Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Witz Pickz: "Girls"

I like Girls. That's not some unsolicited, overcompensating statement of heterosexuality--I'm not a conservative running for political office. I mean the HBO show Girls, which has had plenty of its own controversy since the season began a couple of months ago. But despite all the criticism and my predisposition towards hating it, it turns out I really like the show. Remember when I actually used to PICK things on this blog? Before I just started rattling off my tales of shame and embarrassment? Well, here we go:

(Lena always kinda looks like she washed her hair with soap) 
When you first hear about Girls, your automatic rage-jealousy-hatred response should kick in; that's to alert you that you still have unfulfilled hopes and dreams of your own. If it doesn't, you have no business reading this blog and should probably go spend your time on Etsy, admiring how creative and unique all we human snowflakes can be. Girls is written, and directed, and acted in by Lena Dunham, the 26 year old daughter of a wealthy NYC family whose incredibly uneventful film Tiny Furniture launched the incredibly similar HBO series thanks to Judd Apatow & co.

Both projects are unabashedly upper-class Caucasian accounts of being very well off and not knowing what to do with your life after college. Almost all of the actors/actresses are the children of famous rich people like Brian Williams who Lena knows. Each episode is satirical and self-effacing, vaguely (if not directly) annoying, and generally unnecessary. Even things that I would ordinarily be in favor of, like nudity and promoting/showing off body types that AREN'T the cultural ideal are so prevalent and overwrought that they come off as redundant and forced. Not to mention, all of the girls are non-charismatic anti-heroes who we've all seen before. And yet, somehow, going against every fiber of my being, I really like watching it.

(If I were dating Allison Williams, I'd call her boobs "The Nightly News")
I think a large part of my interest and enjoyment is that despite the trappings mentioned above, Lena Dunham seems to be a genuinely amusing girl. She comes off as being quick-witted, intelligent, and fun to hang out with in real life. She's making fun of herself and those like her, alongside the people who come from the background she's mocking, and yet it works. The dialogue is snappy and well written. The jokes are funny. And hey, eventually, one of the actually attractive girls has got to get naked, right? But the best part of Girls, as far as I'm concerned, is the guy.

Lena's character's booty callin' boyfriend, Adam, is an ego-maniacal, bipolar maelstrom of douchebaggery and emotional support intertwined with overtly demeaning sexuality and casual emotional abuse. I feel the same way about him as I do about my friends' dog, Fred. I don't like his actions, but I do like him.

Because, despite his actions, Adam is the best character on the show. When he talks, he's hilarious and often insightful. Unlike the girls, he's not a stereotype, and it's impossible to quite pin down who the hell he is and what the hell it is he does. Beyond that, he acts as a mirror for the girls, revealing their own selfishness and ignorance/naivety. My way too expensive, incredibly unnecessary English degree wants me to compare him to a Shakespearean jester, but I won't, because what difference does that make? So, fuck that noise. I'll simply say that each episode I've liked his character more and more, especially after the most recent episode (5/27).

Every time I hear someone say Lena Dunham is "the voice of her generation,"* I want to have a trained Vengeance Monkey rip their face off and remind them that the people she represents is a very, very small portion of people having what the twittiot twipsters have tagged #whitepeopleproblems; I imagine Zach Braff strung out in some cabin in New Jersey, crying softly, holding a dead rat dressed up as Natalie Portman, and mumbling, "What about me?" over and over; I want to say that Girls is a terrible show about rich, self-involved, lazy white girls. But I just can't do it, and I know that come Monday, I'll be sitting down to enjoy the next episode (Girls is on Sunday nights, but I'm no rich white girl--I watch that shit on my parents' account online...attached to my projector with an HDMI cable...which I watch on the huge bare wall of my Brooklyn apartment....because I'm keepin' it real.)

Deep, Slightly Nasal Voice of My Generation,

*Like in this excruciating, premature gush-piece, where-in the author believes that after one movie and a TV series replicating the themes, style, and characters of that movie, Lena should and will join the household name pantheon of Spike Lee, Woody Allen, and Martin FUCKING Scorsese. I hope this writer Troy Pattersen grew up near a power plant or prenatally consumed water from a stream near some fracking project, because I'm going to need him to have more than two eyes for me to stab.

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