“Girls.” It’s brutally honest, outright hilarious, and borderline pornographic.
It’s the story of New York twenty-somethings struggling in every single aspect of their lives. But Lena Dunham, the star, director, producer and face of the show has done more than just create a kickass tv show. She has completely shocked the image of perfect women perpetuated by every single other tv show, both reality and drama.
Dunham tackles pre-established expectations of girls shown in tv sex scenes. When have we ever seen a female actress in a sex scene, who wasn’t a perfectly proportioned size 2 with immaculate features? In Girls, Dunham disproves every other television show. She bares her own body and draws on personal experiences to reveal a side of the twenty-something previously unknown: the life of the imperfect young woman. In Season One, Dunham unabashedly reveals her full nude more times than can be counted on both hands. But it’s the confidence in her own “imperfection” that’s important.
Humor drives Dunham’s brilliantly written script. Her sense of comedy is genuinely unique and rambling in a natural way, befitting of her wanderlustful characters. She highlights the good, bad and ugly about being a woman. But instead of approaching issues like jobs and money with serious drama, Dunham uses humor to comment on the severity of her characters’ situations. But she shows no triumphant resurrection from the realm of being broke as we see in other shows.
While “Girls” was originally likened to “Sex in the City” or “New Girl”, I find the comparisons insulting. “Sex in the City” focused on superficial struggles of plastic barbies, and “New Girl” presents only a superficial level of unlaughable humor about perfect people. But “Girls” explores behind the scenes of women’s relationships with each other and with men in a way that captures both the relatable tragedy of the lows and the marvelous joy in the highs.
The audience of Girls is not limited to the female demographics that one might expect. 56% of Girls’ audience is male, and the median viewer age (among women and men) is 43 years old, according to data from HBO. The show even draws a number of male Paly students, who wish to remain anonymous. It’s the show’s “sass” and “comedy” that draws these men, who are not yet secure enough in their masculinity to admit their unadulterated love for Dunham and her co-stars.
Lena Dunham is just awesome in general. Her Twitter feed reads as her script does. “I’m mad about the way some stuff on Earth is going and I expressed it by putting new hairstyles on the headshots in a Playbill with white-out.” Her unexpurgated stream of consciousness can be found at @lenadunham, along with many instagrammed selfies and pictures of her dog. Parenthetically, Dunham is dating Fun.’s guitarist Jack Antonoff, but refuses to get married until same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. Mad props to her and her empowered, adorable pixie-cut.
While I’m not a post-grad New Yorker having raging awkward sex with equally unstable hipsters, I find “Girls” to be the only television show worth watching anymore. Reality TV dominates airwaves, but the women we see are only a faction of “real” women. What about the population who doesn’t wear JCrew or hit the gym every day?
Come find me at 9 p.m. every Sunday watching Girls (not Downton Abbey, you fools!) or at other times watching precious reruns with my secret Girls companion, and maybe you’ll delve into what it truly means to have a Crack Spirit Guide too.