Girls stands out
Meg Handelman | Monday, November 18, 2013
This summer, I embarked on the ultimate rite of passage for generation Y: I started watching “Girls.” I was hooked from the first episode, which chronicles life of the main character, Hannah, as she is cut off by her parents and forced into the reality of providing for herself. While so many television shows set an unreachable standard of how we should look/feel/act/dress/live, “Girls” stands apart by offering an accurate portrayal of our generation.
Why is “Girls” so good? Because it’s so real. Lena Dunham, the writer, creator and producer of the HBO comedy, focuses on the good, bad and ugly of friendships between women in their twenties. Her decision to emphasize the dynamic between strong female characters brought a refreshing change from the plethora of programs that focus on standard male-female relationships.
The series chronicles the lives of four recent college graduates living in Brooklyn Heights. Dunham plays Hannah, the self-centered, wannabe writer. Then there is Marnie, the uptight planner, Jessa, the free spirit, and Shoshanna, the naÃ¯ve 22-year-old virgin.
Dunham dives into the complexity of an all-female group dynamic head-on, depicting the intricate tensions, jealousies and anxieties that arise between girl friends. She highlights the lonely transition into adulthood and is not afraid to address embarrassing emotional, sexual and personal realities of a twenty-something girl that Hollywood rarely addresses.
Storylines comprised of roommate troubles, jealousy between friends stemming from success at work, judgments about each other’s love lives and the fundamental support that they provide each other day-in and day-out are unnervingly relatable. Twenty-something women share strong connections with their best friends, and these intimacies come alive with each storyline on “Girls.”
“Girls”‘ realistic portrayal stands out against aspirational programs that glamorize female friendships as platonic and easy (the obvious one being Sex and the City). The relationships between the four main characters on “Girls” are relatable precisely because they are difficult and troubled.
It doesn’t hurt that Dunham’s snarky humor and courageousness to talk about anything and everything adds endless entertainment value to the show. For these reasons, I will be eagerly awaiting the season three premiere this January.