I decided to quit watching GIRLS after Season 2 ended (I stuck it out, I wanted to quit halfway through). I quit for a non-convoluted, non-complicated, underwhelming reason, set far apart from the same shade everyone else was throwing its way: I just didn't think it was a good show anymore. If you've ever known me, you knew that I hopped the GIRLS train from the get-go and I stood behind its bold proclamation of it being "the voice of a generation" (please note that I run on the treadmill of prolonged post adolescence, I will be an aimless, clueless 22-year-old until I die). The show got a ton of things right in Season 1, namely showing how much of a garbagey dystopia the dating landscape was/is and how "this generation" is so achingly oblivious of its own narcissism that we're all doomed if we're leaving this planet in their hands.
That was Season 1. But just like a Ryan Murphy pilot, it had enough gas for one trip. The difference I saw between Seasons 1 and 2 was the difference I saw between Simpsons Season 5 and Simpsons Season 10+. GIRLS Season 2 seemed like it dropped all goals to continue to write genuine stories about girls in NYC being laughably over-idealistic in their career pursuits while recklessly fucking up their relationships with men-- and just decided to bait their naysaying audience through bad no-plot plotlines. I mean, Dunham swears they weren't "stunts", but I particularly disliked these two gem moves:
- Don Glover suddenly being thrown into the mix as a way to flip off at the "this show is so white!" backlash when GIRLS first came onto the scene (I even scurried to the show's defence by writing this little blurb about the "white" backlash)
- Patrick Wilson appearing that one episode to prove some point about physical appearances. It was a blatant non-sequitar from the show's premise and I didn't really understand why it was written in the first place.
Season 1 was just so straightforward and answered to NO ONE. Season 2 put its fists up and had a blatant agenda to reverse-pander to the audience, which is just as bad as regular pandering. It lost its modesty and innocence to tell a story. The subplots of Jessa's sham marriage and Shoshonna The Ditz were not holding up for me either.
That's why I didn't think the show was good anymore and that's why I stopped watching it.
But I don't know why...
...it bugs me as so...
...how virtually everybody has misunderstood GIRLS and hates it for a set of false reasons, going to the tune of: "I hate Lena Dunham and she is essentially Hannah Horvath, a hipstered-out, narcissistic white girl. And the show is about spoiled hipster girls living in New York, the cast itself being equally as privileged as their characters. I also have beef with her nakedness and that point is completely legitimate." (--is it? Play that last part back to yourself...)
The hate is hollow, unstructured, shallow, and ultimately misguided, but they keep spouting off these reasons as if they have backing and they're real. And I haven't been able to let go of my irritation of it because I think Lena Dunham is a cool cat and people's hate for her and the show is nearly illogical. Lena Dunham created GIRLS, but I don't believe she IS GIRLS.
I've argued that the show is unbelievably self-aware and borders on satire. I was so sure that Dunham was making fun of these hipster archetypes with the way she's written them. Hannah Horvath is utterly reprehensible, narcissistic, and laughably out touch with reality. Some of the shit she says is just so shockingly ignorant that I never once believed that Lena Dunham and Hannah Horvath were interchangeable...
If you're not on board with that last point, I urge you to listen to Bill Simmons's latest episode of The BS Report with Lena Dunham. From beginning to end, she is goddamn likeable and I am goddamned charmed by her. Important spoiler alert: she goes on record saying that she's apologized to people for making Hannah say the heinous shit she does, thus separating the maker from its product (I don't know what the point of creating a heinous character like Hannah Horvath in the first place is, maybe it's some sick Frankenstein project).
Moving off of that, I want to list off why Lena Dunham is an amazing human being:
- she's sharp as fuck. I wish I was that cerebral and cognizant at 27
- she has her still-running HBO TV show. At 27.
- she's a feminist
- she’s so freakishly sure about herself that it makes me ache to be bigger, but this shouldn't surprize me since she's abnormal in all other areas (in good ways). She came across an old photo of her rockstar boyfriend with Scarlett Johannson (they previously dated) and was virtually unphased. I’ve accidentally discovered less impactful things of lesser people I've dated and have gone irrationally apeshit bananas over them.
- she seems genuinely nice. I could be totally off the mark here when I say this, but I've written off every female in Hollywood as a straight-up c-word. Lena Dunham? The only nice female in Hollywood, despite alllllllllll the shade that's been thrown at her
- she wrote a book (I don't believe she negotiated the ridiculous monetary figure of her deal. When you’re that big, people will just throw that much money at you to make more money themselves).
- She's going to host SNL
She's really very awesome. So move to the left, haters, there's worse people to make noise over...
Like Jenny McCarthy.