Return Of ‘Girls’ Power: HBO Series Gets It Right
Above The Buzz examines Lena Dunham’s dramedy about four women living in NYC.
By Jocelyn Vena
Blah, blah, blah. Yes, “Girls” is a lot like “Sex and the City” in the fact that both shows are about women — four, to be exact — living, loving and working in New York City.
And that’s about it.
Maybe “Girls” is the best “SATC” prequel that creator Michael Patrick King never pitched: It’s dark with little spots of comic relief, as these women try to figure out how to get it right. And they rarely do. They are stuck in jobs that seem to have no future and relationships that make them awful about themselves. Where “Sex” was all about how fabulous NYC is, “Girls” is all about how hard (and expensive) it can be to try and make a dream happen in a town where everyone has a dream.
Perhaps the big difference is “Girls” is created by a young woman in the throes of her own post-adolescence angst. Lena Dunham, 25, the show’s creator, writer, director and star, truly understands what it feels like to be stuck in your mid-twenties struggling with the pains of having to grow up. In fact, her vision of this stage of life seems to be so spot-on that it got her an assist from the show’s producer, Judd Apatow. (She previously examined those similar themes in her feature film, “Tiny Furniture.”)
Not to discredit “Sex.” It did an amazing job capturing life in NYC as an aspiration. You too can move to NYC, date rich, powerful dudes, afford fancy cocktails at all the hottest hot spots and glide along Fifth Avenue in Manolo Blahniks.
But first you must be one of the “Girls,” who also include Allison Williams (news anchor Brian Williams’ daughter) playing Type-A gallery assistant Marnie; Jemima Kirke, a flighty, free spirited Brit Jessa; and Zosia Mamet, the “SATC”-loving college student Shoshanna. Dunham plays Hannah, a writer who talks a lot about her memoir without having actually done very much to get it off the ground, relying on her parents for money.
The show, which premieres Sunday on the former home of “Sex,” HBO, is about trying to have it all, but not knowing how to get it. These “Girls” are from a generation of women who have been told they can do an-y-thing. But, the problem is, as most jumped straight into their careers right out of college, they never really had the time to nail down what it is they want.
This confusion leaks into their personal lives, where they battle depression and self-esteem issues. They date men they don’t care much about or who don’t care much about them. It’s an interesting breakdown of the current state of girl power: Can these girls really do an-y-thing?
Well, Dunham and her pals are certainly trying to figure that out, one episode at a time.
Are you planning on watching “Girls”? Leave your comment below!