watch it, but Shoshanna’s the kind of girl who’ll keep comparing her life to Sex and the City. She’s Charlotte. Obviously.
So now that I’ve told you how awful these people are, here’s why you should watch: because you’re awful, or you used to be. You used to be spoiled or a bit of a brat or pretentious. You used to toy with people’s affections just because you realized you had the power to do so, and since you hadn’t had the power to do anything before that, you dove in to being awful with both feet. You sleep with bad men, or at least you used to. Or you didn’t sleep with anyone and regret not getting your rocks off more when you were younger and hotter. You have low self esteem, or at least you did until you hit that magical age of 27 when life started righting itself out and you realized that you could actually be a functional human being and kind of rock at it. And if you didn’t do any of that, then you have friends who did, friends who let you learn from their mistakes. And because you were once 23, out of college and facing the world, and having absolutely no idea what you were supposed to ask of it.
And that’s what Girls is, and that’s what it does. It lets you remember being 23, and at the end of each episode you sit back on the couch that you didn’t pick up from the side of the road and you drink the wine that isn’t bearing a Boone’s Farm label and you whisper to the tv, “thank God that isn’t me.”
Already watching Girls? Wanna catch up? Our own Sarah and Meredith are currently doing a TV Talk about the episodes each week on Birth.Movies.Death. Check them out!