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Column: 'Girls': Voice of a New Generation


By Shelby Rizzi



If you haven’t watched the new TV show “Girls,” stop reading my brilliant column and Hulu it right now.

Lately I’ve been giving film a lot of attention and seeing as this is a film and television column, I thought I would talk about TV for a change. I’m going to share with you my recent TV obsession: “Girls” on HBO.

The show stars Lena Dunham, who also wrote, created and directs the series. Impressive. In interviews, she said she created “Girls” to expand on the themes presented in her independent film “Tiny Furniture,” (also recommended, available on Netflix) which is about a girl who just graduated college and doesn’t have a clue.

Dunham thus created this comedy-drama series about four young girls living on their own in New York City, trying to figure out themselves, one mistake at a time. Hollywood genius
Judd Apatow (“Anchorman,” “Bridesmaids,” “Knocked Up”) saw success in the script and asked to work with Dunham. He became executive producer, making the show even more hilariously brilliant if that was possible.

Many have compared “Girls” to “Sex and the City,” saying that it is a modern spin on the previous series.

I honestly have no idea why they would be comparable. Other than the fact that “Girls” is about four girls who live in New York and have a lot of sex, they have nothing in common.

See, “Sex and the City” was a story about four women who lived in New York and were living their lives. We saw them develop their careers, accomplish goals, have life experiences and assemble their families. These women made their decisions based off of wisdom that life has given them.

“Girls” is a story about four girls living in New York.

Instead of living their life like the ladies in “Sex and the City,” they have no idea what they want. Their main goal is to be able to feed themselves and have a roof over their head, let alone think about big things like a family and a career. The show is basically about them making mistakes and learning from them. If you are watching this to get a “Sex and the City” fix, you are probably going to be disappointed.

In the quest of finding who they are, I warn you, there are some serious, touchy subjects Dunham explores such as testing for sexually transmitted diseases, homosexuality, being financially cut-off from your parents, abortions and break-ups. However, Dunham makes these terribly awkward and embarrassing moments entertaining.

In the show, the characters fight the issue of body image by playing a game called “gather my fat”; they help out a friend who accidentally smoked crack by saying “Don’t worry, I’ll be your crack spirit guide,” and then when her diary was stolen and read out loud to an audience, Dunham just asked “was it a nice piece of writing?” as opposed to being mortified.

In the show Dunham and her characters are famous for coming up with some quirky retort and moving on with their lives when something terribly awkward or embarrassing happens to them. They are the modern day heroic women who weren’t in “The Avengers.” After catching up with her ex, learning that he is gay and that she had something to do with it because she had a masculine nature about her, Dunham danced to Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” instead of locking herself in her room with Taylor Swift and a gallon of ice cream, which is heroic in my book.

Like what Dunham’s character says in the show, she thinks she is the voice of her generation.

I think she’s right.

In just the mere nine episodes “Girls” has aired thus far, Dunham has had success on and off screen. The show has blown up on Twitter and people are even making paper dolls of the characters (obsessive and weird, but true).

So many people have been watching the show because they can relate to what her character is going through during this utterly confusing and adventurous time of life when someone is just discovering their place in the world. Even if you aren’t in your twenties, believe me – you will still laugh out loud to this cast’s dry sense of humor and pure cluelessness.

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