Monday, April 23, 2012

Kiss the Girls Goodbye

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Last Sunday, after weeks and weeks of anticipation, the pilot of the new HBO original series Girls left me utterly disappointed. While I appreciated that the main character Hannah was interesting and complex I found her annoying and not relatable. She’s a spoiled brat with a sense of entitlement that makes me want to vomit and the articles I read about the show prior to the premiere had not prepared me for this. But I gave myself a week to process this. If I accept this about Hannah, I told myself, I will be able to enjoy the next episode more.

Ironically, something that didn’t bother me about the show is the primary thing that has most of its critics abuzz – the lack of diversity. While I agree that it’s pretty ridiculous for a show set in modern-day New York to have no people of color as major characters, I went into the show knowing Hannah and her pals were white, so I’d long gotten over that.

This week I also read an interview with the show’s writer and star Lena Dunham in the April/May 2012 issue of Bust. Dunham’s quotes on feminism made me want to add her to my girl crush list and thoroughly convinced me to give Girls one more chance.

When asked if she is a feminist, Dunham replied: “Of course I’m a feminist; I wouldn’t even know another thing to be.”  She went on to say, “As everyone knows, a little gender-role stuff is fun in the way that Halloween is fun, but too much of it is not a pleasure.”

This woman gets me! So why don’t I get her show?

So yesterday was Girls, take two – my second attempt to fall in love with a show that, since I’m a feminist, I somehow feel obligated to support.

My attitude of acceptance actually helped. Sort of. I found Hannah much more likable this time around and even found characters like Shoshanna interesting and funny. Moreover, I applaud Dunham for tackling issues like abortion and STDs which are hardly ever addressed on television.

Still despite all this I was still constantly checking the clock, eager for the episode to end. But why?

Near the end of the show after Hannah babbles and rambles to the doctor performing her STD test and she recklessly says perhaps she wants to have AIDS, the doctor looks at her and says, “You could not pay me enough to be 24 again.” And then it hit me. I’m too old for this show.

Thanks to good genes and the fact that I’ve never smoked a day in my life I still look like I’m in my early 20s. Thanks to frequent exercise and my obsession with pop culture I still feel like I’m in my early 20s, most of the time. I think the fact that I don’t have children adds to my feelings of youthfulness, too. But regardless of how I look and feel, I’m not in my early 20s. I’m 31. And this show is not for me. As much as I want to deny it, it's time for me to accept I’m not a girl anymore. 

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