I love Girls. I love its energy, its frankness, its shrewd observations about human nature and its equally shrewd and bawdy sense of humor. I’ve loved it since its debut in and have often itched to write about it. But something - no, a bunch of someones - has kept me hesitant. I’m looking at you, Angry Non-Fans. You have Very Strong Opinions about this show that you have maybe seen two episodes of, if that, and those opinions deserve to be shared at all costs because that’s what the First Amendment is for, it’s true. So, you’ve grown weary of discussions about Lena Dunham’s HBO series, which you feel isn’t a great or even good show that contains “annoying” characters? Well, I’m weary of your weariness.
It all has me feeling a bit combative, but I’m not here to change everyone’s mind. I’m not even talking about everyone who doesn’t like/watch Girls. Some just aren’t interested in it, and that is completely OK.
But, I know some of you Angry Non-Fans probably have a reaction similar to this when you see/think of Dunham and her creation:
Or perhaps more like this:
(I bet you also don’t like gifs. Too bad; I love them.)
I wish I could make you see the show as I see it. As I caught up with the first two episodes of Season Three on Monday (they are available for all on YouTube), I cracked up at the ridiculousness of Hannah, Marnie (Allison Williams), Jessa (Jemima Kirke), Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) and Adam (Adam Driver). (Sadly, there was little screen time for Alex Karpovsky and no sign of Andrew Rannells.) Because when Hanna says something like this …
… I laugh. Because it’s funny. It’s the kind of thing a character on Veep or Community or Arrested Development would say, but because it comes with a different delivery and Girls is a blend of comedy and drama, the line is taken at face value and Hannah deemed nothing more than a whiny, clueless brat. That’s a shame, because if you think Dunham thinks her characters are paragons of morality, upstanding citizens, or even perfectly representative of their generation, you’re missing the point. I know you hate being told that - that you just don’t get it - but for some of you, it’s true. (A similar infliction to the Angry Non-Fan is that of the Bad Fan, such as those who rooted for Walt and railed against Skyler on Breaking Bad, or those who view Jordan Belfort’s escapades in The Wolf of Wall Street as a good time worth admiring and even emulating. They are, most definitely, getting it wrong.)
I’m learning to be OK with all of those who get things wrong. I’m trying not to smash things, really.
But I will say this: Please keep in mind that just because a piece of art doesn’t strike your fancy does not mean it doesn’t still have inherent value. It’s crazy, I know.
I’ve probably bored you by now. And annoyed you. That second part was kind of my intention but come on, these gifs are funny.
So are the men and women of Girls — some of the most honestly written and believably flawed characters on TV. I maintain that most people find them annoying because most people find themselves relating just a bit too much to them, and that’s not an easy realization.
If you don’t like Girls, that’s OK. Live in that truth all you like and enjoy saying no to watching it.
But if you don’t watch it? Leave it at that — don’t watch it, and feel free to ignore those of us who do watch it and want to talk about it. Because this is me when you try to join the conversation:
Not listening. I don’t care — I love it.
Sarah Carlson is a TV Critic for Pajiba. She lives in San Antonio. You can find her on Twitter.
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