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"Girls" Review: 18 Years Later And Reality Still Bites

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | April 20, 2012 | Comments ()


Oh, alright internet, bravo, well done. Really, "Artist Laurie Simmons' Daughter"? How many of you (other than my mom's next door neighbor. . .shut it, Mrs. Baumgarten) know who Laurie Simmons is? How many countless actors and actresses were born to privilege? Do you really think HBO was so bowled over by Dunham's impressive credentials as heir to the Simmons family fortune that they bent over to give her a TV show?! Did they really refer to Judd Apatow as ADAM SANDLER'S OLD ROOMMATE?!? Ugh, I tell you what, hipsters, I liked "Girls" better when it was called Reality Bites and starred Jerry Stiller's son. Think about it, who better to skewer the hypocrisies of white privilege than someone who was born and raised in it? Dunham's upbringing is the exact reason why her show rings so true. Bite me with your nepotism angle, haters. Next?

Ahhh, race. We're upset because this particular show about four young women is a depiction of four young white women. Um, well, to be perfectly honest here, I think that's actually part of the damned point. Given that I was raised with the liberal guilt that comes hand in hand with white privilege, I'm appreciative of the increasingly colorblind casting that populates both network and cable television. And there's a part of me that's glad for the hue and cry that has accompanied the casting for "Girls" simply because it did not plague the "Sex And The City" cast 14 years ago. The conversation about race has progressed, and that's great. But if Dunham is cleaving fairly close to her own life story with the show, then who's to say this isn't an accurate portrayal of her social circle? Is it accurate of all of New York City? Hell no. Of Oberlin college where Dunham went to school? Not really. But if it's true to Dunham's life, then what the f*ck ever. Go bother the milquetoasts over on "How I Met Your Mother."

Finally, the body thing. As I mentioned earlier, Dunham is on the frump end of the spectrum when it comes to very telegenic TV actresses. Listen, at least she located her hairbrush somewhere between this show and Tiny Furniture. But one of my favorite things about that movie (and this show to be honest) is that yeah, homegirl has cellulite. At one point during the pilot she shame-eats a cupcake for breakfast. So the f*ck what? You've never had a cupcake for breakfast? Fuck you, Andrea Peyser of the NY Post. That "dimpled ugliness" comment is appalling. As I've mentioned over and over, this show is, above all else, a realistic look at a young woman's life. She's holding a mirror to herself and the rest of the nation as well. If you choose not to see your own ugliness (dimpled or otherwise) reflected there, well, that's up to you.




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