I feel an kinship with Lena Dunham… I’m completely smitten with her. I first saw her film Tiny Furniture at the perfect moment in my life when I was just about to graduate college, I felt hopeless in my job search and felt displaced within my family. And while I’d never sleep with a guy on the street or take naps in my underwear like Aura, I understood the hopelessness that she felt. But quite unlike her character, Lena Dunham had the gumption to make a movie, then a TV show, and up next: a book. I know that only good things are to come from this determined, wickedly smart woman.
Of course, when I heard that she would be teaming up with Judd Apatow to create an HBO comedy, I knew that a better collaboration wasn’t possible. I know I’m late to the Girls cult following… but I also can’t afford HBO. Trust me, I’m sure the irony isn’t lost on Dunham, who might actually appreciate that her show isn’t easily available to her target audience who don’t always own cable or TV’s. Once I knew the show was on Netflix, I forked over the money for a month subscription but proceeded to watch the entire first season in two days. I honestly cannot remember a time when I last laughed SO HARD. I’m sure my neighbors heard my guffaws through the paperthin walls and wondered what on earth was going on in my otherwise quiet apartment.
Marketed as the anti-thesis to Sex and the City, these girls are my age, going through similar circumstances and their friendship dynamic is practically spot on to the relationship with my best friend. Dunham pokes fun at the natural inclination to compare ourselves to fictional characters in the first episode, but regardless I can’t help compare myself to what’s onscreen. I strongly understand Marnie as a character. I understand her discipline, her loyalty and how she can come off as boring, mean or self absorbed. On the other hand, Lena’s Hannah stumbles through life, making mistakes wherever she can and always accepting the worst advice. Hannah is somehow pathetically loveable, but at the same time, she lightens the story with the ability to dance away a bad night or shrug at her string of misfortunes. She says self defeating but hilarious things like “Oh sorry I passed you an STD but I enjoy your quirky web presence.” When Dunham described her as “self confidence with no self worth,” I suddenly understood women my age so much better.
I’ve heard people say that Hannah’s relationship with Adam is unlikely or unbelievable… and obviously these people haven’t dated recently! Their weird, toxic, sexual and dysfunctional relationship is spot on. (It’s also why I’m always single!) So many men have that selfish, masochistic behavior but at the same time, so many women dislike Marnie’s boyfriend Charlie, as the catering and suffocatingly sweet guy. (Though, I do love when Charlie says “It doesn’t matter, I chose to love you” to Marnie)
Let’s talk about the nudity. Truthfully, the nudity makes me cringe a little, but at the same time I feel that it too is very realistic. People are usually having sex, and lots of it. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re having good sex, but they’re at least having it! Our world is a lot more naked. Nudity is on TV, in movies, in magazines, on cell phones and easily found on the internet. It’s just not that big of a deal anymore. Plus, Judd Apatow likes nudity, even the awkward, pushing it too far nudity. In his eyes, the more awkward the nudity, the more you don’t want to see it, the funnier it is.
Girls makes me feel hopeful, understood and in many ways, very sad. Though I love watching these seemingly ridiculous hardships onscreen, some of the story lines hit a little too close to home for me. As much as I’d like to fast forward through the next few years, Girls helps me feel like other people are going through the same things as me. Do you watch Girls? We can laugh and cry together.