I’ve finally spent part of this weekend devouring the first season of this so acclaimed by many of my (girl)friends HBO series named GIRLS. This TV channel is currently broadcasting its second season and as far as I can tell, according to reactions and impressions around me, Girls is becoming a huge thing.
To be honest I don’t feel very confident when this happens, so it takes me time till eventually I reach a point I gather strength enough as to watch the whole season in one go if possible. It happened with Game of Thrones last year, and I’ve repeated same pattern with Girls this weekend. In both cases the outcome has been more positive than expected.
For those who have no idea what Girls is about, I’ll try to write a quick approach. Hannah (Lena Dunham) is a 24 year old aspiring writer who’s writing her first novel, and lives comfortably in New York until her parents announce that they’re finally cutting income support in order she starts taking care of her own business and is finally aware of what real world is. Thus, all of a sudden she finds herself broke, without a job, supposedly sharing flat and rent with her friend Marnie(Allison Williams), and visiting Adam (Adam Driver) to get laid from time to time.
Girls is basically the evolution of Hannah, the main character, and all her closest entourage of girl friends: Marnie the responsible and down to earth friend who feels frustrated due to her boring relationship with Charlie (Christopher Abbott), Jessa (Jemima Kirke) the bohemian posh hippie who doesn’t know nor care about the meaning of hard work and responsibilities and finally Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet), the freak student whose biggest baggage is being virgin and is a Sex and The City diehard fan living in Nolita.
Lena Dunham is the creator and director of this series which apparently includes a great deal of autobiographic stuff, plus she’s playing herself, which means an advantage in transmitting concepts and experiences. Also, thanks to be HBO, there’s freedom in terms of exposing certain subjects which can be considered inappropriate. The combination of these two aspects are key for this series success.
Thinking of Girls and being myself 36, allows me to see the whole thing in a more objective way. Sex and The City was created to attract women in their late 20s early 30s, and such was the impact, all of a sudden there were loads of “superwomen” aiming to be independent, stylish and in total control of men. I never connected with that series, even less with the characters. I didn’t feel identified and reflected in any of them.
Girls’ target is completely different. Of course the potential audience is girls in their 20s, and even though most of the characters live comfy, it’s also true they have to deal with real life issues such as rent, work, sex, drugs, money or SSDs. The series tries to make an approach to a part of this young adult generation, with cutting humor, awkward situations and funny dialogues. Characters’ roles and personalities are excessive, dealing with dramatic moments in a hilarious way.
There’s one thing I particularly find remarkable and has to do with Hannah/Lena. I like the fact that she plays herself. She’s not perfect. Physically she’s overweight, quite messy in aspect, her body is weird, her outfits unlike her friends, are sometimes terrible. She’s difficult to cope and live with, she’s plenty of insecurities and obsessions, she’s always so concerned about her own problems not only she involves her friends in her stuff but also doesn’t give a shit about the rest of the world. But at the end of the day she’s got something irresistible and you always end up liking this freak. She’s a great anti-heroine. There’s no doubt that she’s becoming an icon and a reference for many girls and women.
Girls is becoming a mass phenomenon and probably the effect upon some girls will be devastating if it ever occurs to them that these 4 girls are to be their role models. These friends are essentially unstable and quite out of control. Curiously and working against this independent feminist concern, many times they need the advice and support of a male character to cope with their insecurities or evolve into something. Adam is, against all odds, the most active part in the relationship, showing and expressing his affection for Hannah, and trying to step forwards into a serious relationship by committing, which is something she cannot comprehend nor assume. Shoshanna definitely needs a guy to release her from her heavy baggage. Marnie depends on Charlie as her clutch however after dumping him, she needs him by her side, and careless Jessa at the end of the day needs a man to be tamed and stay away of trouble with engaged men.
You have to take Girls in a simple way without looking for feeling identified with their characters, no matter how much familiar certain situations are.
Once this been said, I reckon this series is worth being watched by everyone, both men and women, because it’s really entertaining, funny and easy going, and considering the times we’re passing through, a dose of smart fun and frivolity is often necessary.