It’s hard to believe that it’s been about two and a half months since the premiere of Girls. What was the world even like two and a half months ago? Before the announcement of Apple’s MacBook with retina display? Before Chris Brown and Drake got into a bar fight? Before Prometheus?! The only constant I can recognize is that everyone was talking about Girls then, and everyone continued to talk about Girls for the whole 2.5 months, and everyone is still talking about Girls now. “How racist was this week’s episode on a scale of Friends to Bunheads?” “We’ve established that Lena Dunham is brave, but HOW BRAVE?” “The Way We Adam Now,” etc. Having come this far, what do you guys think of it now? Has your opinion changed at all over the ten-week course of observing the fairly static lives of real enough people who you would never want to hang out with in real life, which sounds harsh and is not my complete opinion, but is at least a real PART of my opinion? I’m not sure that I would say the series has grown on me — though I do think the finale was particularly good, which we can talk about in a minute. The series had some wonderful points, like the story arc focused on the strained relationship between selfish Marnie and more selfish Hannah, and the newly-revealed elements to Adam’s personality, but it’s hard for me to watch any series that seems to be without payoff. (Something that keeps me from really enjoying Mad Men, as well.) While Girls is labeled as a comedy, it hardly has enough LOL moments to keep you interested without being invested in the characters, and the characters — specifically Hannah — are hard to become invested in, because they are accurately portrayed as 23ish. Coming from someone who is 23ish, having friends and having an OWN SELF constantly making the same boring mistakes and being generally insufferable if you don’t already love them is enough at this point. (And I’m not sure why it would be entertaining to watch if you are older than 23ish?) (“Ugh, I USED TO BE AWFUL.”) Though it is realistic to watch a bunch of 23ish boys and girls wandering around Brooklyn, trying to figure it out while having no idea at all how they should even attempt to figure it out, it does not make — FOR ME, at least — a compelling narrative. People don’t change, sure, and generally lives are kind of boring and things don’t really happen in them, F’REAL, but it’s hard to stay interested in that specific kind of Real Life As Fiction, especially when you have to deal with Hannah every week. The series seemed kind of one-note, is what I’m saying. Though Shoshanna had funny moments and Jessa turned out to be a delight, it mostly seemed one-note and I never really bought into it completely. Oh, but, so, let’s talk about the finale!

Hey, that was good! It’s hard to complain about how the plot never went anywhere and then also complain a little bit about how when the plot did finally go somewhere it was to a RIDICULOUS WEDDING, but it’s not impossible, so: That was kind of a leap! I honestly don’t want to complain about it too much, though, because it was all very enjoyable. But. It seemed kind of like that’s just the post-it-note that the dart landed on on the idea wall. But, let’s not. Jessa — although her marriage to Chris O’Dowd seemed just so over-the-top — to complain about it a bit more again — they couldn’t have supplied her with a less vile but still equally mistake-y guy to impulsively marry because some woman told her that she needed to grow up? — whatever, anyway — played the idea of wanting to seem strong and impulsive, as she generally wants to seem, while having a fairly strong undercurrent of doubt very well. That character has really become the most interesting and most likeable of the series, and oddly the most realistic. (Which was a little thrown away with this wedding idea, that seemed to stick more to the “crazy Jessa” idea from earlier in the season than the “realistic Jessa” from later.)

Adam’s rant at Hannah was perfect, and something that felt good to hear after an entire season of having to DEAL WITH IT. Except for how she is definitely not a good friend. He could’ve maybe left hat part out. “You are pretty and you are a good writer and you AREN’T a good friend but you probably could be if you weren’t so focused on yourself all the time.” I loved the Coney Island ending. I loved when Adam said, “You look very beautiful.” I loved when Shoshanna said, “We’ll just find a place to put this forever,” about Marnie’s luggage. Marnie and her ex-boyfriend’s relationship is annoying and I don’t like watching it (partly because I think her ex-boyfriend’s character is just kind of whatever the episode needs him to be, rather than a clearly defined, mostly annoying character like the rest of them), but I DID like when Ray approached Shoshanna and told her he was interested in her because of how fucking weird she is. That seemed right. Really, it was a very good, promising season finale to a season that I could never get attached to. But it did prove (or even just solidify the idea) that the characters Lena Dunham has created, aside from the character Lena Dunham herself plays, could be interesting to watch, and do seem open to growth. So. We’ll see. We’ll see in season two. Right? What about you? Loved it the whole time? Hated it the whole time? Loved/Hated it? What?

