Thoughts on ‘Girls’ from an actual girl
I’m a Shosh, if you were wondering. I am consistently asked which character of the hit dramedy “Girls” I would be, and I consistently say that I’m Shosh. Not sure why. I guess the Jewy-ness and the Snuggie-ness factor in, but that’s pretty much it.
Real talk: As a sophomore rapidly approaching her gilded 20s with no shiny career plans as of yet, I have some grievances with Lena Dunham’s oeuvre.
A show with intentions to expose the real struggle of being a “girl” in her 20s should have relatable characters, and the lack of a truly relatable “girl” is a gaping hole in the show’s message. I guess we are supposed to relate to Hannah because she calls herself “the voice of her generation,” but do teenage girls really want to relate to Hannah, a girl struggling with OCD and a boyfriend everyone calls an “asshole”? Yes, she has her moments…
But as a whole, a few “universal truth” lines don’t make up for a character who’s hard to like. And what’s the point of a show with unlikable characters? Some say that the unlikable characters make the show more realistic, but I beg to differ. Are most people really as selfish and disorganized as the characters of “Girls”?
I didn’t realize this as I binge-watched the first and second season. But these problems I have with “Girls” began to surface when I watched “Frances Ha,” an exquisite film that does all the things “Girls” tries to do without really trying.
While not everyone may relate to Frances (Greta Gerwig, BC ’06), I am certain that every college-aged person has felt like her at some point. After the film’s ending, which can charm even the most cynical of hearts, I genuinely felt comfortable and proud relating to Frances. “Frances Ha” made me feel that I, too, can establish myself in a city as rough as New York.
“Frances Ha” made me realize that the problem with “Girls,” along with the lack of likable and relatable characters, is its nature as a TV drama. Depicting the postgrad crisis in a TV show is simply cruel. Cruel, because the girls can’t figure out their lives until the show is canceled. And based on the show’s popularity, these girls aren’t getting their lives together anytime soon.
Then again, does anybody actually enjoy realistic TV? Seriously. No one would watch a show about four graduates from a respectable university with applicable skill sets and rigid, achievable goals. Just writing that is making me gag. People love to watch other people tumble into failure—it’s a fact of life.
In the end, my problems with “Girls” are kind of selfish. I feel like I’m watching a stretched-out and dramatized version of my own impending doom.
If you disagree with me, I want to hear why! So comment below. Or even better, send us a reaction piece at firstname.lastname@example.org. You don’t have to worry about being too nice because…
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