Girls and 'Girls'
Apr 13 2012
In this special edish of Girl News we will consider the only thing that matters right now, which is Lena Dunham’s new joint Girls, premiering on Sunday on HBO. (Actually, is that too exclusionary for you? Because actually fuck your face if so.) Dear cute Euros ‘n’ stuff who read this, maybe you don’t know what this show is? Does the hype and THE RECKNONING-ness of this, nevermind the damp fury of 12,000 internet TV writers, not reach you over there? If that’s the case then just pretend I’m talking about a Playskool version of Sex and the City, which I essentially am, and which is really totally good.
Know that thing where you’re so impressed with how bright you are that it’s like birds whispered stinging, biting bon mots in your ear while you got dressed in the morning, but then later on you’re like WHAT AM I? and scratching your nail art into your forearms and frantically petting your neck-hives in a hallucinatory-becomes-physical-reality-response to how insignificant you and your ideas are? That’s what this show is about. That plus friends, plus abortion. (It’s important to bring food to an abortion party, is a lesson from both life and TV.) Anyway screaming “Coffee is for grownups!” from the hotel floor at your parents after doing opium is SUPER my reality, so, checkmate, Girls.
The New Yorker goes: “Its underlying subject is its very existence,” and YEP! I don’t have to tell you why, right? Just let that sit on your skin for a minute before you absorb it. It’s important.
BUT OK CALM DOWN THOUGH
Is it really so revelatory that a 25-year-old girl made a better thing than everybody else?
I might be a boy-detective (diff than a “boy detective”) but I still don’t know what the ass is going on with all y’all. I have this mountain of annoying email (STOP) being like “this is what I think about you/girls/me/guys/etcetcetc” but nobody has ever adequately explained what it is like to be a dude dealing with girls right now. Sometimes in the middle of an almost sexually satisfying fever dream on Twitter @ing with girls about girl stuff it’s like… wait… Boys. Where are you and what do you think of us? Are we as not-doing-what-we-want to you as you are to us? Do you know how shitty you are, and how fun and funny? Because we/girls know that dudes are inside their very own dystopian socio-carnival of conflicting man-expectations and possibilities (I wish MANswers was about all this instead!) and how you are supposed to be all pfffft and shirtless and a ghost but also nice?
Anyway it's a cool thing that the various boys on Girls suck but not in a cartoon hipster way, just in a way of what it’s probably, genuinely like to be allowed to suck, like academically and medically suck, and also be confused but nonchalant and unworried. “Girls never ask me to use condoms.” “Girls never ask you to use condoms?” “Nope.” Is that what it’s like? IS IT?
THE VOICE OF MY GENERATION, OR “A” VOICE OF “A” GENERATION
There is a line in the second episode that handily defines our generation’s central challenge, since we are without a war, sort of: “I almost came.” Actually it is “That was so good. I almost came.” So that’s what we’re saying now, like, “That is such an almost-came thing to do.” Except let’s never use the word “generation” again, because I just threw up on it and it's gross now. “I almost came.” NO! NO! NO! is how I felt when I heard that even though I’ve thought it, literally and metaphorically, so many different times that I had to retire from the league. How do people get married?
“Jew” doesn’t count as “brown,” HBO.
There’s a lot of stuff about girls doing weird sex and plenty, plenty of nude-times, but of course it’s still girls reacting to the twisty, shocking-but-not-at-all fantasy stuff of boys. (“If you’re touching yourself and you think you’re going to come, you better fucking call me first.” “You want me to call you?” It’s like weird Clueless!)
MOM AND DAD
In the first ep, Hannah (who is the main character, who we are exempt from specifically relating to or wanting to be because she is less a character than a creation of next-level TV science that approximates our every gesture and instinct) gets financially cut off by her parents. This is a fake thing because there is no such rich or rich-ish kid who doesn’t negotiate herself into a several-months-notice situation before she gets high and acts out about it. There is no such kid! Trust me, I totally collect and give my parents the loose twenties I find in their house and yet still owe my dad some prehistoric $800 from after I got cut off that time (ha, ha).
GIRLS VS. WOMEN
This is seriously the boringest debate ever and I seriously don’t need any-the-fuck-body telling me what I am supposed to call myself. Who thinks this is an OK thing to be concerned about! Who!
“Overeducated” and “overprivileged” aren’t things. Think it through and then come back and kiss my forehead.
Much of what is compelling to other people about Girls (and her pre-Girls movies) is how naked Lena Dunham gets and how she is not naked in a lights-off, well-angled, necessary way. She is naked in a regular, sex/bath/pals naked way. Obviously we are “pro” this even in theory but the secret slumber party thing of it is that as unflattering as it’s supposed to be, I guess, like, how imperfect, it’s sooo the fuck sexier. Is this like when I finally understood why all my dude friends at the other/better high school were all in love with this one super plain girl who also happened to project the most stunning conceptual Pink Floyd light show at all times? (Lena Dunham isn’t plain but that’s not the point but I still have to tell you that’s not the point.) I dunno but it’s so separate from being turned on, or being turned on by social approval, and just being so comforted and touched by two scoops of normal boobs and hips-in-tights and old tattoos. (This, the tattoos, I will review: A++ for the fact that the main character’s tattoos are not a signifier of some corny rebellion but stuff she got because her body changed too fast. Can we all just admit that that’s why we have them, slash, to get sex?)
Here’s the thing about all that weird sex though that I can’t stop thinking about. How about, don’t fuck the guy who is both cruel and not making you come? How about don’t fuck him? Do you need to see more Louis C.K. routines about this first? Why would you fuck him again after the first time when he sucks at everything involving you? I don’t mean like “Make him work for your dew, honeysuckle!” I mean like what is the actual point of that because I don’t get it? I get it if he’s cruel and abusive but makes you feel so good but if you’re not even COMING? “I ALMOST CAME?” After having really old parents who banned me from television and as a result I don’t know the various Transformers this is the primary way in which I don’t relate to most people.
Criticism is at once everything to me, because what is the point of anything if its properties aren’t being disassembled and snotted on and put back together, like, that’s what I was told was being “smart,” right, but also, it’s so fucking dumb. Anyway I don’t care if Girls is even good or bad (it’s good) because I think this might be how boys in 1982 felt about Black Flag, you lucky duckies.
Also comparing an HBO show to any network atrocity like Whitney or The Other Two is so pointless as to be inadmissible, also also, applying any kind of Yeah Buts to this is like spraying bullets around the one fucking good thing on TV for me to watch so shut your wet whore mouth.
Already obsessed with the best show ever of forever that hasn't even come out yet? Read Kate's interview with Lesley Arfin, former
VICE staffer and current Girls writer.
Previously - Girls and Giving Up
Follow Kate on Twitter @KateCarraway
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