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Comments (46)
  1. I like the show but I’m starting to think its secretly being written by manatees.

  2. Adam is the most interesting character on TV. Him and Tyrion Lannister. Him, Tyrion Lannister and Arya Stark. Him, Tyrion Lannister, Arya Stark and Theon Greyjoy.


  3. Shit. Were we supposed to be watching this? I only ever saw the first episode when I successfully identified that one actress on the left as being Peggy’s lesbian photographer friend from Mad Men.

  4. Parks and Rec did a surprise wedding better. Still doesn’t mean it’s something that actually happens in real life.

  5. i have to say I enjoyed this show immensely. it does a great job of taking an honest stance in depicting the issues/struggles of post-college city life, but at the same time being very self-aware at how self-indulgent and selfish that time can be.

    “you live in new york and that automatically makes you interesting”

    i’m not saying Kelly is one of these people, but I do know a number of women in their early 20s, most who live in NYC/brooklyn “workin’ on their dreams” [- Krispy Kreme, 2011] who HATE the show, and i have to say its really because it just reflects them back at them, and they are not the self-aware type to realize it, or really want to be showed how self involved they can be, or that their dreams probably won’t come true.

    “go ahead and say it, because anything bad anyone could ever say about me, I’ve already said to myself, probably in the last 10 minutes”

    personally, i just think the show’s voice speaks to me. i “get it” and have “been there” and I appreciated the neurotic, yet self-aware humor. as a person who is self-aware to a fault, it’s comforting to know others – or at least people portraying others – have thought the same, or have the same perspective, and are depicted as being ridiculous for doing so. therefore, it has an effect as being able to laugh at myself.

    seeing these characters being taken seriously, yet at the same time making fun of their modest problems puts “the big picture” in perspective. sort of like “Louie,” the show confronts some ugly ideas, moments, situations, yet the takeaway – for me, as a viewer – is that these are fleeting, and in the end, everything is really just fine.

    …of course we’re talking about a TV show about self-involved people, and I’ve managed to make my opinion of it almost completely about myself. I haven’t really stepped back and thought critically of it, because I just enjoyed watching it so much that I am slightly blinded to its faults.

  6. When you are an Old you’ll realize that “Ugh, I USED TO BE AWFUL” is a very powerful motivation for consuming certain entertainments.

  7. still stuck on what the black liquid actually does.

  8. wait. where are the blonde guys on this show? why are all the guys black-haired?

  9. Only on the second episode myself, but Hannah doesn’t get a job because she makes a rape joke during an interview? About the interviewer? I’m not sure I’ll be able to go the distance

  10. Shoshanna is my favorite character. As someone who watches the Game Show Network way too often, listening to her describe the show Baggage was probably the highlight of the season.

    I think the show has potential because of the little things. The characters and plots are all over the place, but there are at least a couple of moments in each episode that are funny or seem easy to relate to.

  11. as ridiculous as the wedding is, i definitely buy it as a plot point. i had a rash of friends get married pretty impulsively around 23, and now i have a rash of friends getting divorces. i think there is something about that age where some people make decisions grasping at the idea of permanence- so much is up in the air and confusing that it’s almost an instinctual thing to try to nail something down that you can use as an anchor. which is a terrible life strategy! i mean, i almost got married at 25! and then i had to push a panic button and run away from my life, which is another characteristic of the age- just fucking things up and going “oh god oh god oh god” and hoping that when the dust settles things will kind of somehow be okay. and while i agree that this doesn’t exactly make the most riveting of narratives, it still manages to be entertaining. even though i would definitely fucking hate all four of those girls if i knew them in real life. except maybe shoshannah. she i would just feel awkwardly sorry for.

