‘Girls’ makes good mistakes
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 00:04
“So I calculated, and I can last in New York for three and a half more days – maybe seven if I don’t eat lunch.” A character speaks this poignant line on HBO’s newest series, “Girls.”
“Girls” focuses on the lives of four young women struggling to live in New York City. In the opening scene of the show, Hannah’s parents are cutting her off financially. We learn that she is an intern at a publishing firm while “waiting” on it to become a paying job.
The show rides on the heels of executive producer Judd Apatow’s success with “Bridesmaids.” Apatow, who had been criticized as being sexist in his movies, proves that he can understand women with the help of Lena Dunham, who stars as Hannah and writes the show.
Dunham’s writing shines on screen, and the cast does a good job portraying how self-entitled twenty-somethings can be.
Hannah is brilliantly played out to be the average, insecure young woman. Dunham isn’t afraid to push what would be normal boundaries either. Her character isn’t a typical Hollywood type, and Dunham proudly and awkwardly displays her body in a less-than-glamorous sex scene.
The show’s other characters include Marnie, Hannah’s roommate and best friend, Jessa, a free-spirited British girl, and Shoshanna, a nerdy girl who compares herself to “Sex and The City” characters. While the show focuses on Hannah’s struggle to survive, a favorite part of the show is the relationship Hannah and Marnie.
“The true romance of the show is their relationship,” Dunham said in an interview with HBO.
While the show is witty in its humor and is considered the anti-“Sex and the City,” it has been criticized for not being diverse. “This show falls squarely under the umbrella of first world problems. These are the problems of people without real problems,” wrote Alexandra Petri, a critic for The Washington Post.
Victoria Stinson, a recent University of Southern Mississippi graduate, watched the show’s premiere on April 15.
“It’s definitely realistic,” Stinson said. “The actors look like normal people, and aside from the main characters being predominantly spoiled by their parents, the dialogue is accurate.”
Stinson did notice the lack of diversity, saying, “The kids are all white, and the subject matter is pretty vanilla.”
While most critics noticed the lack of diversity, many agreed it was a fresh idea but is hard to love.
“The heady mixture of insecurity and self-righteousness, winsomeness and insensitivity that infuses ‘Girls’ all seem freshly harvested, providing both its undeniable potency and its one real flaw — though wildly smart, ‘Girls’ is a difficult show to love,” Mary McNamara of The Los Angeles Times said.
The show’s poster slogan is, “Living the dream. One mistake at a time.” Let’s hope Dunham and Apatow learn from their mistakes of not being diverse with characters and still keep the show on air. If so, “Girls” could be going past the dreams of one NYC girl.
“Girls” can be seen on HBO on Sundays at 9:30 p.m. CT.