February 8, 2013 by rachelcmann
Disclaimer: It took me awhile to even relent to watching this show. After all the hype about Lena Dunham I wasn’t convinced I would like a show about whiny 20-somethings in NYC. I mean c’mon, hasn’t this territory been done to death? Off the top of my head: Friends, Gossip Girl, How I Met Your Mother, Sex and the City, Dirty Sexy Money, Felicity, 2 Broke Girls, etc. A couple of months ago I got around to watching the pilot, and I didn’t hate it. It took me another couple of months to watch the rest of Season 1 and I’m still not sold.
There are aspects of it that I like, there’s a raw honesty to the writing that you don’t see much, but I still feel like the central characters are stereotypes of themselves. Where is the layered nuance of personality? Hannah is frumpy and a writer and selfish and clearly out of her depth in the relationship department. Marnie is polished and successful and caring and a bit stuck up. Jessa is beautiful and traveled and experienced and damaged. Shoshanna is scared and naive and sweet. There are no apparent reasons for them to be friends whatsoever.
Sure, I have friends that are vastly different from me and to an outsider our friendship might seem unrealistic, but we are alike in more ways than we are different. If I had to narrow myself and my best friends down to match the “Girls” girls it would go something like this (names changed to protect the completely guilty). Rachel (me) is a mashup of Hannah, Marnie and probably a little Shoshanna. Chica is major parts Jessa with a little Hannah. Potter doesn’t fit any of them particularly well but maybe fits best with Marnie and Hannah as well. Jinx is probably Shoshanna and Marnie (she doesn’t really fit either).
See how that works? We’re not the same but we share ideas and each of us is a mash-up of those caricatures so often shown on TV. And we don’t spend all that much time together. In fact, those three people, my best friends all come from different parts of my life and Potter and Chica hardly know Jinx at all. And the three of them live in the same part of the world whereas I do not.
So I guess the bottom line is that I was expecting more from this wunderkind. Something that made me leap off my couch for its truthiness and depiction of something I could relate to even if I’m not in my 20s anymore. So yeah, I will probably watch the rest of the show eventually, but for now I’ll wait for the cast and its characters to grow up.
- How HBO’s GIRLS Gets Friendship Right (psychologytoday.com)
- ‘Girls’ Renewed for Third Season By HBO! (justjared.com)