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Why You Should Love ‘Girls’

Courtney Cox | Monday, January 21, 2013

Lena Dunham, the 26 year-old, writer, director and star of the HBO series “Girls” graduated from college five years ago.

When an interviewer asks “Where do you see yourself in five years,” do you really believe in the answer you’re giving or do you just want to seem like an ambitious go-getter?

If Lena Dunham answered that question by saying she would be a four-time Emmy nominee and two-time Golden Globe winner, it’s likely that I would’ve rolled my eyes and thought, “Yeah … okay,” while politely wishing her well.

And yet that’s exactly what Dunham has done. She is one of the most accomplished women of her age, and she got that way by giving a voice to a generation of twenty-somethings who haven’t figured out their career path (let alone made any progress along that path).

Dunham stars as the aloof Hannah Horvath. She wants to become a writer, but spends most of her time working unpaid internships at publishing houses or working in coffee shops.

She fails miserably at finding even a reasonably respectful boyfriend, and instead falls for her incredibly bizarre hookup buddy Adam.

It’s hard to sympathize with Hannah at times because she makes so many self-inflicted mistakes and invests too much energy into people who don’t necessarily care about her well-being.

She does, however, have a constant group of girlfriends who are there to either set her straight or support her, despite her misguided attempts at finding fulfillment.

Marnie is Hannah’s friend from college who lived with her in a tiny-ish apartment. She’s the only one of the group who actually has a job – until the beginning of the second season, when her perfect life starts to fall apart. It’s just an example of how even the most polished can lose their luster after years of doing everything right.

Jessa is the free spirit who blows back into town at the beginning of the first season to live with her cousin Shoshanna in an NYU apartment.

Shoshanna is the youngest of the group and undoubtedly the most neurotic character on the show. She is in love with the idea of living in New York and the fantasy of a “Sex and the City”-style life.

The relationship between these four girls is the lynchpin of the show, and yet you never get the impression that these friends only have each other. It’s much more realistic than that.

Instead of portraying their lives as self-contained, it is open to the possibility of many layered webs of relationships that intersect and diverge at different times.

If you haven’t seen “Girls” yet, steal your parent’s HBO GO account information and race through the 10 episodes of the first season immediately.

The show serves as a dual reminder both of how much young people can accomplish and yet how normal it is to feel as if you’ve done nothing with the first five years after you get your degree.

It doesn’t perpetuate the idea that once you move to New York (or whatever city will serve as your post-grad playground) you’ve finally gotten it all together. It shows how messy life is, but doesn’t wallow in the fear that plagues unguided young-adults. Above all the show is funny in its uncanny ability to predict the situations in which its viewers may eventually find themselves, and chalks every awkward moment up to that never-ending “finding yourself” stage.