The new show Girls, from HBO, is very probably the worst thing that generally excellent network has ever put on the air. I really enjoy the long form cable dramas in general. I prefer this structure of storytelling to feature films. (I almost never watch sitcoms. Unless they are animated i.e. The Simpsons.)
I confess that I have never watched Sex and the City. From the general cultural zeitgeist, I have a vague sense of what it was about. My impression was always that part of the enjoyment of that show was the aspirational nature of it. I believe Sex and the City showcased fabulous fashions and had some interesting sex. Anyone here know if this is accurate?
Anyway, it seems like pitch was “Sex and the City for entitled selfish twenty-something twats with no fashion sense who wish they were hipsters but aren’t cool enough“. I guess Girls is aimed at recent college graduates who are struggling in the current economy but will freak the fuck out if their parents stop paying for their premium cable. Or stop paying for their big city apartment. Or stop paying for all of their meals, including restaurant and room service fare.
I assume that most of the intended audience for Girls is the wrong age to get the Sex and the City references any better than I do. There is an interminable scene where the cardboard cutout of an adventurous character is being endlessly bored by the cardboard cutout of a dull character. The theoretically dull character goes on and on and on about what was apparently Sex and the City.
The style in Girls is dull, bordering on hideous. Maybe the cool new fashion palette this season is baby shit brown. But I don’t think so. The supposed heroine of Girls is played by an actress who weighs like 8 pounds more than average and you can just hear the producers slapping themselves on the back for their body diversity. The main character chick (I’ve repressed her name and don’t feel like looking it up) is an aspiring writer whose parents, after supporting her all through college and for two years after in New York City, decide to cut her off without notice or explanation.
The fact that this show comes across like memoir just makes me angry after watching it. In addition to being bored and irritated while attempting to give it a chance. I hate the protagonist. Maybe she is going to have some sort of character arc over the one season (This show is deeply not getting a second season.), but she is completely unsympathetic. When you hear someone telling their own story and they seem like a dick, even with their own viewpoint all over everything, well, they are probably a dick. The parents who completely supported her living in a weirdly large NYC apartment while she did a literary internship — for two years — and then abruptly told her no more money … they are dicks too. Then she has a roommate who doesn’t like her boyfriend and is physically repulsed by him and is not nice to him, but sure gets protective when anyone else finds him attractive. There is the boyfriend who has little discernible personality, other than to take being a doormat. There is the unattractive and sexually inconsiderate fuck buddy who obviously does not like the main character either. Not that there is anything to like about him, with his grandmother-supported existence and mental defective rants about not being a slave and the honesty of woodworking. There are the tedious acquaintances. There is the boss who gets 50 intern applications a day and can’t afford to pay someone to be an intern. The protagonist indignantly complains that someone else got hired after her internship and, when informed that the other woman knows Photoshop, she of course shows no interest in learning Photoshop.
If the writing on Girls was at least insightful, it might be more bearable. But it feels like the writer is someone who goes through life, noting what others can do for her, but never particularly bothering to get to know anyone. A show written by someone who mistakenly thinks she is interesting and other people are boring is, well, boring. To be clear, I can tell the concept is that this show must be realistic because the characters dress crappier than Sex and the City, but it is not real. Just lame cardboard cutouts of some self-absorbed person’s take on the world around her. Putting bric-a-brac and junk around a large location doesn’t make for a realistic recent college grad’s apartment in a city like New York either. Even with a bicyle — gasp! — indoors.
Watching this entitled spoiled brat character whine about how hard it might be if she had to get a job is maddening. Not to mention culturally tone deaf in the current economy. This is only made more maddening when one realizes that, if this is autobiographical, with all the chatter about how the protagonist is working on a memoir, that background she is pretending was hard knocks actually got her a job writing for HBO.
I’m not even doing justice to how hard this sucks.