In Defense of

by Leandra Medine
February 26, 2013
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How do you feel about the show’s recent turning points?

On Sunday night, while Hannah struggled with her UTI (all recovery takes is a cranberry pill, trust), I wasn’t concerned with Jessa’s departure, or Shoshanna’s May-December romance, or Marni’s terrible sex with Booth. All I cared about was calling my mother to say ‘I love you.’ And so I did.

Even in an episode that many found to be off-puttingly somber (according to yesterday’s comments on MR’s facebook page), the writers once again tapped in to something real and relatable. That element of authenticity is a large part of what makes the show so engaging, and frankly, comforting. Even in the series’ recent departure from its typical fare, the essence of a shared experience remains.

Curious how others felt, we asked for responses to Sunday’s episode on Facebook. Comments were a mixed bag, but more than a few fell in the “another kind of sad episode. Great,” camp. The gist was that the episode’s melancholic vibe was a let down.

I just have to ask: why? I know that the human tendency sways more definitively toward using television for escapism, but what’s wrong with television as a function of intellect, or as the great conversation elicitor? If ignorance is bliss, knowledge is ecstasy, and if that knowledge can make you laugh, too, well, that’s an untapped drug still being cultivated somewhere very, very exotic.

But I get it–because sometimes I just want to giggle and not have to worry that the depth of my forehead wrinkles are directly correlated to the depth of the plot line. And, granted, the transition from curious (albeit hilarious) comments that invite sex, (see: “I like the way you fold your turtleneck”) to breaking points – like the raw portrayal of a fundamentally bruised Jessa or Hannah’s happiness melt-down two weeks ago in the Brooklyn Brownstone -just seem a bit jarring. But isn’t that life?

Unsurprisingly, the Brooklyn Brownstone, Patrick Wilson sexcapade provoked a lengthy conversation around the show. Naysayers continued on their overzealous journey to prove Lena Dunham’s sweeping narcissism–where was the rest of the cast?–while the rest of us thoughtfully took note of what she may have been trying to accomplish. Some of us even relating deeply to Hannah’s terrifying realization that those seemingly trite things – like happiness – are worthy desires. And who doesn’t want to be happy?

The deeper I fall into my 20′s, the more I realize that I am obsessed with chasing happiness. I don’t know that such a chase ever ends, but I know that prior to this point, happiness felt a lot more like a function of who I was. And just in that internal, subjective revelation and my hunger to share it with you, I believe that no matter how much I prefer watching all four Girls act like girls (because I do), and no matter how confused I was while I watched the naked ping-pong tournament, that episode won.

Like any relationship, though, there must be substantial, strategic room to evolve. And though Lena’s earned my trust, I hope the next few episodes offer a respite from overt melancholy.

I’ll watch either way–it’s hard for me to deny Girls’ uncanny ability to break-down the twenty-something experience, which has also helped me to understand something very important: the fundamental difference between the idol you want to be, and the one you want to be friends with. Hannah Horvath is a deeply self-deprecating, wholly irritating individual–who wants to be that? Not very many people, I would guess. But it is in the tender moments that exemplify the nuanced, true details of female friendship that I for one, itch to get in that tub and participate in an Oasis sing-along. And isn’t that worth something far more valuable? Hannah never steals our personal compasses of self-worth or adequacy.

What are your thoughts on the evolution of the show? Like it? Hate it? I’m eager to hear what you think.

Edited by Kate

REPLIES
  • Natalie

    Does Hannah have to have sex with EVERYONE? That’s my question. And seemingly unprotected at that. Maybe that is reality for “most 20-something’s” but it certainly isn’t/wasn’t my reality. It wouldn’t be even if I wanted to screw every stranger I came into contact with.

    I don’t mind the show, but it is becoming more and more unrealistic in my eyes. The brownstone ep. The random sex with turtleneck 19-year old in the woods. The driving while puffing on a cool whip can?? Maybe I’m just a jaded, old 28-year old, but I’m not believing it anymore.

    • Leandra Medine

      I think those jarring instances (Marni getting snubbed at her art job interview and so quickly deciding she should probably just become hostess fall into that category too) are more about the collective blindness/maybe even optimism of our being in our 20s? That’s certainly NOT the experience per action for everyone but that feeling that maybe if I don’t think and just do this, that it will work, that this will be it, is something we’ve probably all felt.

      I’m also not sure if that makes any sense at all, though, so, there’s that.

      • http://twitter.com/osborra Rebeka Osborne

        No, that totally makes sense and I agree. For me, that is part of what makes the show and the Girls so relatable. I feel the blindness and the optimism and quite often the need to just not think and do it (I’ve been feeling more and more of that the further into my 20s I get). It’s nice to know I’m not alone in that.
        p.s. I love your Girls posts. A lot.

      • http://twitter.com/looksharpWI Look Sharp Sconnie

        Nice to hear that’s a 20s thing.

        I thought every rejection was supposed to be this melodramatic.

    • Sarah

      I completely agree!

    • http://twitter.com/alainaelise Alaina

      I totally see why you’d think that. But I almost think that certain flaws in relationships / judgements are exaggerated in the show to make a point. At the beginning of S1, Adam is over-the-top horrible, and Hannah lets him be that way. I know friends, and heck, even myself, that have let guys treat them like dirt and still kept coming back for more. Maybe in my experience, the guy wasn’t sexually dysfunctional (the masturbation scene was a little much) but I don’t think that’s the point. It’s the overarching theme of ‘why would we be in relationships that are so poisonous,’ not ‘why would she do that with him.’

    • http://twitter.com/owlnotations Christianna Lininger

      I think Hannah having sex with everyone is more of a function of Lena exaggerating Hannah’s “self-depreciation” and lost characteristics. In my opinion, there is a subset of our generation who has no idea who they are, and promiscuity has always seemed to be something that fleetingly fills that void. Lena is exposing that subset, and I know so many people who fit Hannnah’s behavior in that aspect that it is not at all unbelievable to me, in fact I see some of my friends in her character and its daunting. Then again, maybe I’m just a naive and ignorant 24 year old .. :)

    • http://twitter.com/krystalpearson9 Krystal Pearson

      I’m the same way. I’m still not convinced that the episode with Patrick Wilson WASN’T a dream sequence. It’s getting more unrealistic in my eyes too.

      • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

        Ok I’m gonna give you 3 real life instances of the Patrick Wilson/ Hannah hook up:
        #1) My ex, super gorgeous, witty charmer, life of the party, girls chasing him non-stop. When I broke up w/ him – he dated the physical equivilent of Hannah for about 6 mos.Later married a beautiful blonde.

        #2) My(extremely attractive) friend’s ex (in our 20s)- super hot guy looked like a male model, but reserved personality and a bit stand offish. After breaking up with my friend proceeded to date very plain and not at all conventionally attractive women. Later married a research scientist.

        #3) My brother’s colleague. Tall, dark, handsome, outgoing guy with endless charm and a great job. Consistently dates much (visibly) older women, who are very plain and not conventionally attractive. We have *never* seen him with an equally or even close to attractive woman.

        The Patrick Wilson ep was very realistic to me.

    • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

      I had a friend in my 20′s that was like Hannah in that she *did* sleep with *everyone*. Not only that ,but she would call the guy the next day and leave a message telling him what a great time she had and try to set up another date. It gets worse, when he would inevitably fail to respond, she would continue to call/leave messages, getting more and more upset and then be on the phone with all of us trying to figure out what was going on with the random guy and why he wasn’t returning calls etc. These were obvious one night stands to everyone else, but NOBODY could get through to her, and she was not able/willing to change.

      I also had a Marnie-ish friend, who kicked it up a notch by complaining incessantly about all the supposed people who were “jealous” of her looks and (parents) money, while droning on with endless compliments she got from people telling her how beautiful, thin and hot she was. After college graduation she applied for a job in her chosen field, got turned down and NEVER applied for another job. Her parents supported her until she got married, then they gave her new hubby a job in the family business, after buying them a house and a new SUV. No joke.

      The Girls characters are not unrealistic – they exist out there. Trust me. I could go on.

      • http://pinksole.com/ Rachelle

        Wow I believe you and I have yet to meet people like that

  • http://twitter.com/lisbeth636 Lauren Miller

    “The deeper I fall into my 20′s, the more I realize that I am obsessed
    with chasing happiness. I don’t know that such a chase ever ends, but I
    know that prior to this point, happiness felt a lot more like a function
    of who I was.” Ever since I fell over to the other side of 25, I have felt like this. Also, I have loved every episode of GIRLS this season. Yes, some are darker and sadder than others, but she is revealing more about the characters in a way that makes you feel so much more engaged. It really hits home.

    • http://twitter.com/alainaelise Alaina

      I totally agree. One of my favorite moments from last season was in “All Adventurous Women Do,” and that now semi-iconic moment when Hannah is trying to deal with learning she has HPV and her ex being gay, and “Dancing on My Own” comes on and she just starts dancing. Sometimes there is nothing else to do than just shake things off. The funny, happy moments in the show are great, but seeing how the characters deal with the shitty, sadder stuff is more meaningful, I think.

  • http://twitter.com/alainaelise Alaina

    I love the show. I understand what people criticize about it (no diversity, #whitegirlproblems) but I think it uniquely captures the very un-glamorous things we face being 20-something women. No one really warns you about how hard your twenties are, suddenly being thrown into the world and learning how to deal with work, finances, friendships crumbling, and the scary world of relationships. I loved the episode a few weeks back where Marni and Hannah are just on the phone lying to each other about how great their lives are – definitely something that I can relate to.
    People are always going to find something to be negative about, but if something speaks to you and you enjoy it, just don’t listen to them.

    • http://twitter.com/osborra Rebeka Osborne

      I couldn’t agree with all of this more. Well put. I am also totally in love with the show (even with the white girl problems).

      • Marie

        I see the show and relate to it as a great look into the minds of a generation which has become what it is because of a world that is in constant change. There are tons of expectations to us – most of all they come from ourselves – but nevetheless it is a rleief to see a more relateble depiction of “girls” rather than another depiction of the perfect and polished personalities that many of the critics clearly would prefer. I say yes to the ideal for normal rather than the normal ideal! Girls is a refreshing show and i for one will keep watching.

  • Junebug

    I agree completely. Like you said, it is so nice to watch something that is so funny yet has meaning. Girls is no doubt my favorite show, and you, are no doubt my favorite blogger. Also…can we be best friends?

    • Leandra Medine

      Yes.

      • catied

        cranberry only relieves the burning, it does not cure a uti. common misconception and can lead to hospitalization. trust.

      • Kelli D.

        May I also, please, be bf’s, Leandra? I am waaaaaaaay older than ALL of you and have decided to tune in as well. At my advanced age, I am totally fascinated by what Lena D is saying. And oh, my, how I cringe. And I sometimes actually cover my eyes, because… I mean … the ill-fitting HORRIBLE clothes Hannah wears, for one. Those rompers have all but given me a Real Life give-me-a-bucket major migraine. Genius!! Meanwhile, this latest episode…I cringe for the public peeing. The over-sharing. But, I mean, we have ALL done that. The car scene — with the dork driving way too fast, and the whip cream whippets? In 1982, oh yeah, we did stupid (now vintage) shit like that too. And the sudden whimsical weekend of falling-for-the-older-handsome-neighbour dude who *seemed* to have it all together, except for the “ex” spouse part? Uh, that would be a yes. And the dancing with less than suitable coverage with less than upstanding gentlemen strangers? Yup and… Yep. Pretty sure my 20′s looked very much, even without the interwebs, the VERY SAME. Lena has something authentic going on that may not be wholly recognizable at all times, for all people, but she has captured….*something* that rings true about being 20 plus and not just 20 years old NOW but what it means to be 20 ish, period. BTW, that whole happiness search thing. Still happening decades later. I think it simply means we are, quite gratefully (and fashionably!!!) ALIVE. And I have my faded, embroidered 1980′s Pulse cropped jean jacket to prove it.

  • Ali

    “but what’s wrong with television as a function of intellect, or as the great conversation elicitor? If ignorance is bliss, knowledge is ecstasy, and if that knowledge can make you laugh, too, well, that’s an untapped drug still being cultivated somewhere very, very exotic.” = bam.

    but I have to say, a UTI, once developed, cannot be rid of by consuming a cranberry pill. those are merely a preventative measure; if you have one, you need proper antibiotics!

  • Ellie

    I’d agree with you on this one wholeheartedly. Part of what makes the show so great is how true it stays to reality and that includes covering some of these darker issues. I think there’s some definite comedy behind it as well because these issues the characters are facing perfectly encompass the self-centred nature of our generation and make it seem almost laughable.

    Either way Lena Dunham’s genius just continues to shine through in every episode, no matter the tone. I don’t think there’s a quick fix for any of the characters’ issues but the writers still find a way to make the show enjoyable. I’m excited to see where it goes.

  • Alex

    Wow! Yes, cranberry pill does work!

  • Tia

    I agree that recent episodes have fallen on the glum side and nothing can compare to the high note of the season when Hannah tried coke and switched tops at a rave, but I feel that recent character developments have been much needed. I was dying to know more about Jessa and Sunday’s episode succeeded at fleshing her out, while still leaving me feeling a bit unsatisfied, wanting more, which brings on more story lines. The show’s tone can veer on inconsistent, but then again, so can my mood. I enjoy not really knowing what to expect.

    Girls lover for life,

    TLV

    http://www.tialevie.com/

  • Ana M*

    I’m already 30, and I have to say… It doesn’t changes that much. I’m not one of the characters on Girls (I’ve been with the same boy the past 8 years, 7 of them living together, we’ve bought a house and my first child is on its way) but is not difficult to me to relate to the feelings exposed on this show. The need of saying your parents you love them, and the are-you-crazy answer; the hopelessness when Patrick Wilson said he had to work early the next morning; Shoshana and Ray’s love; Ray being extremely lost… It hurts deep and that’s why I find this show so good and touching. I’ve lived those moments, and I’m still living some of them.

  • http://twitter.com/tfredsays TFred Says…

    There are some moments when I literally feel as if Lena Dunham has satirized excerpts from my own life as plot lines and there are some moments when I feel that what I am watching is highly unlikely and borderline ridiculous…but then I think, “How many cringe worthy, absurd moments have I experienced in my journey through my twenties?” A lot more than I would like to admit, and I am from Texas….the level of eccentricity here is mute compared to most of the country, let alone Brooklyn. I think that there is a little bit of Hannah in everyone, just no one wants to admit it because it’s not the image or behavior that society idealizes us to portray, but it is real. Brilliant.

  • Joelle

    I completely agree with you. The show needs to be dark in order to have episodes like the Crack-cident because I have never met a person who has a crack-cident every day or week of their lives (and if they do it’s because they’re Paris Hilton). Almost all of my friends tell me they hate each episode or “nothing happened” or they just don’t get it. It’s not a mindless-viewing show. People need to realize that Lena is trying to get a conversation started about things that are not topical, therefore requiring a little more thought and attention as a viewer. The engaging aspects of the show, like the Brownstone episode, make me like it even more than silly or fun episodes. I’m excited to see if Hannah’s book writing goes well, because I don’t want to be sad and having forest sex with a guy wearing a turtleneck like her in three years if my writing fails. I just don’t.

