HBO’s Girls and Likeability (or lack thereof)
I started watching because I was supposed to. Girls was the new must-watch bit of television on HBO on its coveted Sunday night roster. Lena Dunham was the new genius of her generation, blessed and sanctified by Judd Apatow in this, her breakthrough project.
Season one started off a bit shaky, in my opinion, but managed to hit a reasonable stride by about the fourth or fifth episode. It was fairly funny, occasionally insightful, and simply worth a half hour of my viewing time.
Then came the slow train wreck of season two, which just got worse and worse as each week passed, until it was simply a chore to watch it… and now I’m out. And for one simple reason, which I pose to you in a question:
Name the character you’d like to spend a couple hours drinking and hanging out with.
It seems clear to me… none of them.
They are all pathetic, narcissistic, insipid, and worst of all…. boring.
Check that, perhaps worst of all for a show that is ostensibly a comedy-drama, none of them are funny. Some of the situations might be funny, but none of these characters express any visible sense of humor.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself at a party. Hannah is over in a corner talking to Marnie, Adam and Shoshanna. Can you honestly tell me that you’d want to saddle up to that conversation and hang out with them for a few hours? Or any one of them, for that matter?
Is there one character on this show that you’d really like to be a friend of yours? If your phone rang and “Hannah” appeared on the caller I.D., tell me the first words that would come to your head.
Something along the lines of “O’ God, not again.”
Personally, I think the only character that I might be able to sit and have a few pints with is Jessa, who at least has made some sort of effort to see some of the world and have some experiences that aren’t defined by the depth of her navel (though she also isn’t exactly short on the self-awareness quotient that overwhelms every character on this show).
But I think the main reason that I think Jessa might not be a totally worthless human being is because…. she ran away from all these other losers near the end of this season. It was as if her character looked around and realized, “my lord, if I keep hanging out with these self-absorbed comic book characters, I might never be able to escape the black hole created by their very existence.”
If she doesn’t come back in season three, she will be immediately elevated to my favorite character “on” the show.
Aside from a complete lack of likeability on the part of every main character on the show, it is amazing how completely incompetent all of them are. Romantic relationships, work, friendships, familial situations, everything.
My 20s weren’t so long ago that I lack memory of them and I do recall this from pretty much everyone I hung out with in that decade of my life… we actually managed to occasionally get something done. We did odd things like holding down jobs, occasionally having a moderately successful relationship, paying our bills on time, and taking out the garbage.
Yes, somehow Hannah couldn’t even figure out how to take out the garbage from her coffee shop job. Seriously, how could someone that is ostensibly intelligent consistently be such a moron?
Who has done anything on this show? I'd be shocked if they can figure how to eat 3 meals a day, feed a dog and remember to take their birth control pill.
Now that I think about it, I’m actually shocked that forgetting to take the pill hasn't been an episode yet. Wait for it in season three, along with the suicide episode where someone screws that up as well.
It is ironical to me that the girls all trash Ray for being devoid of ambition, since he appears to be one of the few people on the show that actually does something, at least managing to hold down a job managing a coffee shop (along with taking care of Shoshanna after she accidentally smokes crack at a rave). He seems like one of the only people on the show that has some semblance of moderate emotional balance and ability to show up at a job every day.
And he is ridiculed for it.
When I mentioned all this to a good friend of mine, she replied by agreeing that no one on the show is remotely likeable or someone she’d hang out with, but that she thought the show was entertaining because “it was like watching a train wreck.”
I can appreciate that point of view, but if that is the case then I think this show has a lot more in common with reality television than any sort of quality programming that critics should shower praise down upon.
If “train wreck” is its raison d'être, then Girls needs to be put in company with the other shows of its ilk: Real Housewives of Atlanta, Bad Girls Club or Big Brother.
Wait… sometimes people on Big Brother actually accomplish a task or two.
So let’s hear it. What am I missing? And more to the exact point, let’s hear your answer to this simple question:
Name the Girls’ character you’d like to spend a couple hours drinking and hanging out with. (add a note over to the side via the + button for your answer)
And if you like this post at all, do me a favor and hit the green “Recommend” button right down under this. Thanks.