As always, I am fashionably late to the Girls party. My husband and I just recently began watching the first season of Lena Dunham’s Girls on HBO. The half hour show is a dramatic comedy which follows a close-knit group of women in their 20s who live in New York City. Created, written, and often directed by Dunham, the series begins with Hannah (Dunham) learning that her parents will no longer be providing financial support as they have been for a couple of years since her college graduation. Many of the plot points featured are derived from Dunham’s own experiences; her choice to become a writer, her mistakes along the way, and so on. The series also stars Allison Williams as Hannah’s roommate Marnie, Jemima Kirke as friend Jessa, Zosia Mamet as the awkward cousin of Jessa, and Adam Driver as Hannah’s boyfriend Adam.
I was pleasantly surprised at how clever and well written this first season has been so far; we are nearly at the finale and I’m hooked. [SPOILERS AHEAD] One issue addressed is Hannah’s panic about contracting an STD and finding out that she has HPV, which can cause genital warts or cervical cancer. It’s a scary thing for any woman to learn that she may have at STD, nevermind one that can cause cancer, and Hannah’s panic seems very genuine and relateable. Dunham puts a comical spin on the panic by having Hannah seek out her ex-boyfriend to let him know that he may also have HPV, bringing her to find out that not only did her current partner lie to her about being tested, but that her ex is gay and knew full well he was gay during the years they dated.
Another issue that I can definitely relate to is Marnie’s struggle with her boyfriend, Charlie. Marnie reaches a point where her boyfriend’s touch begins to disgust her. She cringes when he is near, yet doesn’t feel that the disconnect is enough to end the relationship because he is such a great and nice guy. As someone who has been in this exact situation, I both sympathized with Marnie and found it hilarious to see the situation play out as an outside party. After Charlie learns how Marnie feels through snooping and reading Hannah’s diary, he breaks up with her by incorporating Hannah’s diary entry into a song that is played at one of his band’s gigs. Marnie begs for Charlie to take her back, only to break up with him while they are having sex because she simply cannot stomach touching him any longer. Marnie is broken up about the split and it doesn’t help to see that Charlie has moved on to another woman only two weeks later. Watching her fall apart and stalk his Facebook to see photos of the new happy couple is a very familiar situation for many of us.
Jessa is a beautiful and mysterious woman. She is a sexually free spirit who soon lands a babysitting job watching two adorable little girls. The father takes an obvious interest in the new nanny, causing him to act like an awkward teenage boy in his almost sad pursuit of Jessa. The wife finds out and that job is lost to Jessa, but she is hardly free of drama after the job is gone. She briefly has a fling with her ex, who is in a “happy” relationship with someone else. She is pregnant and dealing with the choice of whether or not to seek an abortion. She begins to question who she is and whether or not this free-spirited nature of hers is who she is or is only a cover so she doesn’t have to fully deal with reality.
Hannah’s relationship with Adam is definitely a strange one, but the two of them aren’t exactly the most stable or “normal” people in the world either. In the beginning, Adam is just the guy Hannah goes to when lonely and wanting to have sex. She discovers that Adam is having relationships with other women after receiving a dirty text message meant for someone else. Eventually, after dealing with Adam’s indifference to her, Hannah discovers that there is a hell of a lot about Adam that she is completely clueless about. After expressing her interest in knowing him more, the pair make their relationship official. However, due to Adam’s strange attitude, odd habits and angry outbursts, combined with Hannah’s flaky nature, it remains to be seen whether or not this relationship will last very long.
Overall, the series is solid, humorous, clever, and covers topics and situations that we can all sympathize with and may have experienced ourselves. I love Dunham’s style and I’m incredibly impressed at how comfortable she is in her body; women with “perfect” bodies would find it difficult to deal with the nude scenes that she seemingly deals with easily. The plot points are solid and cover things that we rarely see on television. Girls covers a more gritty side of life and it’s refreshing to see the world through Dunham’s eyes instead of seeing the light world of Friends or Sex In The City. Girls is real, it’s honest, it’s open, and it’s damn impressive. Even if I ruined some of the episodes for you, it’s well worth your time to check it out. Happy viewing.
Posted on September 5, 2013, in Friends and/or Enemies, Life, Love, TV/Movies and tagged adam driver, allison williams, girls, hbo, jemima kirke, lena dunham, new york city, zosia mamet. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.