  • http://twitter.com/Becckitt Becca Barton

    The Atlantic just released an article called, “There’s More to Life than Being Happy” (http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/theres-more-to-life-than-being-happy/266805/), and I think it really exemplifies the course GIRLS is taking now. Likewise, I think there’s more to a TV show than being funny. It’s more realistic, and that’s why I fell in love with the show in the first place.

    • http://twitter.com/Becckitt Becca Barton

      Additionally, I would be lying if I said Jessa’s conversation with her dad on the swingset didn’t bring a few tears to my eyes.

  • http://olive-loaf.blogspot.com Liz

    I think this season really shows the unravelling of all of the characters. They’re having these experiences they never thought they would be in a position to have (hostessing job, 30-something boyfriend, divorce). It’s a low point, which everyone experiences, and it’s testing their friendships.

    I also just want to touch upon the amazing scene with Jessa and her father on the swings. The part where she repeats, “I’m the child!” was so unbelievably heart wrenching and I think the perfect centerpiece for this entire season.

  • Morgan

    I’m actually loving the “another kind of sad episode” installments, and would argue that their strength is having strayed from the typical sitcom episode structure – they’re almost like short films. as great and as revelatory as the more traditional episodes can be, when seemingly small little character arcs or lines AREN’T part of something quieter but still have the ability to totally smack you in the face (and I think Marni’s immediate jump into hostessing – paired later with
    Booth’s total SCOFF at how young people give up on things so quickly -is
    a great example, and something I related to on both sides of the fence
    [as in being mid 30s and looking back on myself in my early 20s), in the SAD EPISODES it’s ALL quiet, and things have time to sink in, and i’m gonna use the word POWERFUL because that’s what they’ve been.

    PS i really enjoyed reading this piece! and all your longer writing pieces as of late!
    PPS i also really enjoy Hannah having sex with everyone (re: Natalie). if only because I loved the line about her not realizing they WEREN’T having a sexcapade. real talk, I switched to public school from private in ninth grade and IMMEDIATELY lost my virginity because i assumed i was making up for lost time. OOPS.

  • Tessa

    I too was finding the previous few episodes to be a little disheartening, they’re presenting these very surreal scenarios, seemingly unrealistic, which are off-putting in themselves. But Hannah’s, and Jessa’s, and Marnie’s, in particular, more than Shoshanna’s, ridiculously irrational stream of conscious thoughts and decisions, are not actually hard to identify with, because they can be so easily aligned with a young woman’s experience with panic and irrationality and feeling discouraged by what you would think are situations where you should have control and I am finding that disconcerting. How easily and accurately it taps into this secret frame of mind. The evolution of Girls’ is good, good stuff all of it. It’s so clever, but not easy to digest. It is the Oasis tub sing-alongs that are evidence of reason to navigate through your time as a restless and verklempt new adult.

  • Jordan Via

    Absolutely love it. Lena has hit our generation on the nose and we need a show like this right now. I am currently having the same exact problem Marni is having in her life, with what direction to go and what I am passionate about. I love that Lena and the cast have created characters that every girl can relate to.

  • Nicole

    I fucking love this show and love where this season has went. I love the real life story lines and people that is what they are REAL LIFE. Shit like that is everyday for a lot of people. People have serious messed up parents who could give two shits and their children unknowingly become just like them (Jessa). And Natalie, come on now, yes girls have sex with a lot of guys sometimes, and yes on the rare occasion it is some random ass person they just met 2 seconds ago. Sorry, but it happens and its not even a plan, like yes I want to have sex with every guy I meet. Friends have plans like that sometimes! Plans to hang out with the opposite and sex and have sex with them! People drive around doing whip its. Everyone goes through situtations in their lives that aren’t always the greatest and bravo to Lena Dunham for having the balls to write story lines that aren’t always bright and shiny, that actually show how sometimes difficult and utterly depressing your 20′s can actually be. I also particuarly loved the scene in the bathtub. Personally I love my girlfriends and have always felt bad for the individuals that don’t have friendships like this. Happiness is a neverending chase at any age. FYI I’m 31.

  • Gemma

    I think whoever plays Marnie really cannot act.

  • http://twitter.com/erin_gee Erin

    I would say that my biggest criticism of the show is that after following these girls around for just over a year, how have they grown as characters, as people? They haven’t. They make the same mistakes and don’t seem to reflect on that at all. Yes, the show does portray SOME aspects of female relationships accurately (Marnie & Hannah’s awkward phone call, for instance), and recently the relationship between child and parent.

    But more often then not, I find myself hating these characters, finding them completely un-relatable. At 26, I cared about so much more about things happening in the world, and working my ass off to get a good career, rather than lazing around a coffee shop “working”.

    When I can relate more to the blogger arguing in favour of the show than the show itself, there’s a problem, no?

  • Laura

    I think girls is an excellently raw look at the lives of twenty something’s in the digital ago, over educated and looking for some sort of direction to go in. People don’t realise just how difficult it can be to find your place in the world and this television show has opened up conversation about that very thing, being twenty now is entirely different to being twenty thirty years ago. Even ten years ago! I love it, it’s honest and intelligent. Love Lena.

  • EdgifyMe

    The show is just raw. And real. And as much criticism as it gets, people continue to watch it because they are attracted to the awkward, imperfect authenticity of it. I agree with you that it is OK to not make us laugh once in a while, but still make us feel. The beauty of the show if that the more negative feedback it gets, the more I applaud it for hitting such sensitive nerves and igniting such interesting conversation. I also applaud our generation for appreciating a show like Girls (wrote about it last week: http://bit.ly/YCyoyg).
    Great post, yo.

  • RN party pooper

    cranberry pills just prevent UTIs from forming because it changes the acidity of your urine. Antibiotics cure them. I wish cranberry pills killed those E. Coli boogers!

  • Stylish Housewife

    I’ve only watched one episode so I’m probably not qualified to comment but here I go anyway. The characters seemed a little too naive and juvenile. Even for “girls” in their early twenties. Am I way off here? Maybe I should give it another chance. All I know is it made me happy that I am old and married.

  • Jess

    None of the episodes are linking to each other! Their is no aftermath or second or third failed attempts. What about that silver fox that Lena disappeared to for days with? If that was me and the point in the show is that Lina IS me, then she would have gone back there, he would have insulted her and made a fool of herself. The would have gone on and on about it to all of her girlfriends and text him at 3am asking what he was doing.

    But instead it follows with a story about the boys- WHAT?? And following that episodeshe disappears out of New York AGAIN leaving me and all my friends to wonder WHAT ABOUT SHOSH AND WHAT ABOUT MARNI AND THE GUY THAT LIKES TO HAVE SEX WATCHING DOLLS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andalucia.kant Caroline D. Gomez Lassalle

    I actually wholly agree with you. I thought Sundays episode was a beautiful display of humanity from both the writers and the characters/actors. Sometimes in life there is a need to embrace melancholy and what we’re made from, all the vignettes, the choices, the people that love us and the ones that fail us.
    I think it was also such a great moment to focus on Jessa’s journey and what her struggles have been and why she rebels so violently against things.

    It was a beautiful episode with wonderfully funny moments like the car scene and other more subtle ones.

    I for one have absolutely loved those two “more serious” episodes. The one with the doctor just about tore me apart and then the letter Jessa left Hannah finished the job.

    It almost was like the ties of humanity authors like Tolstoy played with.

    It’s great that you shared your critique, it’s enlightening to have someone as influential sort of advocate for taking a moment to realize that life is happening, even if as a voyeur.

