Girls, girls, girls, girls, girls I do adorePosted: June 18, 2012
At the end of the day, deep in the bottom of my cantankerous heart, I always knew I would love Girls. I know my subconscious self too well. My occasional hankering for a certain kind of lo-fi white indie aesthetic is simply too strong. A few months ago I gorged myself on the underrated and inexplicably cancelled MTV hipster series I Just Want My Pants Back. I’ve just come off a Kicking and Screaming high.
I watched the pilot episode of Girls a few months ago and hadn’t been particularly impressed. But yesterday I wasn’t feeling well and I was lying on an air mattress (currently the only piece of furniture in a room for which I pay rent much higher than I would if I still lived in HP where the apartments are cheapish and everything shuts down after midnight.) I needed to vicariously commiserate with fictional underpaid, overeducated, privileged Millenials. So I watched episodes 2-9 of Girls in one glorious sitting yesterday and finished the series today.
These girls– awkward Hannah, preppy Marnie, ditzy Shoshana and boho Jessa are not like any girls that I know. I strongly suspect that if we ever met in real life we would not be friends. (Well, maybe, Hannah. Maybe). They are not particularly likeable. But they are strangely, illogically watchable. They seem ‘real’, a word I admit is overused and underexplained but I don’t feel like explaining what I mean. I mean, what ultimately makes these girls realer than, say, the Dunphys on Modern Family, especially considering the fact that I don’t know anyone in real life like any of these characters? I don’t know. It’s some strange alchemical mystery. And Girls’s use of Twitter, Facebook and “Pretty Girl Rock.”
I suppose, in some ways, my interest in these sorts of indie TV shows and films is fuelled by the same sort of desire some young white people from middle America have for random developing countries like India, Botswana and El Salvador. There’s a need to be surrounded by something radically different, to try and understand a people you can’t possibly begin to grasp, to pretend you know something about a place.
Maybe that’s how I feel about hipster New York. And hipster New Yorkers. I don’t know.
I do know that Girls is addictive. The writing continually surprises. Adam Driver, Hannah’s strange, strange boyfriend, continually fascinates. Even his weirdness reminds me of weird guys that I know in real life. The few bum notes, the cliches–(pretty much the characters of Shoshana and Jessa) still work because the actors playing them (Zosia Mamet and Jemima Kirke) have such firm grasps on their characters. Lena Dunham also (surprisingly to me, though I don’t know why I’m surprised) can act her little butt off!
Basically Girls is immersive television. I can’t remember the last time I was so engrossed in a TV series that wasn’t about a middle-aged man on the brink.
I simply can’t believe the season is already over. Wow. I tip my hat to you Lena Dunham, I tip my hat.
*I guess it would be disingenuous of me, being who I am, to ignore the whole race brouhaha that preceded this show. My final conclusion: misplaced anger. It’s not Lena Dunham’s fault that she doesn’t have any nonwhite friends.* We’ve got to raise money and make our own stuff.
*I’m being exactly half-sarcastic.