  12. I was prepared to hate this show out of sheer envy because Lena Dunham was in one of my classes in college and she is now famous. Plus she’s younger than I am. The world is unfair. However, it really, really grew on me! The characters are horrible and self-involved and exactly like I was at 23. And, like others have said, watching things and going, “Ugh, I used to be awful!” is great fun!

    Also, I think it’s really funny. I literally LOLed at the tongue touching line last night.

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  14. So we waited this fucking long to find out that Hannah killed Rosie Larsen? SNORE.

  15. People who are 23-something like this show because they are obsessed with themselves. People who are older than 23-something like this show because youth is fascinating even when it’s annoying.

  16. Surprisingly, I really enjoy this show, but I think what I appreciate most about it is actually just SEEING Lena Dunham as the main character. She just looks like a normal fucking person, and it is incredibly refreshing that for once the less ‘conventionally attractive’ female is the CENTRAL character and not just the throw-away fat girl character or whatever, which you know, it’s probably about time we address how degrading that is, and admit how often we encourage women to just be attractive and not anything else. I love the fact that you see her body so often, because I feel like a lot of people perceive it as fairly shocking at first, but then they are just like “wow that is just a normal human body” and get the fuck over it.

    I also really liked when she said to Adam, “You don’t think we distract each other sometimes from the other stuff that we have going on?”

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    • To be honest, the only thing I don’t hate about this show is that it has women that look like normal women… but I don’t want to discuss body image and this show because I don’t think it should be given that much credit. I like that the other characters look like normal women that have been put on camera, but I get the feeling they were cast not for a way to start a dialogue on feminine ideals of beauty but because they were LD’s friends.

      That Mamet girl can act, though. Good job, Mamet girl.

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      I guess everyone really hates that channel that shows the Brooklyn weather?

    • badideajeans is correct. It is not that this show is about self-involved young people and full of hard truths. It is that this show is about really boring self-involved young people, miles more lame and stupid than anyone I spent time with when I was 23 and miles boringer than most of the 23-year-olds who post comments on this site. I completely believe that Kelly, if she were fictional, would not hang out with any of these characters. (Caveat: I did not see the finale. Maybe they all scintillated.)

      The show has glimmers of perception, humor, and pacing occasionally, which feel like they were written by someone other than Lena Dunham, but for the most part it is a bad depiction of what it claims to depict. And that makes it not just a bad show but kind of a travesty. You guys, I am pretty sure that almost any four of you who are reading my comment right now could get together and write a better show about being 23–so what cosmic accident made HER your leader?

      • Hotspur is correct.

        Don’t sell yourself short, Youngs. You’re all way more interesting than this show or this person.

      • I believe the cosmic accident to which you’re referring was the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

      • I remember another writer who talks about really boring self-involved people. He’s really famous. His name is Woody Allen.

        What’s funny about looking back at 23 is that you THINK you’re not hanging out with assholes and boring self-centered people until you realize you’re ALL boring self-centered people and when you stop being that way you’ll think why was I such a mess? Then you’ll get over it because it’s a really important stage of life.

        As for Lena D being a cosmic leader for the Generation Z or whatever it is you’re called is unimportant because she’s not trying to represent everyone (there’s the whole minority part missing for one) but she’s speaking “for” the group that will pick up this type of material which are writers and intellectuals who are drawn to these type of story lines because that’s what is most similar to their lives. The media always tries to lump everyone together. Think of he 60s – not everyone was a hippie – there were a lot of things going on then but that’s what you think of.

        I like reading your posts hotspur and think you are funny, FWIW!

    • ugh this show presses on my last nerve. It legit makes me angry. All the characters are unrealistic and unsympathetic.