  • Liliana

    I totally agree with you. I really don’t see how this show is less “realistic” that most of the shows we watch on tv. I do find it relatable. I wrote a review on it last week, if you feel like reading another point of view: http://sweetandtenderfashionista.blogspot.mx/2013/02/girls-like-us_19.html

  • Grace Kane

    I adore the blatant honesty of this show. While she may be seen as off putting by some (I truly do not find her to be so at all) she is entirely driven to see reality, with all it’s raw edges, moment to moment. EACH ONE as it plays out for her. She has chosen consciously to be this open life steward. I do not mistake her demeanor for naivety one iota. Girls, created by and starring Lena Dunham is as real as one can handle. I am no longer in my 20s but I remember those years. My second decade experience was not similar to hers, but as I grow wiser I find that Hannah has the method to living life very well figured out for being of such a young age. Step in, without reservation to the experiences of life.

  • marie

    I had a conversation with someone this weekend about the show, and I think this might be where a lot of the division comes from. I LOVE the show. Have enjoyed pretty much every single episode, and not just because it is hilarious, but the melancholy and cynicism as well. It is because it rings true to me. Not that every situation does (like some commenters here have said, does Hannah have to have sex with everyone? Is that even realistic? Is the Adam situation realistic?). But these plot points are not the most important part in the show’s authenticity to me.

    The person I argued with this weekend, who is a feminist (as am I), says that it bothers her to see these horrible dysfunctional relationships, most of them female, being portrayed over and over again without offering any real commentary or solution. She also finds, like many, Hannah (and by extension, Lena) to be overwhelmingly narcissistic (do we need to see her completely naked every single episode?).

    My argument is that though these are not very ‘healthy’ relationships being portrayed (Marnie is a pretty horrible friend, Hannah is self-centered and entitled, Jessa is delusional, the list goes on) and they may be hard to watch, are they not like a lot of twenty-something relationships? Is this not an age group where many girls are narcissistic (take a look at your facebook profile page guys), and selfish, and competitive, and insecure at least some of the time? I know these girls. Some of these girls are my friends. Not all the time of course, and I like to think I have good judgement when it comes to who I spend my time with, but SOMETIMES. These are often traits of this age group, and I know many girls who more than myself, enter into relationships that more closely and consistently resemble the relationships depicted on the show. Haven’t we all had friends who we can’t believe puts up with a certain person in their life?

    So what is the point of depicting these unhealthy attitudes and relationships without a solution? First of all, model behaviour is not always relatable. Second of all, when we often criticize our friends or people we know for the way they live their lives, it is easier to think we are doing it better, maybe we are the ‘model’ we see in tv shows. I think this show starts a conversation. Lena Dunham has said, I’m not telling anyone to act like my characters. But by depicting realistic relationships, and realizing how kind of depressing they are, we can take a look at our own.

    Not to say this is the intention of the show- I actually find it pretty enjoyable without gleaning a moral from it. But for the people who just seem to HATE it… why does it bother you so much? If these characters are all so despicable, and you can’t relate to it at all, just don’t watch it. I think the hate might come from certain insecurities about seeing something you don’t want to relate to, but do. The show doesn’t condone the girls behaviour- in fact, they all get their asses kicked a lot of the time.

    And for those complaining about Lena being naked all the time- I hope you’re just as offended about every other HBO show. The only difference is that those women look like models and Lena doesnt. If you only have a problem with her being naked, that is your own issue..

    • Eden

      Love love love every point you just made. I wholly agree that there are deep insecurities to those that passionately hate this show and also feel the need to express just how much they hate it to everyone they come in contact with. You summed up my sentiments so well in that if you can’t relate to any of the characters, just stop fucking watching the show.

    • Jillian

      So relieved that this post exists… I absolutely agree. You go, girl. And yeah as with everything in life, if you don’t fucking like it, don’t watch/read/do/eat/wear/go to it!

    • Lena

      you just hit the nail on the head, nice one.

  • Leandra Medine

    You guys are so fucking insightful.

  • Angela Ribbler

    Thank you! I completely agree. Television is used for so many as an escape to an alternative reality and most of the time depicts people and situations that just don’t exist in the real life. But as someone in her 20s, it’s nice to know that it’s ok that life isn’t always sunshines and rainbows and filled with experiences that leave you warm and bubbly inside. Shit happens. And people go through things that leaves them feeling alone and afraid that they are alone in what they are going through. I love Lena Dunham’s perspective that she gives to Hannah because, like you said, I wouldn’t want to be like her, but the fact that she is going through things and just trying to figure out what it means to be happy gives me such a sigh of relief – because as girls in our 20s, still trying to cling to childhood while also trying to embrace this new-found adulthood, it’s ok to not always have everything figured out.

  • Kate

    Oh Leandra! Well said and I very much agree. I feel like my 20′s (so far) have been filled with the search for something deeper a certain understanding about… well… life! I love Girls, for everything it is and everything that it isn’t. It is raw, it is uncomfortable, and sometimes its heavy but thats what makes it such a joy to watch. I like that some episodes can make me laugh until I cry and others really make me dig deeper. I think Lena is doing exactly what she set out to do, start a conversation!

  • María Belén López Chamba

    I’ve been watching Girls since the very very beginning, since the Pilot basically, when no one ever cared about the show. As an early spectator I feel that the show kinda lost it’s line, before it was a solid history about the girls, living and failing, mostly failing, like the rest of us.
    In this season, the storyline hasn´t yet being solidified, they are all short stories of the same people, which don’t have any link to what it used to be. Besides, there is a disconnection between the real stuff and the bizarre-cutting-edge bullshit. I don’t really care about the vibe or the mood of the show, but I do care about the coherence in it, Lena, please, I’m feeling kinda lost, help me. No? Okay, I’ll be watching though.

  • V from The Drastically Blog

    Sometimes for me Girls hits really close to home. But despite all the things I think the show can improve on-as you have pointed out-, Hannah’s world is a bit narcissistic-I end up thinking of how much I can relate to the characters. Even though it does get far fetched or I want to punch Hannah for sleeping around so much (and honestly, how realistic IS that? I’m 24 and I don’t know of anyone who gets this lucky every week!) I still find moments where I can say “hey, that’s me!”

    http://www.thedrasticallyblog.blogspot.com

  • http://pinksole.com/ Rachelle

    What I love about Girls, is that it portrays the vulnerability, the fears of the 20-something yo being thrown into the world. You look and must act like an adult but deep down you’re just a kid. But like many have said, part of it is quite unrealistic. But I get the conversation that Lena is trying to start and I applaud her for that. The funny thing is while I love the show and enjoy very much I cannot relate to it on so many levels.

  • Aubrey

    I recently graduated college and often feel like my life is a shit show. Girls shows that people struggle in many and different ways. I find comfort in know that maybe everyone is sort of a shit show sometimes too.

    Also it brings up the deeper thought of the mono-myth. Meaning, there is only one story, just many ways to tell it.

  • andie

    In my late twenties I read a sentence in a short story by Sam Shepard that stopped me in my tracks. Loosely paraphrased, a male character was witness to a group of women interacting and he observed most of the group as over-eager to please, effusive, silly and salivating over one of the young women who he stated, “owned herself.” It’s this self-possession, this self-respect that takes years to develop. Young girls learn this over time, certainly not in one episode nor one season. That’s what I hope is happening all the while. One step up, two steps back. Who hasn’t counseled a girlfriend not to “just give herself away”? Own yourself, girl.

    Even the title conveys it. The diminutive word in an awkwardly elegant typeface, displayed in unabashed capital letters, high-contrast against a dark background. GIRLS. A false confidence.

    In each episode people are struggling with what what is “learned” from family/friends/society/media about what they “should” think, do, be, etc. One’s twenties are usually a time of struggling to become who you are–professionally and personally–while making ample mistakes. But in today’s media, with twenty-something pop stars and millionaires, the trajectory is not some years of mishaps and hard work, but a miraculous stumble into supernova success. That’s a tough measure.

