More than any other series we can think of HBO’s ‘Girls’ divides TV audiences. The sitcom about four twenty-somethings struggling to make sense of their professional and personal lives in New York has won critical acclaim with some calling creator Lena Dunham the next Woody Allen (in a good way, mind you). But all this “voice of a generation” talk has inspired a lot of hatred for the show and its privileged white heroines.
So Variety’s report that Girls—ahead of its season four premiere—has been greenlit for a fifth season will inspire both cheers and jeers across the web.
As for me, I’m pumped. I totally get the criticism of Girls’ narrow worldview. But watching the series, it’s clear this critique is one Dunham’s been working to address, expanding the world and boundaries of her onscreen doppleganger. And to be frank, I think it’s unfair to ask one twenty-something writer to right all the wrongs of representation and exclusivity that television has propagated for decades. Also, fuck it—I think Girls is engaging and fun.
With the first season, Dunham carved a path that was personal and risky. And with each successive season, she’s been taking new risks. Just think about it. She’s forced us to re-evaluate the use of a female nudity on an HBO series as well as challenged our constrictive beauty standards. She’s sparked a conversation about consent and what qualifies as a rape versus a shitty sexual encounter. And (whether intentional or not) she’s fueled an ongoing debate about privilege. All of this on and offscreen. All more than most sitcoms now even bother to attempt.
I’m pumped to see where Girls will go in seasons four and five for all the reasons above. And because—even though Marnie makes me want to scream—I’m curious where else she and her fucked up friends’ journeys to maturity will take them.
ICYMI, here’s seasons four’s trailer: