I wrote a blog post kind of defending Girls, but mostly telling people to complain about other things in addition to Girls. HOWEVER it’s becoming more and more apparent that this whole situation is a shit showwwww and IDK if I stand by previous remarks. But you can still read what I wrote, I guess.
When the title of your TV series is just as often seen prefixed with a hashtag as without, I guess people on the internet (and even IRL) are saying all kinds of things about it.
Christopher Owens, the incredibly earnest frontman of one of my favorite bands of the past five years (Girls) took to Twitter to wonder if they gave a shit about his band when they named the show the exact same fucking thing. Though Girls is not a particularly inventive name for anything, would it really have been that hard to ask the dude how he felt about the title of the show? He’s obviously sensitive!
Last weekend when I visited my mom (who is super hip when it comes to TV), she asked me if I planned to tune in. That lead to a long discussion of how I watch TV without a TV or cable and definitely not HBO (“Can you get that show on the Internet?” “Mom, everything is on the Internet.”) But I guess that’s not relevant.
And, of course, pals of mine voiced lots of enthusiasm and a little disapproval across various social media outlets.
I liked (did not love) Tiny Furniture, but ended up following Lena Dunham on Twitter and decided that Girls would be an awesome show because her sense of humor was more suited to half-hour comedy.
In fact, I was so excited that I almost went to see the first couple episodes when they premiered at SXSW last month, but skipped it because everyone is too tired to do anything during SXSW (even sit in an air conditioned, dark room for a couple hours), so I didn’t and ended up catching it when it made its way online the day after the premiere.
There are two very big (super valid) arguments that I’ve heard against the show that I a thousand percent agree with.
1) Why are all these people white? Everyone is white. Like, literally everyone is white. And Lena Dunham is not apologetic, certainly not in any way that feels meaningful. My supercool friend Brandi brought this delightful exchange to my attention, which she captioned, “okay director, showrunner, writer, creator, and star.“
2) It’s cool to be rich and all, but no one who doesn’t work for a paycheck really deserves to complain about suddenly not having an all expenses paid apartment in New York City. Yes, the economy is tuff and it’s not easy to find a job nowadays, but it would be nice to indicate that trying to find paid work (even if it isn’t your Dream Job that you thought your precious liberal arts degree had earned you) isn’t somehow beneath you.
So yeah, there are Big Fucking Problems with Girls, which its defenders have explained is the point. You’re not supposed to like them right now. I hope that’s true. I hope the intention is just to build these characters from the bottom up, because honestly it’s a very funny show and I found bits of it super relatable.
This post isn’t really about how to fix Girls, though. If they want me to do that, they should give me a call and pay me, because I would be great at that. It’s about the fact that people really are heated up about this show when they are not heated up about other shows that are the same or worse. Is it because this is a show about, ya know, girls? I don’t know, honestly. I do have my suspicions, though.
How I Met Your Mother is a very popular show about twenty somethings living in New York, like Friends before it and lots of other shows. Everyone is always white and straight. (Oh, except one character on Friends who figured out that she wasn’t straight after all. She’s a fringe character, anyway, and totally vilified for discovering her true sexuality later in life. “lol @ lesbians, AMIRITE???? WHY DON’T THEY JUST LIKE DICK???” - most people in America in the 90s / a lot of people in America today) Characters have been unemployed and underemployed for stretches of time without any explanation as to why they’re still living in huge fucking apartments and going to the bar with their friends every night. No one really cares. Everyone believes that, despite the fact that one of main characters is like a superhero when it comes to misogyny, that How I Met Your Mother is as harmless as a kitten napping on a sweater knit by your grandmother.
Entourage was about a rich and famous gross bro and his gross bros living it up on his dime. I think we were supposed to admire him for looking out for his bros? I don’t know. Never watched it. People maybe kinda cared that it was about gross white bros sorta not really.
I don’t even know what Two and a Half Men is about, really, because life is too short. The creator Lee Aronsohn said things like this, though:
“We are approaching peak vagina on television, the point of labia saturation. Enough, ladies. I get it. You have periods.”
Obviously even if he were funny (he’s not), he would be truly awful. And yes, the show (which you might gather from the title) is about people with penises, thank god, because who wants to hear women talk about their vaginas? Ladies should be seen, not heard, because we are not ready for female comedy (even when it’s still in the minority) in 2012.
Bored to Death was a TV show about rich, straight white men doing well in their various creative pursuits and banging hot chicks. None of the main characters were female, and the females that popped in were the wives/girlfriends/daughters of the main dudes, who really didn’t treat them like human people.
I could go on listing shows about rich white people for a really long fucking time, because almost every show is about rich white people. The point I’m trying to make is that hating Girls makes a lot of sense because there are certainly aspects of it that are problematic, but can we also hate all the shows that have the exact same flaws as Girls does but with some bonus misogyny? I’d like that, thanks.