    A notable aspect of GIRLS is that it doesn’t play the comedic trope of an inexplicably smart and professionally successful (yet neurotic) young woman coming completely unglued if some guy she just met doesn’t text her back. Instead it portrays the stumbles and fumbles of the quest. The neurosis is there but it’s not slapstick, it’s an undertow. Women gain so much self-worth from professional success, but many depend on male attention to value (or de-value) themselves. The quasi-dating on the show seems to say: There is no courage required. No seduction. Just a booty text and some clumsy sex. It’s like you get the relationship you think you deserve.

    No judgement, no defense, I’m just along for the ride. And the show’s music is perfect.

    • Tully

      wow this was the perfect reflection on the show and also the influence the media has on people’s perception of their own lives.

  • Allegra

    I like to watch girls, I really do, because it’s different to any other series . yes it’s more real but very raw and I must say, I think it’s just another extreme! I can hardly identify with their terrible love stories or relationships to their parents but still love the way they make the working point clear: one has to work for a living, life isn’t all play and party!

    http://allegrabj.blogspot.com

  • http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/ Nomadic D.

    I actually can’t stand the show, and I feel like I’m the only one on the planet who feels this way. It’s sad actually, because I feel like I’m missing out on some wonderful shared cultural experience, and yet, I can’t stomach the show. That is not how my 20s felt. To me it’s like watching a train-wreck, one series of bad decisions after another, 4 young women who never think about about future or consequences or anything remotely beyond the moment they’re in. Granted, I only watched the first handful of episodes, but it was enough to hook everyone else in the world and turn me off completely. How can my opinion be so different? What am I missing?

    http://www.nomadicd.com

  • IRENA

    I like it. This is how real life looks and feels like. Simple as that.

  • http://twitter.com/RORABLOG Mafalda

    I love the melancholy in Girls. But I guess in season one the melancholy was better balanced by some truly hilarious moments. Now it’s melancholy next to Hannah having sex. Or Hannah just being annoying. Like what was she really even doing in the last episode? We didn’t need her at all. Neither did Jessa. I found that the episode at the handsome doctor’s house showed me everything I need to know about Hannah for this season.
    Thats really the only criticism I have though, I love the show.
    Does any one else think that it should be 45mins long though? The endings are so abrupt sometimes.

  • http://twitter.com/AleeeMarr Alejandra

    I read this article twice because I rather do that than my HW… & I am also shocked with the fact were all just going to ignore the dress Marni wore to host her never-really-boyfriend-but-now-ex’s party…

  • Marijana

    Love your blog!

    Look at my new sneaker collection, ishikawa, isabel marant…

    http://www.lifewithfashion.com

  • ni ni

    Noice one

  • http://www.facebook.com/bethtruppiaferreira Beth Ferreira

    First of all I love your writing. It’s so good to know that fashion is not just a subject for shallow individuals, as most people believe. “Girls” is getting better every time, in my opinion. The “happiness meltdown” was the big touch of reality in the Patrick Wilson fairytale that Hannah was living. That’s exactly what makes “Girls” such a good show, as you perfectly put here in your post.

  • Brijetblog

    I seem to find that so many people are afraid or uncomfortable with accepting and discussing the gritty, depressing aspects, of not just our 20-somethings, but of life in general. I have quite a cynical sense of humour and some people portray it as completely morbid when actually, I’m a really happy person, it’s just that I understand that going through a difficult situation shouldn’t have to be tippy-toed around because they’re normal aspects of life. This is what I love about Girls. It’s not afraid to refer to these issues. Adam and Hannah’s relationship, Jessa and her dad, Marni and Charlie- they’re all real life problems. Just because something is sad doesn’t make it wrong, it’s just life, you have to accept it. In recent episodes the story lines are taking a fantastical detour but I don’t think they are any more melancholy than the first season, the issues just stand out more in contrast to the story line. I mean- what isn’t going to be a let down after you’ve just had a 2 day fuck fest with a doctor in his brownstone?!

  • Hannah

    I too, am addicted to the show. I caught up with season 2 last night.

    Yes, Hannah is a narcissist but frankly, who isn’t these days. It’s hard to escape the perils of it into todays world. Our world is both smaller and massive. I believe it is Lena’s intention to portray her as such. And good for her. It’s hard for me to understand the criticism that’s arose. It feels like a ” na na boo boo, *pointing fingers*, Lena’s the one is self involved.” situation. I have a hard time tolerating judgmental (and petty) commentary on anthers experience. Especially, when that someone is lending her voice for us. Everyone has been or will be Hannah at some point. Obsessed with ideals, trying to find a path, etc. As you said Leandra, it is both comical and sad to watch. Why? Because it rings true.

    Last Sundays episode had me laughing out loud the most. It was hilarious to watch Hannah try to, as always, over rationalize essentially ridiculous situations. I have definitely been there. E.g; Jessa’s Stepmom declaring she’s “the cushion” that’s been sent from God. Hannah’s response: a perfect mix of irony and bewilderedness. Lena has created someone who was probably very smart in a classroom setting but is learning (like most of us) on her feet about the real world.

    I’m loving every second.

  • liz

    I have been a fan of GIRLS from the start. I heard Lena Dunham’s interview on NPR’s Fresh Air a week or two before the series premiered and I was sold. Maybe it is because I am completely obsessed with Terry Gross…? Whatever. Moving on, the show is such an anthem to our generation. When it aired I was in my final semester in college, I had ABSOLUTELY no job prospects on the horizon, I was working an unpaid internship at an art festival (yeah, that was going somewhere…..), and the thought of my future could quite literally make me gag – those were truly my darkest days (I am not trying to be even a little bit funny right now, that shit sucked). And then I met Hannah one Sunday evening last year, and found a new, less enriching (?), obsession, re: Terry Gross. It is as if Dunham created Hannah to make me feel not so terrible about myself in this scary, scary “real” world. We are all educated, the economy is not in a great place, everything has been invented…. What the heck are we supposed to do?! Since season one wrapped up several things have happened for me. I graduated, I moved to DC, I got a job, I can afford food, etc…. things have really turned around, I guess. So, after reading this article I started to wonder why I have been so disappointed with this season. For one thing, I am so over every other person on the show telling Hannah how fucking fabulous she is every other sentence. That’s probably the most unrealistic thing about the show at this point – not because of what Hannah/Lena looks like, but because people just aren’t that nice. DUHHH! Then it hit me, maybe I have been hating the show this season, because it is no longer a means to comfort myself. It is like Hannah walked into my life right when I needed her to, and now she is like an old friend that got me through something that was difficult and alas, I can move on. I don’t know if I am making this too much about me (talk about narcissism!), or if this wild success of the first season threw Dunham off and now she sucks. Thoughts?

  • Ira

    Awesome post! I love it:)

    http://theprintedsea.blogspot.de/

  • http://www.radartothescene.com nobody girl

    I loved the episode. It gave us a peek into Jessa’s upbringing. Everything can’t be sunshine and butterflies all of the time. I still love the show. I find myself reflecting more and more after each episode, which I think is a good thing. However, I agree with you, I would like to see a bit of a break from all of the melancholy as of late.

  • Eden

    For someone to truly take away something from each episode, I think, one has to start by really trusting the show. Because I too trust Lena, I seem to watch a majority of the scenes yelling at my screen asking “are you fucking kidding me with this shit?” but at the end of the show, I somehow manage to relate to Hannah’s weird ways. Sure, the fucking every dude she meets is weird, and her weird vulnerability to almost every situation is annoying at times, but in that journey, for example, where she walked into the Brownstone feeling unworthy but also showing such bravery in how she just stepped out of her comfort zone, played topless ping-pong with a dude that looks like he’s dated nothing short of models, then later being rewarded with an “aha-moment” that she is totally deserving of everything she thought she wasn’t of. I certainly don’t want to be Hannah, but I think the beauty of having been exposed to someone like her, makes me evaluate a lof of who I am, what I want to be, what I don’t want to be, blah blah blah. Lena is definitely doing a kick-ass job, in my opinion, with this show.

