Saturday, June 23, 2012


So, recently I've been watching a new show that premiered this spring on HBO called "Girls". The season is over at this point, after a ten episode run, and I literally just finished the finale two minutes ago. I didn't get a chance to watch it when it first aired because, well, Mad Men was on at the same time. Priorities, yo. So, whilst on couch-cation (vacation, only staying on your couch) I decided I would give it a try.

Turns out, it's pretty good.

The show is the result of collaboration between uber-talented Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow. Until the show I never heard of Lena, but apparently she's been around the independent film circuit as actor, writer and director. In addition to writing and directing the show, Lena plays Hannah Horvath, an awkward aspiring writer who's basically cut off by her parents, who have been supporting her financially since her graduation from college. She's got three friends, Marnie (Allison Williams) her slightly prissy, very pretty roommate; Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) the sheltered, extremely awkward, friend and finally, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) the worldly, elegant British cousin to Shoshanna. Aaaaand of course, there's the "boyfriend" Adam.

So, reminds us of another HBO show about for gals in the city making their own way, having sex their own way and dressing in their own way, right? Exactly. The very first episode makes note of this fact. The producers know their audience is not stupid and can see the similarities between Sex and The City and Girls. The young women in the show have come of age watching Sex and The City and thus inspired, they do the same thing Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte do - go to the city and try to make it. Which is why I like to call it "Hipster Sex and The City" - yeah, lets be honest here - the show takes place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This caused me to look at the show with more than a pinch of derision at first.

Thankfully, the producers were careful to make clear that this is not just another SATC clone. Careful attention is paid to who these girls are and how they live what would be appropriate for someone in their situations. This make the characters far, far more relatable than the SATC ladies.They are closer to me in age, career and hell, even finances. It's nice to see Hannah broke because she's struggling, not be because
she's got $40,000 in designer shoes. I do think her apartment is a little too nicely decorated though. Another thing about the show that gives it so much strength is that each character is intensely, gloriously and painfully flawed. And those flaws are displayed for the world to see. Granted for all these great flaws, all the characters can come off as petty, bitchy and whiny and pretty much unlikeable. I have read more and than one review that has pointed this and other aspects of the show. Get over it. This is what makes the show good and interesting. I like the fact that Jessa is a bit of a bitchy whore, and Marnie has a 10 foot pole up her ass. This makes me want to watch the show to see how the characters will or will not grow and develop.

Of course, this warts and all approach to young life and love in an urban setting is not complete with out copious amounts of good humor. Sometimes, we can't help but watch as Hannah muddles about her job, or Shoshanna is stressing out about the proper "Rules" for dating. I think my favorite character is Adam, for all his bizarre mannerisms, he is quite hilarious. Which gives the show it's charm, I think. Some of the things the characters do and go through are downright odd, but it's so quirky and charming you cannot help but laugh and enjoy. This is all thanks to the amazing writing on the show. The quips and one liners that get bandied about are funny and intelligent and make the show interesting. Does anyone truly speak like this? Of course not, but this is TV not real life and that is why we watch TV. 

The season finale left me in a good place with this show. It's nice to end a season and not end up hating a bunch of characters for the numbskull shit they do. Once scene in particular helped endear me a little more towards Ray, the cynical, kind-of-a-jerk guy who works in a coffee shop and came dangerously close to becoming hipster cliche. Truthfully, this show helped me a bit in coming to terms with my own position in life, if not made me feel a little bit better that at my age not everyone has it completely together. This production, to me, embodies the idea that we're still seeking who we are after college. The myth that after graduation a magical switch doesn't get flipped and you suddenly get your shit together. Doesn't work that way, especially in this current economic climate. And that's okay. You do the best you can. I see Hannah struggling with everything and everyone and all the problems she's fallen into and created herself and yet, you're given a sense that everything is going to be okay. It probably won't happen soon, but, at some point it will.

To me, watching a TV show like this gives me hope for more quality programming. I just hope this gets picked up for a second season. Oh, Mighty TV Gods, make it happen!

Until The Next Time I Remember I Have A Blog,

P.S. First season trailer for you viewing pleasure:

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