I saw the film Tiny Furniture last year on Netflix streaming and totally fell in love. In Tiny Furniture, Lena Dunham unflinchingly trotted out all aspects of a real flawed female character and damn was it relatable! I watched and re-watched that movie.
I myself, being at the age where you are desperately trying to figure out who you want to be – and who you actually are, find it’s a brutal time, full of self involvement, bad decisions, procrastination, furious experimentation, and hopefully self discovery.
I was so inspired by the fact that Lena had written, directed, and played the lead-role in Tiny Furniture and she also involved her mother and sister who basically played themselves. The girl’s a power house!
My excitement could not be contained when I found out she was going to create a show for HBO, not only was she getting to create a TV show (called GIRLS) but she was collaborating with Judd Apatow who produced my favorite TV-show of all time Freaks and Geeks!
All the planets aligned and someone gave me someone else’s dad’s HBO Members password (is that morally ambiguous? Wrong? Thoughts?) and I got to watch the whole first season as it was airing, sometimes inviting friends over to watch with me.
Here are just a few of the reasons that the show GIRLS is a big deal:
1. Unapologetically showcasing a real female body often engaged in sex or otherwise doing whatever the fuck she wants.
2. Female characters that are not perfect, hell not even likable sometimes!
3. Addressing current issues like – student loans, unemployment, and the general lack of direction of 20-somethings.
4. It’s really funny.
I am aware of the heavy criticism that GIRLS has received for its lack of diversity and honestly I find it a bit perplexing that this show is getting spearheaded for that particular issue. Perhaps it’s because the title “GIRLS’ implies that it is trying to represent all girls? I don’t think that was ever their intention, I don’t think that one show can be everything.
Lena has said that all 4 girls on the show represent different aspects of her personality. She writes from her point of view and her experiences (which lends to the shows refreshing honesty) and Lena happens to be an upper class white girl. I do think that it is REALLY important to represent all kinds of people in TV and I know that they are working on being more inclusive in Season 2…
My two cents is that they should hire a writer of color to create a character that feels as real as the others do. I think the biggest mistake would be to add a someone to be PC and then fail to do much character development because it’s too hard.
Of course GIRLS has also gotten a lot of criticism for Lena’s body and to those people I say – crawl back into your mothers uterus you clearly don’t belong here.
Ok, I’m off my soapbox, obviously both Lena Dunham and her show are doing just fine, after all she won 2 golden globes, one for her, and one for the show!
Congrats Girl You deserve it!!!
Also: checkout this really funny podcast where in 2 friends drunkenly discusses each episode of Girls. Girl and Guy on Girls.