  • D

    As much as I love the hilarious episodes of crack spirit guides and house warming karaoke parties, these melachonic episodes I think have quite accurately reflected the not-so-great part of being in your 20s that I don’t believe any other show has tapped into. The truth is stuff does really suck, and your heart can ache uncontrollably, and your parents screw up because they’re humans too all while you make your attempt to make your mark in the world. Its tough and I applaud Lena for exposing those situations of uncertainty, because no matter how unpleasant it can be sometimes (UTI problems inlcuded) it’s always coupled by outrageous adventures and unforgetable times with your friends. Thats what being in your 20s is about.

  • Claire

    I disliked the farm and the brownstone episodes not because of the sadness it invoked, but because of its inability to move the plot forward. I’ve always admired the show for exploring actual emotion, in it’s natural, but odd state, and being able to balance it with wit and plot. This stall in the show to tell us that Hannah realizes she’s not an enlightened individual that her wants are the same as any and to show Jessa’s conflict with her father feels like a cop out. It feels lazy. I definitely think the Brownstone episode may have been crafted this way purposely to stretch the audience and make us explore something different, but that wasn’t done well enough. I think an audience knows when things aren’t done well, and disliking it for being too sad is attached if not explored further.

    I also think Hannah has been annoying as fuck lately, and imagine some people relate Hannah with Lena, so hate of Hannah turns to hate of Lena turns to hate of Girls.

  • alioats

    Last week’s episode with Patrick Wilson was both my nightmare and fantasy. Spending the weekend as the girlfriend of a cultured and handsome man, a man that has lived long enough to know how women like to be treated, and enjoys being chivalrous. and then the jarring shock when hannah realizes despite his charming habits and perfect lifestyle, he cannot offer her what she really wants, which is intimacy. he’s literally willing to give her the world, as long as he doesn’t have to be vulnerable. it is a uniquely 20-something attitude that allows her to walk away and compartmentalize that experience as something that happened “last week”, while next week is still yet undiscovered and exciting, despite its capacity to be terrifying, devastating. It might not be, it might be the week that launches a career, or the week I meet the love of my life. it might just be the week that I discover my new favorite coffee place. doesn’t matter. it is the plight and privilege of the 20 something not to know, and to still have the courage to be excited about it

  • http://www.facebook.com/graceqyu Grace Yu

    I think the bottle episodes are my favorite! I completely agree with you about the show’s ability to “bottle” (HAR HAR) these fleeting moments of discomfort (in Hannah’s case, quite literally), immaturity and misbehavior. I think the reason people hate on the show is because there’s no character or lifestyle to aspire to. While they’re often annoying (oh my god, I wanted to drive a fork through Hannah during the al fresco Rabbit scene), I find them very likable because they have those brilliant moments of self-awareness where they realize they’re going about it all wrong. They’re developing as characters! That, to some critics, appears to be a novel concept for a story.

    By the way, have you had a chance to listen to Alec Baldwin’s podcast with Lena Dunham? It’s extremely insightful and made me fall even more in love with her. Here’s the link: http://www.wnyc.org/shows/heresthething/2013/jan/21/

    Your society & culture-focused posts are my favorites on MR! Hope this finds you well!

  • http://nicola-lynde.blogspot.dk/ nicola lynde

    It isn’t just the experiences, which are wild and unrealistic, but the idea of what it means to be 20 and struggling that is so relatable. I like how the show is so blunt and graphic, as I don’t think you can talk about that period of your life without it. Would I want to live through it again, no, but to reminisce, to see others reenact it in a romanticized way, favourite tv show out there.

  • Nia

    responding to your last question….i think the last episode in season 1 sets us up for what’s coming in season two, idk why people are so surprised…i think shows that fail to evolve fail in general, now the audience can either turn off the tv because hannah is naked too much or actually think about what is going on, to the people that no longer like the show can you honestly say you’ve never had a break down about happiness? or a job? or love? or the future? or if you’re from NY had an encounter with a scary street dog?? i meann…if not then turn the channel

    i actually find the shows to be going together…so she has an experience with brooklyn guy and we don’t hear about it…am i the only one who’s had an experience with a guy and decided to never talk about it again whether it be good or bad? again genius also the whole trashcan metaphor thing genius

    lastly i’m a senior in college and if you guys think hannah is just having sex with everyone i’m assuming you were extremely lame in college and or had extremely lame friends….including season 1 & 2 since elijah she has sex with 1. adam. 2.guy from her hometown 3. black republican et al 4.crack fairy (but then i think they just made out??) 5. brooklyn hottie 6. turtleneck boy
    sorry rly bad with names but you get the picture 6 people and she’s what 24? i don’t really think that’s anything to judge her on but hey i don’t believe in calling other girls sluts because its all relative and ladies if we didn’t call each other sluts neither would guys

    but anyways sorry for the tangent–to pull one of your lines leandra i’m not sure if any of that made sense but i’m glad we now see who the true fans are and lena needs to keep doing her thing because the realness of this show is undeniable

  • Chloe Moon

    I haven’t watched season 2 yet but from reading this I am happy that they are keeping the show as true to real life as possible. I too don’t understand why people are complaining there are no happy episodes…but you know what? Sometimes like you said, life is that way sometimes for brief stages of time. I really can’t wait to see Season 2 more now than ever! =)

    Ergo – Blog

  • Taryn Kelley

    It’s been interesting to watch the progression of the show, for better or for worse…

  • Claire M.

    ”Girls” dances between that strange place of being so emotionally disconnected, that it appears to be a true depiction of life itself. What’s better in television than a show that allows its audience to feel for the characters, yet acknowledge that no emotional attachment is the answer in escaping vulnerability? It’s the answer we all want to hear. Yes, this show is vulnerable. At times. In the same way that a boomerang leaves you for a moment, only to come right back to where it started. There is no denying that the dialogue is guarded. Lena Dunham, to me, writes her dialogue not as if she is imagining what her characters would say within a certain situation, but as if she is merely fitting them into a box continually. Sometimes it feels like the characters aren’t having conversations with each other at all. As if they’re just looking above the others head when they should be looking into their eyes. I love this show- I find the stories, setting, and characters to be fresh and inspiring. As a 22 year old writer (still in college) I eat this up. I’m also a fan of Salinger- no one can deny that Dunham’s writing is reminiscent of him. Lena, Female Writer Of The 21st Century.

    Hannah is a girl, definitely not yet a woman, who doesn’t know what she wants from herself, let alone her world and the people she chooses to be in it. I find that she is too busy looking to everyone else for an answer. Maybe this is how Lena Dunham views “growing up.”

    For someone who wants to make her job utilizing the power of words, she very rarely takes her own advice. She is a mess of her own creation- her best character that she’ll never write. She is a massive hypocrite. This also makes her appealing. Her constant talking, and over analyzing, pushes her further and further away from what truly matters in life: emotional connection. She seeks out these situations and people as if to give life to a memoir she will never publish. She wants so much, but frequently gives very little. She is quick to point out what is wrong with her life and others. This confidence is underrated and masked by Shoshana’s ability to say what she thinks. Is it really confidence, though? As someone who uses this tool to come off as “confident” and “self-assured” in my own life, I am not fooled. Walls built by mistaken perception are often hard to tear down.

    The show uses the intricacies of people as a crutch, and yet it’s sad that it cannot seem to convey that connection matters. People effect other people. This last episode finally touched on that for a moment, only for it to revert back to where it started. Jumbled and confused. Maybe that’s the point of the show- a walking and talking metaphor of New York City. A place that sells memories, yet is very rarely described (within a media context) as a place where memories are made through relationships with people and not just the situations that spring forth through these interactions.