  18. Wait, can we talk about Bunheads? That is a show that needs to be discussed.

    I totally liked it!!

    I wasn’t sure but then I was sure and oh my, Emily Gilmore should be in every show!! Plus I heard that Chris Eigeman is getting cast in the series!!! Digger and Emily Gilmore and Gypsy? This show gets a forever season pass on my DVR.

  19. I don’t know why I watch this show. Out of boredom I suppose. But it is not like I hate it like True Blood or love it like Game of Thrones. I forgot to watch it in the past two weeks until Kelly’s post reminded me. Mostly, I just get annoyed at Hannah and want to see shit happen to her cause she deserves it. The plot is annoying, but sometimes those glimpses of truthful interactions or arguments are kind of neat. I wouldn’t say it is a good show, but it is interesting.

  20. I hate this garbage tv show, for real.

  21. I think I like Enlightened more than this show, just because the characters in Enlightened, while equally infuriating, at least know what they want out of life. They just don’t know how to achieve it. Dunno if that makes sense or not.

  22. Jessa is far and away the worst character on any TV show anywhere, ever. No exaggeration!

  23. I really want to like this show, if only because it’s something “different.” It’s a unique show with a distinct feel—but I just can’t come away from it thinking it’s actually good. It’s not even so much that the characters or creator or writers are hyper-self-aware, but the whole show seems to be too aware and too interested in itself to be relatable. It just tries. Too. Hard. It’s like that niece or little sister or whatever who keeps harassing you to watch them do a cartwheel or whatever, and you put your conversation on hold in anticipation that she’ll do something interesting, and yeah, she does what she said she was going to do, but really, who cares? It’s not one of the best cartwheels you’ve ever seen, and it’s not so bad that it’s adorable. It’s just, well, something boring that you made an effort to watch because you felt you had to, but it wasn’t really worth your time in the end.

    While there are moments here and there that can draw a LOL (Marnie getting slapped by Hannah’s gay ex; Shoshanna on crack), those moments do not make a show. I think people keep talking about it because of that perceived “difference,” or because of racism, but once the show settles into a groove people will get sick of it the way people are sick of M. Night Shyamalan movies.

    And hey, Girls, way to flip the script on the “shlubby goof ends up with the hot girl” Hollywood trope by getting Marnie to make out with Bobby friggin’ Moynihan. That wasn’t lazy at all.

  24. Kelly, as an older, shall I say, distinguished gentleman, I LOVE watching 23ish people go through this because it reminds me that in this cool shallow world that favors youth – there is no way in HELL that I would ever want to be 22-26 again. EVER. You couldn’t pay me. Well, you could if you threatened to make me 12-14 again instead, but that’s it.

    So there are some definite writing flaws on the show – yes, the wedding seemed a bit throw a dart on the post-it note, but I will defend this show because it seems pretty real to life and I like shows that tend to wander and find themselves (like Mad Men) – but I get the fact that it’s not for everyone. I don’t necessarily need a definitive plot, just an overall statement and mood. Sort of like a Cassavetes or Antonioni film. Not to say that Lena D is anything like them, although this show would not exist if it weren’t for Cassavetes, or rather what he put forth, but that’s another story.

    So good for Girls for being BRAVE. Well, If HBO told me to take off my shirt (I’m a guy but still – expose myself, maybe even my weiner) I’d do it and probably feel really edgy and self-important to be all vulnerable. But maybe not everyone would and there’s that. Let’s hope that Girls keeps with its current momentum and doesn’t get all 5th season of S&TC on us.

  25. Lena Dunham is an operative definition of self-indulgent. She just won two Golden Globes and both times, she spoke for such a long time that the orchestra had to cut her off.
    I truly don’t see the attraction of the show. Do people like it because Dunham is so dysfunctional that she makes them feel good about themselves? The unreality of the show is that any man could find her attractive, either physically or emotionally. Her huge ego is deceiving her perceptions of reality.

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