Living the Dream. One Mistake at a Time.
Whether it’s good or whether it’s bad, there’s no denying that the Internet is buzzing over HBO’s newest show, Girls. Created, directed, written, produced, and staring Lena Dunham (a multi-tasking inspiration), the show delves into the life of a unemployed college grad/aspiring writer, Hannah, and her 3 friends, struggling to survive in New York City. Your first instinct may be to think this is a Sex and the City 2.0, but slam on the breaks before that thought fully forms. Hannah is the complete antithesis of Carrie, from her pleasantly-plump frame to her second-hand store attire. And the girls’ lives? Far from fabulous.
There’s Shoshanna, the kind-hearted virgin who is obsessed with (you guessed it) Sex and the City; Hannah (played by Dunham, pictured with the pondering gaze and intriguing tattoos), freshly cut-off from her parents bank account and sans job; Marnie, Hannah’s roommate/best friend who is chest deep in a long-term career and relationship (both of which she secretly despises), and Jessa, Shoshanna’s eccentric British cousin who loves nothing more than to shake up everyone’s lives.
Relatable characters: Whether you’re the inexperienced goody-two-shoes, the committed girlfriend, the wild child, or somewhere in between, you will find a girl to latch onto (so move over Miranda/Carrie/Samantha/Charlotte personality tests). I am strongly willing to bet that every girl will resonate with at least some aspect of one of the girls.
Real Life Struggles: If we aren’t there now, we’ll be there soon enough – the 20-something college grad, struggling to figure out what to do with her life. As the show’s tagline beautifully states, we’ll be ‘living our lives, one mistake at a time’. We’ll live in the crappy apartment, we’ll fall in love with the wrong guy, and we’ll get fired from job-after-job-after-job. There may be STD scares, pregnancy scares, and embarrassing baggage, but that’s the tragedy that is real life.
Embracing Social Media: In this day and age, anyone with a computer (or better yet, access to HBO) has a Twitter account (along with a Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, WordPress, Foursquare… you get the gist). It’s refreshing to see it blatantly used by the characters in real life scenarios (because, let’s be real — if we found out our long-term college boyfriend “switched sides,” we’d tweet about it too.)
Lack of racial diversity: One of the huge backlashes against the show comes from the all-white cast. However, producers have gone on the record to say that they hope to incorporate more diverse characters in the future seasons. And, considering there are only 5-6 reoccurring cast members, some of which are related, we can’t exactly chastise them for not cramming an entire world of diversity into a few bodies.
Over-the-top personalities: While the characters are widely relatable to a multitude of girls, they fit into slightly stereotypical molds. So far in the series, the girls lack a dynamic range. Fingers crossed their characters drastically evolve over the next few episodes and branch out from their cookie-cutter personas.
Pessimism to the extreme: While it is filled with comedic, quirky one-liners, the show is overloaded with depressing situations that make me want to avoid the real world and escape to the 20-something version of Neverland. While these are the very same situations we praise for being events we can associate with, it would be great to see a few more happy moments sprinkled into the mix.
Give it a chance. It’s still far too early in this shows development to have a steadfast opinion. So you watched the first episode and shrugged it off? I respect that. Give the show a few weeks, however, and I am optimistic that it will develop into something everyone will enjoy.
In the end, whether you love it or hate it, Girls has been renewed for a second season and doesn’t show signs of disappearing any time soon. So check out the trailer, hijack your best friend’s HBOGo subscription, leave your judgments beyond, and enjoy the weekly, half-hour long ride.
Chelsea Bliefernicht is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, majoring in Communication Arts and specializing in Digital Studies. She aspires to be a triple threat in the world of communication by utilizing her various passions: writing down her rambles, producing films, and speaking in hashtags. Feel free to tweet her @cbliefernicht
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