  • Aneta Kvist

    Hallo girls, what a read MR! Such a pleasant surprise. I too love to watch the show and I am nearly 60. We just started the show over here and the first episode was really difficult to watch. I thought no, no, no, do not do that. But now I just kind of adopted the gang, they are all very interesting; I admire them and wish them all really well. They kinda tell me a bit about this generation, I do not talk to people their age in such a frank manner and they for sure do not talk to me. So I grab this opportunity to learn, they tell and show you all. I guess a lot of guys watch the show to, to find out more about GIRLS. My friends and I were not that mature in our twenties. It is fascinating to follow the show, for me it is a kind of Woody Allenish New York edition of “Jersey shore” or “The hills”, I am addicted.

  • http://twitter.com/MayaMesuinu Maya Marlot

    See I love the show and I like it when shows go in new directions… but, this is just kind of boring. The last episode I seriously had to watch it in parts (2 days) because in the middle of watching it I said “I have other shit to do.” and turned it off. I love Girls and I will always be a fan but, this season just seems random at times and it doesn’t flow like it used to.

  • Erin

    The brownstone episode was my favorite ever. I felt like something actually happened in it. Progress was made. Hannah realized she wanted to be happy. She had a dynamic revelation, and isn’t that what we’re all looking for? That moment in life that makes you think that you really deserve happiness. With that said, I’m still ready to see episodes again with all four girls in them.

  • Mette-Marit

    Some weeks ago I had a very special conversation with my mother that is still present and lingering in my thoughts. I don’t remeber how we got to this point, but finally we were discussing the doubtful advantages of being 20-something. First my mom was all like: ” I’d love to be your age again, all the possibilities and exciting new experiences…” Then, all of a sudden she was backpedaling, looking at me with a somewhat relenting face. “Actually” she said ” I don’t envy you, the 20s can be such a troubling time, having no clue about your future, struggling with the whole package of life, hoping the best and expecting the worst.”

    That got me thinking, isn’t it sometimes hard to wonder if you’ll ever accomplish what you are wishing/working for? if you’ll ever meet some sort of “love-of-your-life”? wonder if you’ll be married happily someday? and of course ask were there’s happiness in life (perchance free shipping included)??

    It is easy to say “I’d love to be your age again” when you have it all figured out, but it’s rarely admitted that the 20s can be a fucking difficult time. One day it feels like the best moment in your life and the other it resembles your worst and most irritating nightmare.
    Sometimes all this becoming-who-you-really-are is quite exhausting,isn’t it??
    That is what I feel remembered of watching Hannah and the girls -naked or not – it is not always all shiny and new, but it’s not THAT shitty and “somber” either…

  • sbo

    SO. HIT. OR. MISS. The latest episode, not because of its being ‘somber’, rather because of its being DULL AS SHIT didn’t even make me want to finish streaming it (oops baby girl doesn’t have a t.v.). I can appreciate needing to mix up hilarious, self-indulgent, sex-scapade-isodes with more “hi remember this is a show about how life-y life gets for lena dunham” ones, but it’s made the season is so unpredictable/ less enticing. But that, among other things, is what keeps me watching. I liked the consistent punch of last season’s every episode; actually that is what helped me sustain my disbelief ie. remember that for all the crit she gets,’ tis still a SHOW. (albeit NOW directed by J. Apatow). I honestly feel like blaming a lot of the show’s recent short-comings/ unnecessarily long scenes on that ding dong, but go figure, making a show about a 20-something year old woman’s lived experiences and pursuit of happiness is not always going to be *riveting* or uplifting.

    The episode before last was incredible. If every (ok, every other?) episode could ball up the physically intimate moments with the revelatory ones like that one did, I’d have a little more faith in the season.

    Also I can’t believe I just wrote all that about a t.v. show about some girl’s life. Augh. Now for that Iris Marion Young book I would rather be reading…..

  • http://twitter.com/krystalpearson9 Krystal Pearson

    I love Girls and for the most part I love the more somber plot lines. The only thing that bugs me about the show is Hannah’s need to have sex with EVERYONE she meets. Her character gets more and more ridiculous as the show goes on. I’ve learned I just have to ignore Hannah and enjoy the other characters! haha

  • Jamie

    i was upset with the show’s evolution until i read this! so amazing and insightful, i love it! you are so right…the show is still amazing, it’s just exploring some darker areas that all of experience every once in a while!

  • Moi

    The critiques that you report are invalid. Criticizing television for being “too sad” or “not funny enough”, or criticizing the main actress for being “narcissistic” is completely and absolutely irrelevant.

    On the other hand, I do feel like season 2 has become inauthentic, and I think it might have to do with Lena trying to distance herself from Hannah. The characters have all become too silly and predictable to trigger empathy or identification (the cornerstone of our (my?) love for the show).

    Perhaps this lack of authenticity also has to do with Lena trying to respond to fan demand or criticism. Fans don’t know the story you want to tell, and neither should they. Lena should feel entitled to write whatever the hell she wants. That is all imho.

  • mckenna

    I think the last episode was a quick way to get Jessa off the show because isn’t she preggers in real life? We also haven’t seen much over until the last two episodes and she’s always this weird outcast so i think it was a perfect fit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Starr.Ethan Ethan Starr

    What I love most about this show is how relatable it is. I have certainly never led a crazy or unrealistic life… and yet I have a story to match almost plot point in the show and know girls (and boys) like all of these delightfully selfish and preoccupied characters. Especially as a early 20something just out of college (for a completely unrealistic degree, fashion design) struggling with the struggles of independence and co-dependence. Every “thing” feels like the only “thing”…. every affair feels like the only affair, every let down feels like the biggest let down. I feel like it is probably the most insightful shows about the Y-generation. Its real.

    …And yes sometimes in your early 20′s, especially in 2013, you do feel like you have to have sex with everyone, remember we live in a world now where a hook up is only a sext away. We have been programed to think that sex is something that naturally happens after a kiss good night and really isn’t a big deal. That added to the incredibly low self-esteem of Hannah and of course you are going to get someone that is constantly looking for “love” even if it is only in the moment… its all part of growing up and learning about yourself.

  • al the pal

    Fan de l’article fan de la série. Never seen a show reflect what girls in their twenties go through so darn well.

  • Hannah Shapero

    I think the show is honest, and I appreciate that. Lena Dunham has not created the characters we want to be, but the characters we are. I find myself simultaneously hating and relating to most of what they do. For a generation of 20-somethings still told we have the world at our fingertips but believing less and less that we will ever reach it, the show rings true. Maybe this makes me shallow or self-depricating, but I take comfort in my ability to relate to characters without having to build myself up first.

  • http://www.facebook.com/paula.mcclelland1984 Paula McClelland

    The last two episodes have had me in stitches ( I LOVE Adam – he’s so raw and hilarious! That whole mission to Staten Island) I watch girls because it’s not an escape (pretty Little Liars anyone) it feels real: Hannah’s annoying – but authentic in a way. Marni’s “perfect” – except it’s all falling apart. Jessa’s beautiful and can get any guy – but is a COMPLETE mess! And there’s nothing to say about Shoshanna – She’s my absolute FAV – I mean, Oh my God!

    As for Hannah having sex with everyone – in the brownstone episode she told Josh (sorry! Joshua) that she had made a pact with herself to grab every experience that came her way?

