The first time I came across Girls was during Tavi Gevinson’s TEDx talk about girls in general – not the TV show, but rather the living, breathing, phallically-challenged assortment. In her speech Tavi points out a few TV shows and personalities who, in her opinion, draw a more elaborate and multidimensional picture of women than most products of pop culture do. Amongst them is of course 30 Rock (no wonder, because according to Tavi “the key to basically everything in life is to strike a balance between Liz Lemon and Stevie Nicks”), but also Lena Dunham, who is the creator of the series, which began airing on HBO April 15th.
This intro may show you the impact Girls has on girls. If it doesn’t, let me assure you, Girls seems to be very important for young women for countless reasons, but all can be broken down to a simple point: the HBO show depicts the lives of four young women, and does so without what has become the almost obligatory shitload of clichés that normally comes with such a subject matter (and it has nothing in common with Sex and the City, which is a bonus). The first two episodes already feel much more like real life than the best scenes from most other TV shows combined into one super-episode ever would.
Dunham (and, of course, her writing team) are the key to Girls’ greatness. At only 25 years old, she’s already produced a feature film. If that’s not enough to make you want to die of jealousy, watch this interview with her for PressPausePlay and listen to the truly honest and intelligent things she has to say.
That said, I probably should let you also know about the things people are complaining about. When it comes to the above mentioned ‘real life’, that means in Girls’ case the experiences of four white semi-rich girls living in New York City. Some may argue the show is about white people problems, which is partly true, but it’s also about growing up, love, sex, relationships and all the other things everybody experiences, no matter what gender, race or class. It’s hilarious and it’s extraordinarily well written, so go and watch this show so it doesn’t get canceled.
Published April 26, 2012.