Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I love TV. I love the characters, I love getting caught up in a serialized show that follows intricate plotlines and people I care about. I get too attached to my TV shows.

Not reality shows, and certainly not every show. I like Dawson's Creek, but I'm not really attached to it. I certainly am not attached to Friends, or most sitcoms. 

A few shows, however, really catch me. Buffy, Supernatural, Roswell, Gilmore Girls, The OC (shut up), True Blood (which comes back on in just a few days!), Game of Thrones, and, now, one of the newest shows on HBO, Girls.

When I saw the posters for Girls and read initial articles about it, I was pretty skeptical. Just given the looks of the characters, I assumed it would be about quirky but sort of unattractive girls and their pretty roommates, and their quest for validation through relationships with men. The show has also gotten a lot of flack for being set in definitely diverse New York but only showing white characters in any major roles. I don't have a huge problem with this, since, while I live in a city where I am the minority, most of my friends and daily interactions with people are with people of that minority - it happens, even if it probably doesn't happen for everyone. I thought it would be quippy and silly like a lot of Sex and the City, which I like but don't really love.


Because I'm procrastinating on pretty much everything, I decided to watch the pilot and see what I thought. About 5 minutes in, I was totally hooked - hooked enough to be righteously pissed off at one of the main characters, Hannah, for being spoiled and stupid at the same time. That's when I knew that this was a show I had to watch, not only because I was emotionally hooked, but because I was now invested in seeing if this character could redeem herself. 

One of my favorite things about the show is that, while all of the characters have men in their lives, whether they want them there or not, they aren't shown as gaining all of their self-worth, merits, and specialness from these men (with the possible exception of Marnie, who I'll talk about in a second). Hannah is literally the most awkward character I've ever seen on TV, especially when combined with her sometimes sort-of on-again-off-again whatever he is Adam, but she stands up to him, and to other men, more often than not. Marnie, Hannah's best friend, is in a serious rut with her boyfriend Charlie, but, in one of my favorite scenes in the whole show, she tells him at a crucial moment *SPOILER ALERT* "I want to break up" and proceeds to mope and cry but also try to figure out who she is. Shoshanna is ridiculous, and Jessa is a free spirit, and they all get along (for the most part) and really depend on themselves and each other, which is incredibly refreshing. 

Also, unlike Sex and the City, where there were very clear archetypes, these women don't seem to be one-faceted or defined by only one thing. Whereas I could easily say that I'm a Carrie (with maybe a touch of Samantha), I can't say that I'm a Hannah, or a Jessa, or a Marnie, or a Shoshanna, because these characters, like me, are individuals rather than types. 

Do I think this show is for everyone? NO. It's graphic, and awkward, and covers a lot of things that make a lot of people a lot of uncomfortable. Do I think I'm going to keep watching it? YES. 

Look for a "favorite shit my favorite tv characters say" post coming soon!

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