“Halfway Through The First Season of Girls” – by Benjamin Johnson


Ah, I’m waiting for disc two to watch the second half. What a great show. I had seen Lena Dunham‘s movie, “Tiny Furniture,” and became a fan of hers from that. The writing (I would say she’s a writer first) is just soo goood. It’s almost a perfect show so far; I can’t think of any criticisms to make and I have no interest in trying to cull some up. At times while watching it, I would think to myself, should I be watching this in horror?, because it does show a behind the scenes of four young girl’s/women’s lives. But none of it is anything I haven’t seen before in real life, and I sort of just have an admiration and a fascination with the inner and outer workings of the opposite sex, since they are half of the equation, so to speak, and for me the half that matters much more. (No offense to my own gender but you know what I mean.)

In the pilot, Dunham’s character Hannah Horvath (the four lead girls each have double initials of the same letter: Marnie Michaels, Jessa Johansson, Shoshanna Shapiro) tells her parents, after they tell her they’re cutting her off financially and she in turn offers them a sample of one of her essays, that she thinks she may be the voice of her generation, which she considers for a second and then modifies it to “a voice of generation.” I would say Dunham is the voice of her generation. The show so perfectly captures the zeitgeist of nowadays, or maybe more precisely, the problems of the times for young girls, and also young people in general, guys and girls — the near impossibility of trying to get a career started in this economy, being supported by your parents while living in a big city, the strangeness of having a social media “presence,” the awkwardness of romantic relationships that now consist mainly of texting. It even inevitably shows some of the hipster culture and makes it seem tasteful and like something that has integrity.

Before I go any further, I would like to state, for the sake of my manhood, that I have never watched Sex and the City nor will I ever watch it probably. I don’t think I could relate to that show in the way that I can to this one. These are the girls of MY generation, who remind me of my friends. I love all four of the girls but I love the character of Shoshanna, the sweet, chatty one who uses a lot of abbreviated words and is still (halfway through the first season) a virgin and greatly worried about this fact. She is of course meant to be the most likable of the characters, while Jessa is meant to be the least likable. But I still like Jessa, maybe mainly because I have spent a few hours watching her now. As in real life, the more time you spend with a person the more they open up and the more and more you appreciate them. And I like Marnie too, how put-together she is and how grown-up she seems, while still definitely acting like a girl. My favorite thing about her might be her laugh, which always sounds so genuine.

The men in the show so far are less admirable. Adam, Hannah’s relationship, is a sexually eccentric asshole, more or less, and Charlie, Marnie’s relationship, isn’t enough of a man, is one of these neophyte males of this generation who is probably too in touch with their feelings. In the pilot, Hannah asks Marnie, “Are you tired of eating him out, because he has a vagina?” Charlie wants to break up with Marnie in the fifth episode, the last episode I watched, after he found out that Hannah had written in her diary that Marnie didn’t love him anymore and felt trapped in his “prison of kindness.” Basic human psychology and relationship psychology — Charlie pushing Marnie away makes her go after him to save the relationship, and after some reluctance he agrees to stay with her, but then when they’re having sex a few minutes later he tells her to keep her face close to his and then he starts telling her he loves her, and she pulls away, hitting her head on the top bunk, and in that instant she realizes she does want to break up and tells him. I mean, of course. What are you doing, guy? I know it’s easy to judge things from the outside but that would be way too much for anyone. When you love someone, sometimes the best thing you can do is give them space, and they will love you all the more because of it because you’ve given them that space that they can fill with their love. And this space can be literal space while you’re having sex.

My favorite of the men would have to be Elijah, Hannah’s ex-boyfriend from college who has since discovered (or more just embraced the fact, really) that he’s gay. Hannah finds this out when she meets up with him to accuse him of giving her an STD. He is offended by the false accusation and she is really hurt that he is now gay, and the conversation evolves into Elijah telling her that her father is probably gay too. Based on what, she asks him, and he cites the earring stud her father has. “He got it on a trip he took with a bunch of his male friends,” she protests, to which he says, “Are we hearing ourselves?” She tells him she’s getting the last word in the argument but fails to when he says while getting up, “It was nice to see you. Your dad is gay.” Besides a quick college flashback scene, this is the only scene he’s been in. I’m hoping for more.

Okay, if you want me to, I’ll write a review of the second half of the first season after I watch it. I should be getting that red envelope in the mail in a couple days and I know it won’t take me any time to consume the remaining five episodes.

Written by: Benjamin Johnson


Rando Reviews Blog

One comment

  1. Pingback: “Second Half of GIRLS- Season One”- by Benjamin Johnson | Rhap-City

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