Girls on “Girls”

The new HBO series has “Girls” has gotten people talking. Let’s just start off by saying that Lena Dunham must be crazy busy! She writes, she produces, she directs, and she acts in this show. That’s an insane amount of work for one person. Oh yeah and might I mention that she’s only 26 years old! That unto itself is impressive. But what about the messages in this show?

Tosha and Ali were the first members of the group to watch and they had very differing view points about “Girls.” That got us to thinking…maybe we should discuss this with all of you!
 

I jumped on the “Girls” bandwagon after about five shows had aired. My officemate Anna’s insistent ravings about the show finally convinced me that I was missing out. So, one Sunday night I logged onto my HBOgo account and sat back to enjoy ONE episode – the pilot. However, I was so enthralled after that first episode, I settled in on my couch for a marathon. I was hooked – plain and simple. 

I love the stumbling-through-life, odd, and quirky character of Hannah, played by Lena Dunham. It’s nice to see a lead actress break Hollywood’s standard of leading lady material. Hannah looks like us, which makes her so easy to relate to. Hannah is always running back to the bad-for-you dick-of-a-guy, Adam (Adam Driver), desperately seeking his approval and ignoring the fact that she is being used for sex and nothing else.

Sex. Yes, sex is a huge part of the show “Girls”. However, it’s not always glamorized. In fact, it shows how sex can sometimes be fumbly and weird. Every sexual encounter between Hannah and Adam is awkward, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and her fling with a blast from the past was quick and dirty, and when Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) ALMOST lost her virginity – it ended before it even started. BUT – the one thing myself and some of the gals at work agree on – when Booth (Jorma Taconne) says “I want you to know, the first time I f*** you, I might scare you a little, because I’m a man, and I know how to do things” to Marnie (Allison Williams)…whoa…just whoa…that….was….SUPER….hot.

My biggest problem with the show is the title. When I say, “I love Girls”…people give me funny looks.  -Tosha

“Girls” – Other than the fact all four girls conveniently got a show because their daddies are well-known in some capacity (which I am more so jealous of because at the ripe age of 25, I’d love to have my own show too!), I love it. It’s raunchy, it’s risky, and it makes me feel good about my curves. Yes, it’s nice to see women with bellies and not 6 packed men having sex. It doesn’t always have to be porn star bodies and perfect bouncy boobs. I think that’s why I’m a fan of the show. Thank you to Lena for keeping it real and being comfortable butt naked in front of the camera. Also, how realistic is life in the story? I’m enjoying the way the plots are somewhat real, for example, dad & mom in the shower getting their groove thing on when something goes wrong and all of a sudden you are pulling your naked daddy from the floor. There is one issue I have… If we back up and discuss miss hippy girl and how conveniently she’s a bitch yet everyone likes her and envies her, well I disagree. No way I’d be wanting to hang out with a girl who’d get on my guy the instant I walk out of a room, or is so freaking selfish. Other than my sub par dislike for one of the 4, I dig the show and will keep watching. – Kyla

I personally don’t know any girls who hang out naked in the bathroom together while they shave their legs, but maybe when you live in the super-tight quarters of New York housing, that’s the kind of thing that happens. Other than the random moments like that, I find the show very interesting. You have four very different types of women that show various facets of what it’s like to be a “girl.” Many of these facets I find annoying, like the fact that Hannah keeps letting Adam treat her like crap. Whenever I’ve known girls who had a boyfriend like that, I occasionally saw the boyfriend do or say something nice for their girlfriend (these moments are what the girlfriend then uses to justify the relationship). But Adam is never, EVER nice to Hannah. I would expect anyone to tire of that rather quickly and walk away from the situation. It’s not like he’s the one who keeps coming back to her with requests for sex (in a “just when I think I’m out, they pull me right back in” kind of way), she’s the one going to him. That makes me nuts. But there are also hilarious moments so fraught with awkwardness, which give me such perverse pleasure. Plus the fact that she has no problem stripping down to her birthday suit is empowering! I can’t help but love Hannah while I hate her simultaneously.

