Girls was one of HBO’s hit shows of 2012, and it’s about to come to the UK. Created, written, directed and staring Lena Dunham, Midas touch Judd Apatow is also very much a part of the creative team Girls. Much has been made of the fact that Dunham is 26-years-old herself. Because of this, I find Girls is very fresh, very realistic and not trying to please everyone. It speaks of a very specific time, about a very specific kind of experience.
Girls follows a group of early-20s “girls” as they try and establish themselves in their careers, relationships and friendships in New York. Obvious and somewhat lazy comparisons have been drawn with Sex and the City, but Girls is smarter and much more raw than SATC. All the characters have major flaws, their friendships aren’t perfect and they make bad – no, terrible – choices.
Girls is a “dramedy” (ugh) and with great storylines and lots of humour. It’s my new favourite show. A thinking female’s New Girl, if you will.
The pilot episode sees Hannah’s (played by Dunham) parents cutting off their financial assistance. “We can’t keep bankrolling your groovy lifestyle!” they tell her. Hannah responds as any 23-year-old entitled ‘creative’ would respond – she attempts to get high, turns up at her parent’s hotel room and lies on the floor comparing herself to Flaubert. OK, so Hannah is a bit extreme and that scene doesn’t exactly paint her in a good light, but she’s also likeable because of her neurotic and histronic personality.
The rest of the series sees Hannah try to make it as a writer in New York, and living with her best friend from uni – sorry, college – Marnie. Marnie is going out with her college boyfriend who she’s grown out of, and works in a gallery. Marnie despairs of Hannah and her flaky, self-obsessed personality. But Marnie has her own problems too…
There’s also Jessa, Hannah and Marnie’s friend. I pretty much hate Jessa. She likes to think she’s so crazy and hedonistic and I get that she’s meant to be a bit… irritating. But it’s too much. Maybe that’s great writing but meh, I could do without her.
Shoshanna rounds off the four girls, and is my totes fave. She is obsessed with her life being like SATC, except she’s an extremely uptight virgin. She says totally cringey things (like “totes fave”. That was an in-joke and you probably just missed it), and is wonderfully played by Zosia Memet. Most of the laughs, for me anyway, come from Soshanna. She’s so naive and sweet, and in awe of Jessa and her friends.
Girls is very easy to watch, and I would say that it touches on themes that would definitely speak to 20-somethings at the moment. And although it sounds very girl-focused, it’s completely un-girlie. I said it above, but this is in no way SATC – thank God.