The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday January 18th


One girl's thoughts on Girls

I discovered “Girls” at an unfortunate time: ten months after the release of the series’ pilot episode and the week of all of my midterms. This untimely discovery was one of monumental importance, though. After streaming every episode online over a period of two days, I feel as though I have discovered both the voice of my generation in Lena Dunham and an excellent new form of procrastination through witty self-satire.

“Almost getting it kind of together.” The HBO show’s tagline could (and should, actually) be a recurring tweet of mine. Regardless of the fact that I have never been a 20-something-year-old living in New York City, “Girls” is regularly relatable and, when it’s not, cruelly clever and awesomely unprecedented.

Season one is funny and messy in an attractive way. Hannah (Dunham) struggles with her difficult boyfriend and with living financially independently while working as an unpaid intern; Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is flirty and carefree and unpredictably intimidating; Marnie (Allison Williams) seems beautifully put together but, thankfully, is extremely insecure; and Shoshanna (Zosia Marnet) is naïve, fast-talking, and struggles with the shame of her “big baggage”—her virginity.

Season two is different in that it’s less of a comedy. Still incredibly clever and brilliant, the season covers darker and deeper sides of life as a young person in New York. Hannah’s OCD returns and she severely injures her eardrum with a Q-Tip (humorous yet disgusting); Jessa realizes her strange marriage was a mistake and visits her peculiar father; Marnie loses her job and her boyfriend, and Shoshanna works to maintain a relationship with a dark and unmotivated Ray (Alex Karpovsky).

If I wanted to analyze and find countless problems with “Girls,” I could. It’s an all-white cast (except for Hannah’s brief and random Black, republican boyfriend) made up of a number of famous people’s daughters, namely Allison Williams (daughter of Brian Williams). Unlike many critics, I see no real problem with these (common) traits, though.

My only issue with “Girls” is the direction that it seems to be heading. On Sunday night’s season two finale, too many relationship issues seemed to have been resolved in strangely clichéd ways. Marnie got her ex-boyfriend back with a bizarre rant that included the words “I want to make you a snack every night,” and a depressed Hannah’s ex-boyfriend ran in an all-too-rom-com-y way to her apartment and cradled her in his arms. With Jessa still MIA, Shoshanna was the only character to make new changes towards independence. She dumped Ray in a funny yet serious monologue, saying that she couldn’t handle his black soul.

If Lena Dunham can write and produce a season three of girls more similar thematically to her first season rather than her third, I will be overjoyed. If she lets her relationship with her boyfriend (FUN. guitarist Jack Antonoff) continue to cutesy up “Girls,” I will be disappointed, but will remain a fan whose hobbies include Googling and Youtubing the genius that is Lena Dunham.

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The Daily Tar Heel for December 1, 2021

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