HBO’s Girls fills the void Sex and the City left for young women. Sure all of us don’t live in Brooklyn, with quirky tattoos and aren’t funded by our parents, but it is a portrayal of women we had yet to see.
I was in college when Sex and the City was on the air. During weekends home I would sneak in my mother’s basement to watch racy episode after racy episode, fantasizing about how glorious life post-college would be. Writing, shoes, NYC, men.
Not to my surprise, life was nothing like Sex and the City. At 24, I was working a full-time job and interning at a local website. I was stuck in a dead-end job, trying desperately to get to the career of my dreams. I was living on my own and making ends meet without the benefit of financial support. I was struggling to understand that I was no longer a girl, but still not a woman (a quote Hannah will say in a later episode, also a paraphrased Britney Spears lyric).
It seems that the premise behind HBO’s “Girls” is founded on some truth of how 20-something women are experiencing life. It’s certainly not the Cosmo-fueled, Jimmy Choo dream we were sold. Shame on you HBO for selling us a pipe dream and then giving us “Girls” to try to correct your wrong. If you want to see Carrie and the gang pre-Manhattan, forget the Carrie Diaries, just watch HBO’s “Girls”.
“Girls”, written by 25 year old Lena Dunham, chronicles Hannah, played by Durham, and her three friends. She is cut off financially by her parents and has to make it, albeit awkwardly, through job searches, friendships and love. Hannah is awkward but endearing and like most 20-something women, struggling to find herself. Sounds like someone we know, Carrie Bradshaw, cough cough.
Much like its predecessor, “Girls” shows us a slice of women’s lives but it’s certainly not a full representation. SATC showed a snapshot of women and sex and “Girls” shows a snapshot of finding ourselves in our twenties in a harsh economy. It’s humorous in an “I’ve been there” type of way and gets us with its lack of polish and gloss. But even without the fantasy, “Girls” still has some unrealistic bits. Funded by your parents? Not many girls I know can relate. Wallowing over having to get a job? Get it together girl. Another show with an all white cast? Where are the women of color?
“Girls” and its characters vacillate between post college blues, a shitty economy and lackluster relationships. Even with its obvious gaps, it will be interesting to see our protagonist stumble, come out of her stutter and hopefully embrace that not just girls are awkward and lost. Just look at Carrie Bradshaw.
Did you watch the premiere of HBO’s “Girls”? What did you think?
Watch the full episode on YouTube and read more thoughts on “Girls”: CNN, Washington Post, Bust Magazine. “Girls” airs on HBO Sundays at 10:30pm