Bohemian Geeky Girl posted her review of HBO’s new comedy Girls. Her review, coupled with the promos leaving me a little cold, relegated the show to later viewing on Movie Central on Demand. (Canadian Equivalent, somewhat, of HBO on Demand. Long story.) I felt a little curious about the show and some its reviews. In short I wanted to see this thing for myself.
One episode proved enough for my liking.
I watched Girls waiting for a laugh, any laugh, or even a small snort. I received nothing except more drivel depicting twenty-something women as aimless souls, unwilling to work, looking to grow into the person they needs to be, and submitting to humiliating sex for the sake of having any boyfriend. My friends and I had all that without the sound track.
I realize my age is not the demographic HBO seeks for this show. However this comedy made me realize why I head over to the Brits for things not involving dragons, vampires, or zombies. I couldn’t help think in the hands of a British writer the premise sets the stage for a larger discussion of young women and their role in a changing economy. I also think these unlikable characters would find a way to seem likeable, even tolerable. I also seen this girl-goes-to-New-York-to-Write concept so many times and this show fails to bring something fresh to it.
Missing from the program, an observation made by many writers, is any diversity among the cast or their New York setting. What makes New York a magnet for would-be artists is the cultural mosaic in a given neighbourhood. The women in Girls do not make enough to move to a tonier neighbourhood, not even Brooklyn. Where’s the diversity? Where’s the young woman whose parents do not teach at a university? How about a character holding down multiple jobs not just at a dreaded McDonald’s?
The question remains will the series have an arc for each of their characters, or will this turn into Seinfeld with estrogen? I know television has too few women writing comedy, especially series reflecting women themselves, and some may consider my review a little harsh. It’s not about zombies, vampires, or dragons. The shows with all, some, or one of those items still have nuanced characters and good writing. Whether creator/lead actor/writer Lena Dunham will grow her series beyond the navel gazing to examine a post-feminist world these character navigate remains to be seen. Unfortunately I will not be one of those viewers.
Further Reading On ‘Girls’
- Why “GIRLS” Is The WORST New Show On TV (collegecandy.com)
- We Must Keep Talking About Race on ‘Girls’ (theroot.com)
- J-L Cauvin: In Defense of Girls (huffingtonpost.com)
- Is HBO’s ‘Girls’ about young women’s struggles, or some women’s privileges? (jta.org)
- CNN Panel Slams HBO’s Girls For Lack Of Diversity: ‘Odd’, ‘Out Of Step’ (mediaite.com)
- HBO’s ‘Girls’ Misses the Real New York (theroot.com)
- In Defense of Girls (davidklion.wordpress.com)
- HBO’s ‘Girls’ – Why We Have A Love/Hate Relationship With The Show (ypulse.com)