I also want to add a little praise to Dunham’s writing in the pilot. Seeing that this show is centered around four female characters living in New York, it’s very easy to leap to comparisons between this show and “Sex in the City.” In anticipation of this, Dunham uses this very conversation to introduce the character of Shoshanna. When Jessa first arrives in town, she’s shown Shoshanna’s SATC poster and asked which of the characters she think she’s like. It was a very clever moment. -Bryce

My first encounter with the show “Girls” was a passing glance at an advertisement on a bus stop where the thing that jumped out at me most was Judd Apatow’s attachment to the show.  I generally try to keep an open mind and give stuff a chance, but a few names will give me reservations about a project and ‘Judd Apatow’ is one of them.  For the most part I just haven’t enjoyed his movies, but reading more about the show and watching trailers for it I decided to give it a shot. After all, I’m a female, I’m 25, I’m trying to pay my bills and start a career and not rely on my parents and be an adult with my shit together – this show was made exactly for people like me, right?  

I gave “Girls” the benefit of the doubt for three episodes, but I honestly didn’t like it.  Regardless of the backlash it got over the lack of diversity, the actresses parents, etc. my big issue was that this show I was led to believe was about four young women and all their problems and mistakes often just seemed to be the Hannah show with all the other characters being sounding boards for her problems, many of which I just can’t sympathize with.  She’s broke and doesn’t have a job – maybe she shouldn’t have accused a potential employer of being a rapist during her interview.  The guy she calls her boyfriend never calls or texts her – maybe because he doesn’t have to, she just shows up at his place every couple days to have sex and that’s all the relationship is to him.  The other girls have problems in their own lives, I think, they each seem to be diluted to a single facet that they are always going on about – at least when they aren’t going on about Hannah.  I feel there are so many more interesting scenes that I am missing out on because the focus is on Hannah.

For example, about two thirds of the way through the pilot episode Marnie is hosting a dinner party for Jessa’s arrival in New York, but neither Hannah or Jessa are present and she doesn’t seem to care about what the one guest who has shown up is saying.  When asked what’s wrong she complains that Hannah didn’t show up and her disapproval over where she is (at Adam’s apartment); no mention of guest of honor Jessa’s absence or even a selfish remark about how much effort she put into the dinner only one person seems to be eating (which would have been understandable).  Jessa shows up moments later and there’s no confrontation about her being late for her own party or a playing out of the awkwardness of these people who don’t necessarily like each other being forced to hang out, we just skip to the part of the evening where Hannah comes home.  Meanwhile Shoshanna is nowhere to be seen, which makes me suspect her character’s only purpose is a place for Jessa to stay in New York and someone different for Hannah to talk at.

Maybe I should give “Girls” a second chance and see if I like it better after a few more episodes, as I’m told they get into the other characters’ stories more.  It’ll have to wait, though, as I have a queue full of shows that I actually enjoy to catch up with first. -Ali

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6 Comments on “Girls on “Girls””

  1. September 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    I too envy Lena Dunham. When I saw her on Jimmy Fallon, she said she saw him at a party once but she was only 19 years-old at the time.( An opportunity none of us would have.) And I realized she didn’t live the same life I did. I’m always happy for someone when it seems as though they have risen through the ranks and made it. Though, it feels like such a set back when you find out they have parents in the biz, or are somehow plugged in. I thought this about Jonah Hill and then I learned he grew up in L.A and went to Crossroads High School–known as a “celebrity school”. Don’t get me wrong I don’t question their work ethic one bit, however, it makes those who don’t have the plug-ins, but have the talent seem still that much further removed. Opinions of the show aside, I commend Lena and will continue to support women who right about women in any capacity.

  2. May 21, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    Appreciating the commitment you put into your site and in depth information you present.

    It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material.
    Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google
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