Thursday, February 7, 2013

A defense of GIRLS, by someone who has never actually seen it

I notice that GIRLS - written, directed and acted by women - is taking an awful lot of flak for its supposed narrow, self indulgent, and inconsequential content.

Know what's also airing on television right now? BIG BANG THEORY, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, and RULES OF ENGAGEMENT. Given the dubious depth of these sitcoms, I find it really freaking suspect that a show which attempts to take the lives of twenty-something girls somewhat seriously rather than outright mocking and dismissing them is being torn apart like this.

The frenzied arm-flailing and outright venom I see directed toward this show, and particularly its creator, is astonishing. You're complaining about racism? Sorry, I must have missed all the racial diversity on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER. You're complaining about nepotism? Sorry, you must have missed the last trillion Jake Gyllenhaal and Chris Pine movies.

The truth is that this show is being held to the classic "have to work twice as hard to be half as good" minority principle. Because GIRLS is a show made by women for women, it is expected to transcend the norm of pop culture. And it apparently doesn't. Did you hold SCRUBS to the same standards? Or TWO AND A HALF MEN?

You might not like GIRLS, and that's fine. It doesn't sound like my cup of tea personally, so I haven't bothered to watch it. But if you're frothing at the mouth over the hollow mockery of a human being (believe it or not those are all separate links, and it took me basically five minutes to find them. Seriously) that is Lena Dunham... either admit that you're being a misogynistic jerk, or sit down and shut up.


  1. I have seen a couple of episodes and this post told me more about what the show's about then I got from those episodes.

    I personally think it's just more of the same. I don't hate it, I just don't see the point. Lena's character seems really lost and stupid. The word pretentious comes to mind. In fact, all the girls on that show are kind of lost and stupid.

    Big Bang Theory on the other hand truly is the best show I've seen in a really long time. But I'm a geek in my own way so I have an appreciation of the jokes maybe a little more than the people who just watch it and think they're funny but don't actually get them.

    1. And that's totally fine! Like I said, I'm positive I would dislike the show personally, so I haven't bothered to watch it. Everyone has different tastes - I hated the American version of THE OFFICE, which mostly people loved, and I loved NORTHERN EXPOSURE, which I don't think anybody else even watched.

      The thing that it's important to be aware of is how differently GIRLS is being treated compared to shows written and mainly starring men. There's a huge amount of vitriol directed towards Lena Dunham which there's no comparison for. Given the amounts of commentary toward her body and her "privileged little girl" life, I can only assume this is due to straight-up misogyny. After all, most people agree that JOEY was pretty wretched, but there was no personal backlash against him for it.