GIRLS: some call it the new Sex and The City, others find it waaaay too explicit, some think it’s racist (because of the lack of colour in casting) and others just find it downright outrageous. Let’s just say this series is getting a lot of talk. And sure, some of it is probably true. It’s about four white women who live in NYC and you see a lot of tits. But it’s also so much more. Every time I watch an episode of GIRLS, I can’t get over the fact how smart and funny it actually is. It’s not for everyone (I would even understand it if you would tell me you hated it), but if you want to discover something new and original, this is it! Let me introduce you.
This is Hannah, the main character and incarnation of the “white girl problems” concept, played by actress, writer and feminist Lena Dunham (Lena is also co-writer and producer of GIRLS, together with Judd Apatow). She talks A LOT about herself, is very insecure and is constantly looking for confirmation from others. In the pilot episode, Hannah gets a rude awakening from her parents; they tell her that they are no longer going to support her financially. Shit! Do they not understand how lucky they are? She could be a drug-addict! Instead she just needs some time to finish up her book and make her unpaid internship evolve in a paid job. And yes, she needs 1200 bucks a month, she lives in New York City, what’s weird about that? All of her friends get help from their parents! But her parents are very firm: Hannah graduated two years ago, it’s time for her to stand on her own two feet. Luckily she’s not alone and has friends who not only support her but also make sure the bumpy ride into adulthood is fun one.
Jessa is the one you secretly want to be (the hair, the wardrobe, the accent, her laissez-faire “woman of the world”- attitude, it’s all so effortless), but at the same time you can’t quite grasp. She’s constantly looking for something or someone else and doesn’t seem to care about what others think of her. She’s so cool, she doesn’t even have facebook. Or at least, that’s the way she tries to portray herself to the outside world. I bet that, deep inside her, just like everybody else, she secretly wants to find security and discover her place in the world. Although you sometimes get the feeling she has already given up on that. In the mean time she is the girl who comes and goes as many times as she pleases. Sometimes quite literately.
Well, what to say about Shoshanna? I sometimes feel that Shoshanna is a bit too cray cray to be a REAL person, but on the other hand… She watches a lot of reality-tv (or tv in general, the poster of the four ladies from Sex and The City in her room is a nice nod to that addiction), talks in hilarious clichés and has crazy hairstyles. At the beginning of the series she’s a (GASP!) 21 year old virgin, can you imagine?! Everybody tells her it’s ok, but popular culture has obviously told her otherwise. She lives with Jessa though (who is her cousin), so with such a sexual creature around the house, the sex-part is bound to work out. Spoiler alert: it does! And that’s just the beginning of all the fun.
The most annoying character is without a doubt Marnie. Sure, you can feel for her and you can relate to her to a certain extent, but never have I ever seen a more selfish person than Marnie. She would be the side of myself I would desperately be trying to hide. She is insecure, a bit of a control freak, self-centred, feels entitled to happiness and thinks of herself as the pretty girl who can get away with anything. She is Hannah’s best friend and their friendship is a lot about shouting at each other about how selfish and self-centred they think the other one is. Well Hannah, you can be self-centred as well, but I think I’m on your side with this one. Marnie has some cute sides to her, but sometimes they are hard to find.
Are there any boys, you ask? YES, of course there are BOYS. And they are kinda cute:
If you’re still not convinced, here are three more reasons to watch GIRLS:
. There are no perfect people in Girls. Everybody has some issue or another and therefore it feels very honest and real. No perfect outfits, no limitless credit cards, no waking up with a full face of make-up or having sex with a bra on (seriously, who does that?!) or a sheet conveniently covering up the (god forbid!) NUDE parts. Instead we see real people, non-perfect people, with real problems and issues. And it’s totally ok.
. Hannah sets an example for women in not giving a rats ass about her waistline or not having a thigh gap. People joke about the amount of nakedness in GIRLS and especially the many nude scenes Lena plays, but I think she’s awesome for showing off how comfortable she is with her body.
. Great writing means great quotes.
I rest my case.