    I actually held off watching Girls because of eveyones gushing – but just a few weeks ago I watched every episode from start to finish… so I guess I’m a fan

    ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.
    http://shoe-fiend.blogspot.co.uk/

  • http://www.deancorno.blogspot.com/ Dean Corno

    I have to admit that I’ve felt a little bit let down by the past couple episodes but I have still loved them. They weren’t quite as entertaining but still really well done. The episode focusing only on Hannah definitely sparked a few debates among me and my friends but I couldn’t help but want to defend it. It’s still a great show and I still want to keep watching it. I think I just need a little Shoshanna fix and I’ll be good again.

    http://www.deancorno.blogspot.com

  • Isabella

    I know I’m late because the post is “old” but I’ll just say it anyways. It’s deninitely a show not meant for my age – I’m a teenager, in fact. However, I love it because I feel inside Hannah’s mind… and even though most of these things doesn’t happen yet to me, I like to watch them, because, well, they’ll happen one day and yet I’m young, I really find some of them in my life. Last episode was definitely great – but I have to say tha my favourite one from this season was the one in which Hannah calls Marnie in a day in which they’re both upset (Marnie because she broke up with Booth, Hannah i don’t remember why) and they just tell each other they were fine. This was very touching to me because it really felt like the end of a relationship – when people are just not into each other anymore but they still pretend they do, so they just lie and the atmosphere looks softer, when in fact it’s heavier than ever. This was beautiful and I like the way Lena can get into myself sometimes and express just what I feel too. I don’t agree that Dunham is the new Allen – but she is, for sure, a genius.

  • chezsasha.com

    I like where it’s going and I realize that she is probably getting to be the female Woody Allen of our generation (Lena, not Hannah).
    Melancholy, yes, but a little smarter too. I enjoyed the symbolic aspect of the Patrick Wilson sexcapade episode the most. Mainly the part about dropping off little bits of the large pile of garbage in random places as opposed to putting it all in one place. I took that to mean that she is not ready to take control of her emotions yet and would rather block them out with one night stands – clearly I was an English major…
    The thing I can’t stand though is Hannah’s seeming hatred of bras. I just don’t wanna look at those things anymore, man… :/

  • shayna

    spot on

  • http://twitter.com/LAW1SFAB LAW

    Girl’s makes Sex and The City look like bloody Disney! For that I love it, S&TC is glam and dare I say it (because I do love it) but a pretty glazed friendship between women. I never thought I would say that, but Girl’s is the real deal. The fact your friendships are not perfect, but you came back to them like you had never been apart.

    That an argument doesn’t end your friendship. In the U.K it’s on a Tuesday night, but yes I saw this one and it hit home in a lot of ways. The comment ‘don’t talk about our parents as if there the same parents’, most of my friends had their dad and it’s only now at 30 that me and my dad talk. I think the characters all have their faults, but there not hidden. I think Girls won’t skip over something because it makes it easier for you to watch. If anything it may annoy you, because the main character Hannah is just herself. She says things that you would say to your friend ‘shut up’ and she wears what she wants -Marni covering up her coat! Yes these women are dysfunctional, but who isn’t.

    We like to think that were nothing like them, but sadly were not S&TC women. We fuck up, were not perfect. Yes Hannah gets naked a lot, but that’s what happens in real life. Why is it okay when others get naked in shows, but because Lena is not the picture perfect model of what society considers worthy people hate on the a show! Also yes Hannah has sex a lot, but for some (not all) girls do. I think just because it’s being show to us, doesn’t mean we have to like it. I think that’s the point, you want to say to Hannah ‘get a grip’ your in your 20′s no one has a clue. Most just act like they do.

    I love that it’s a mess, because that’s life like Marie below mentioned ‘Is this not an age group where many girls are narcissistic (take a look at your facebook profile page guys), and selfish, and competitive, and insecure at least some of the time? ‘ (well said)
    I think we all want to be better versions of ourselves, I think our friends know the true us. They see us cry, bitch, laugh and share in our happiness. So we can filter the hell out of photos but you in real life you have to be you. I think it’s a great show, because you won’t LOVE everything.

    I think with S&TC (sorry to keep referring back to it) there were the ‘oh those shoes, or that dress’ moments so you didn’t really have to care. Girls doesn’t offer you that. When Hannah throws up outside where people are eating, you just have that to watch. It’s a slap in the face, but it’s great because it’s not trying to make it okay for you. I think it’s wonderful, and I hope it continues to make me want to shake these girls (* shakes fist at T.V grow up already) and punch Adam who is very much like the girls in his ‘if it suits me’ way of life. Why can’t you love a show, where you can see people getting it wrong without any fancy shoes in sight.

  • EGalan

    It is so refreshing for a television show to explore various levels of emotional depth while disguising itself as a hip, here-today-gone-tomorrow sitcom. This past Sunday, Jessa spoke the words I’ve yearned to say time and time again. Sometimes melancholy is necessary. I’m so glad Lena is daring enough to consider these dark places that we all find ourselves in. Being 20 (something) is not always about butt plugs and cocaine.

  • Megan S.

    it’s comical to watch girls in their 20′s talk about being in their 20′s and then mention Hannah’s vanity. That’s the point of the show: it’s a reflection of us. And it’s beautiful.

  • Rebecca

    Through the “sad” episodes, awkward sex, and UTIs, I will always be a fan. Not just because I am obsessed with Jemima Kirke and am hoping in every episode for a glimpse of her, but because there is always something relatable. As an awkward twenty-something, it feels comforting to watch four other awkward twenty-somethings (although I’m not delusional and do realize they’re just acting) stumble around and pretend to know what they want. And isn’t that enough? I watch TV, as you explained, to escape, but when something that hits home like this comes around, I’ll happily take the good with the “sad”.

  • Natalia Ulloa

    Hate. The show ia watchable and slightly funny, but all this Lena Dunham nakedness and sudden appeal to ALL MEN IN THE WORLD is frankly unrealistic and boring.

  • Loullabelle

    I watch Girls as a 41 year old English woman and love it. Yes, the characters can be intensely irritating and self-centred, constantly analysing and debating the minutiae of their lives. However as an old person I see this as very realistic! When you’re in your 20′s you SHOULD be narcissistic and inward-looking, screwing as many people as possible. This is how you will grow and develop into the adult you need to be. I would never wish to be 25 again with all its insecurities and uncertainties, but I miss the freedom and adventure too.

    • http://www.facebook.com/felinity Marzena Igła

      as a 35-year old Polish woman, I must agree in full. Making my mistakes in the 20s was the right time, now I can enjoy the time when I learnt from them and remember all the fun I got back then. “Either good or bad – they were my choices.” (“Chasing Amy”)

    • http://twitter.com/dilanch nairi dilanchian

      you’re not old

  • sketch42

    I actually liked the patrick wilson episode… If this show is an exaggerated version of reality, I’m sure a lot of girls can relate to meeting someone older and more pulled together than they are. Someone thats more grown up, and pulled together. In a way- this is kind of how I felt when I met my husband. He was older, very clean cut, had an apartment… I was just out of college, scruffy etc. And while it wasnt exactly like that episode- in my head it FELT like it was. So isnt that something? What hannah actually looks like is irrelevant, i think. Its just an idea.

    I think the show is both good and bad. It’s definitely interesting. (I watched tiny furniture this weekend, which wasn’t.)

    Anyway- this show makes me think that as a 29 year old, I have no generation. Im obviously not a gen-xer, and if this is the general plight of younger twenty somethings, I’m guessing people my age dont really fit in there either. We are on the cusp.

  • Daniella K

    i love hanna banana.

  • Anna

    that’s what i was thinking ,who wants to be like hannah?’ probably nobody,unless you wished you had literary talent but what if we already are hannah? isn’t our similarity what draws us back to the show every sunday? maybe we are just searching for answers trough her
    p.s. one man’s trash is probably the best episode on all television of all time

  • j

    There are elements of the show that seem to be getting ridiculed as unrealistic or even a lttle brutish , but regarless of everyones view i find lena dunham’s interpretation of the average twenty year olds life to be far from average , within her show she creates four characters so starkingly different from eachother that when i think about i see their four lives combining to one life full of trials, laughs, and experiences , and from that i dont care what one may think , i dont know of any other human on earth that has me rolling over the floor laughing one second and bawling the next second and yet still wanting more.

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