As season three concludes it is, now, time to reflect on the show called Girls. That is, now that all the exultation and wonder and merriment about this groundbreaking show has subsided. After all, it has been three seasons and there are newer, au courant (look it up) shows to call irreverent, revolutionary and the good ole ditty; “can’t miss.”
I, to a point, instantly dislike shows or films and books for that matter which are hailed as timeless classics before they had even been aired to the public or critics have been fully paid off. But I digress.
Voice of her generation? Hmmm, if so I’m certainly glad I’m not a twenty-five year old girl. Lena Dunham is an extremely talented actress and is totally hateable in the show to anyone not twenty-five, female, living in New York and, you know, with a brain and/or a heart. The writing is thoughtful and insightful but much too uneven – a fact that the critics seem to overlook. As a matter of fact, critics love this show for the same reasons they dislike certain films; the writing and direction are all over the place. Let us begin with the characters, shall we.
Hannah Horvath, aspiring writer (Lena Dunham) – is there a more detestable character on television? She uses anyone in her sights, including her parents and close friends. She has contempt for everyone and can’t, or chooses not to, keep a job. Is it in a millennial’s DNA to yell at every employer they work for and expect total success and position immediately? I’m not disturbed by her excessive nudity even though she is pudgy, pasty and tatted up; I do have to look away more than occasionally. Hannah does have one the strangest, complex and refreshing relationships on TV. You can’t help but sit up straighter when she is on screen, in scene, with her boyfriend, Adam (Adam Driver).
Driver is brilliantly eccentric and is one of the few characters on the show to grow. He began as a psycho boy toy for Hannah and often treated her poorly but has actually turned into the strength, calm and soul of the couple.
Hannah’s best friend, Marnie (Allison Williams) is a beautiful, insecure, self-absorbed, vindictive girl looking for anything she can’t have. During the three seasons she has had a number of jobs that well, didn’t work out. The girl can sing but won’t put in the effort (except when a good looking singer guitarist takes an interest). See a pattern developing??
Hannah’s other two friends Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) are so one dimensional despite the best efforts of the actresses, to even discuss.
It is interesting to note that the only other bit of character development is Ray (Alex Karpovsky) the coffee shop manager who is the older (a whopping twelve years) friend of the group… who dated Shosanna for a time… and occasionally sleeps with Marnie.
Ms. Dunham seems to share a problem with certain other writers. She writes men well but….
I should point out, once again, that viewers tend to enjoy flawed characters not mean and selfish ones. Gregory House and Jerry Seinfeld were terribly flawed but not uncaring (well, maybe Jerry was.)
At its core—when the show is centered on its focal characters and not how zany everything is in New York for millennials—Girls is quite engaging and entertaining and maybe that should be enough.
Who is your favorite girl? Or is it a guy?