I cannot show you how ecstatic I am to check out Lena Dunham’s new HBO series Watch Girls Online. After all, April 15th…hurry up and find here already damnit! As soon as the first 3 episodes received rave reviews at SXSW, the buzz swirling surrounding the indie darling’s new show is growing even louder. And having valid reason.
Coming from the trailer, the following are just a few of the clever lines that helped me laugh out loud:
“I’ve been dating a person who treats my heart like it’s monkey meat.”
“I think I would be the voice of my generation. Or perhaps, a voice of an generation.”
“This is why you have no friends from pre-school.”
“I have many friends from pre-school. I’m not talking to them right this moment.”
“You could not pay me enough to generally be 24 again.”
“Well, they’re not paying me in any respect.”
Put together by the ridiculously talented Dunham, who wrote, starred and directed in Tiny Furniture, and executive generated by Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner, some have called Girls a “game-changer” and claim it “solidifies Dunham’s place to be a bold new voice in American comedy.” Considering there’s so few leading roles for women, so few films or series that showcase female friendships and perhaps fewer women in Hollywood write and direct, it’s refreshing to check out Dunham spearhead an HBO series.
Explaining her motivation to build Girls, Dunham said:
“I felt like there wasn’t a pop culture mirror reflecting girl my age experiencing the trials and tribulations to become female during this specific time.”
If uncertain ambitions, a perpetual lack of money and a coterie of friends with personal lives as complicated and jumbled as her own.” While Dunham’s vision – she writes, directs and stars in Girls – this appears to be very much a female ensemble, dunham plays editorial intern and aspiring writer Hannah, “a post-college Brooklynite with big. The other one female characters include Marnie (Alison Williams), Hannah’s “seemingly perfect,” “more put-together roommate” working for a PR firm wanting to practice environmental law; Jessa (Jemima Kirke), a “headstrong,” “loosey-goosey free spirit” who yearns to generally be an artist/educator; and Jessa’s “innocent” cousin Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet).
Discussing the characters, Dunham said:
“These characters undoubtedly are a really funny blend of variety of highly educated and really naïve…Every woman I do know is definitely a lot of money of contradictions. It was so important to me that there could be a girl who was confident but sex made her incredibly anxious, or a girl who respected herself but was using sex to push boundaries to understand herself better.”
That explain why the show is termed “Girls” but not “Women,” that i gotta admit is one of the the one thing that irked me with regards to the show (I hate the infantilizing term “girls” for grown ass women), Dunham says the female characters wouldn’t self-identify as “women” yet and occupy “that specific in-between space (no girl, not even women).” Okay, which causes sense.
But haven’t we seen this before? What about Sex plus the City or Gossip Girl? Or 30 Parks and Rock and Rec? And the new slew of female-centric comedies like 2 Broke Girls, The Modern Girl, Whitney or Up All Night Long? Well for starters, that’s sexist (and plain stupid) to believe all shows featuring women are the same. After all, what number of shows feature vampires for each other triangles or middle-age-men-who-act-like-boys or DNA-examining crimefighters? ? But nope, Girls looks different. And here’s why. To all those shows, ladies have established their careers and/or relationships or at minimum be aware of the direction they will go. Most also sound painfully forced, lacking any shred of authenticity. Dunham needed to address that confusing, nebulous amount of time in women’s post-college lives if they don’t have a very clue about who they are or know very well what the hell they will do (for many of us, this continues into our 30s…). It’s about trying a new challenge, fucking up, and finding yourself during the process.
Writing about Girls together with other shows, Dunham said:
“I love most of the new network “girl” shows. But someone once described the attitude of girls on network TV as “Check it all out, guys: ladies be talkin’! ” And I think we had been really careful about whatever that rung false…
“The stuff that I’m naturally fascinated with writing is stuff I’ve felt but haven’t seen. I’d seen “Gossip Girl,” which has been an aspirational school story. And “Sex plus the City,” which I matured on and completely respect, was approximately ladies that had identified the career, identified their friendships and were really wanting to lock the love thing down. With me there’s on this occasion of life in places you don’t have any idea what you desire, and you simply don’t discover how to want to buy. It’s a great deal more abstract and wandering.”
Exploring femalesex and friendship, dating douchey guys, abortion (SO few shows manage abortion…huzzah! ) currently in the ridiculously expensive yet awesome NYC – it seems like Girls contains awkward, painful yet ultimately funny moments that “resonate” with the majority of us. I most likely are not 24 anymore and I’m not financially privileged. I supported myself after school, paid my own personal way through college and don’t stay in NYC (yet). But watching the clips – hearing Dunham’s thoughts and in what way the female characters relate with one another – seems like Many my well being. During the trailer, Hannah says, “My entire life has long been one ridiculous mistake after another.” YES! !! I am talking about, aren’t every one of us wanting to figure shit out and get ourselves or our path in their life? ?
Dunham clearly looks at the earth by using a feminist lens (does she call herself a feminist? I am hoping so…that might be badass) as she wants to pay attention to female relationships. Besides Tiny and Girls Furniture, she curated a film series called “Hey Girl! Lena Dunham Selects” (running April 2-8) for any BAMcinématek, the film program with the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Lena Dunham possesses a hilarious, intelligent, fresh and raw voice. Buoyed by funny dialogue, her must-see film Tiny Furniture makes astute commentaries on gender, body sex, dating, image and female relationships. Although I also found myself irritated it didn’t move for a faster pace. I eventually realized I became partly annoyed because Dunham will make you witness uncomfortably awkward moments and doesn’t have the audience over the hook. She forces that you squirm right alongside her compelling characters, feeling their pain. After reading interviews and watching the trailers, it appears like Girls continues her theme of candor, poignancy, self and humor-discovery.
We desperately really need to hear more feminist voices. I’m delighted Dunham’s having a bigger stage in order to share her hilarious observations and vision with the lives some women lead.