I’ve been absent from the internet for a while, as I am 100% sure you all noticed. I could explain, but a) that’s weak and b) it would result in a wall of text that not even my own mother would care about. Basically I can sum it up with: I’m lazy, my work schedule has been strange, and I have basically been holed up for the past month doing jack shit, so there’s been little amusing stuff happening. However, as you could probably tell from my last post I have been watching that new HBO show Girls and I’m kind of on the fence about it. By “on the fence” I mean I can’t tell if I think it’s interesting or if I’m simply hate-watching it.* Naturally, this means I’m going to deconstruct it here.
The major sticking point is this: I’m really really sick of hearing people talk about how “realistic” this show is. Girls is about as real as the tits in Playboy. Why? We’re hitting on every standard female stereotype in television. Marnie is totally the attractive, bitchy den-mother who has little else going on. It’s been seven episodes, and all we know about her is 1) she’s a bitch, 2) she’s uptight and 3) no, seriously, she’s really uptight. She nags every other character in the show about everything, from moving on to fast to sleeping with that guy to being too easygoing. This woman will grow up to be a sitcom wife, and we’ll still not actually know a damned thing about what she thinks other than everyone else is doing it wrong. Jessa is so stereotypically Euro and bohemian and free that it’s practically gag-inducing. And, of course, because she’s okay with bringing home some strange she’s a man-eater who doesn’t respect boundaries and just about every man she hits on is totally down with banging her. Totally not stereotypical for a woman who likes sex, right? I mean, I’ve never seen a character portrayed like that before. Shoshanna (did I even spell that right?) is the twee, straight-laced girl with a heart of gold, which means she’s also got to be the sheltered, annoying one who all the other girls continually roll their eyes at because god, a virgin and oh, so sheltered.** Hannah. Oh Christ, can we please play up the unique, writer, hipster girl stereotype any more?
I mean, I know almost everyone has good and bad traits in real life, but those combos are so played out it’s ridiculous. I’ve known plenty of women who were sweet, kind and straight-laced who were also nigh-on unshockable because not doing drugs much or having crazy sex doesn’t mean you’re not aware other people do. I’ve also known plenty of single women who loved sex and had a lot of it with a lot of different men but still managed to treated men like people, women who were full of advice and mature beyond their years who didn’t lord it over people, and women who wanted to be writers, actors, or whatever creative type you want to pick without being covered in shitty tattoos and struggling to mask their atrocious lack of confidence. Basically I’ve never, ever met a woman who even remotely resembles one of those previously-mentioned stereotypes even if you boiled her personality down to the three most obvious characteristics the way you sort of have to with television characters. There’s always something else there. This isn’t realism, it’s the same shit that’s always been done.
I really think I keep watching it because I’m intrigued by all the hype, do not get it at all, and I’m trying to sort it out. I’m coming to the conclusion that the only reasons people are talking about it so much is that 1) Lena Dunham (spelling, again?) is all of 24 (I think) and has a show on HBO*** and 2) the characters tend to have sex and not need some sort of pearl-clutching conversation with their friends the next day to reassure them that the guy wanting to do something crazy like leave the lights on this time is, like, totally normal and doesn’t make you weird in bed or something, so of course we all need to analyze the hell out of the show because Western Civilization as we know it would come crashing down around our ears if women didn’t worry incessantly about whether they’re sluts for enjoying what is, typically, an enjoyable way to spend anywhere from five minutes to an entire goddamned afternoon, depending on the length of your relationship and your personal ability to withstand chafing.****
I figure I’ll give it till the end of the season, and if I haven’t found something redeeming in it I’ll have to write it off.
* I’m convinced hate-watching is the only reason most MTV and VH1 reality programming exists.
** Because there are, really, only two types of women: those who are sweet and easily shocked, and those who are extraordinarily annoyed by those who are sweet and easily shocked. God, I should totally draw up an Annoying Tropes And Stereotypes in Girls drinking game.
*** Which is legitimately awesome, so I can’t argue with that.
**** Holy run-on sentence, Batman!