My girlfriend and I were talking a few weeks ago about how one friend can’t serve all of your needs. We have different friends for different needs. You have your drinking friends, your creative friends, your silly friends, your get dressed up like a clown and make pimento cheese sandwich friends - you get the picture.
The first episode of Lena Dunham’s Girls had yet to even flicker across America’s television screens and already there were complaints. “It’s only about privileged kids. It’s only about New York kids. It’s only about kids.” You remember, right?
I didn’t get the memo, but apparently this show was supposed to be some sort of televised super friend, that was going to serve all of our nation’s collective televised needs.
Did I miss something? Was I gone the day Lena pulled her covered wagon into town and started making promises that her pixelated wonder tonic could never possibly fulfill?
The reality is that a person wrote and directed a show that gives us a glimpse of a specific group of people at a certain point in their life with specific philosophies about the world around them and all some people could say was “Sure it made my headache go away, but what about my bunions, my bad breath, my acne, my dandruff, and this rattlesnake bite. Also, can you believe David Mamet’s daughter is in it?”
I’m not here to argue about why there was such a critical reaction to Girls. No one seems to complain about Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad offering us glimpses of a specific group of people at a certain point in their lives with specific philosophies about the world around them.
What I am here to do is issue a challenge. One that you should apply to anything you watch. Let’s view the show critically as it aims to serve one need. I’m looking forward to Season 2 of Girls because I know what storytelling need it’s going to address.
And hey, if the show doesn’t address your needs as a viewer I’m sure you can find something else. We have a bazillion channels. Oh, wait, it looks like they just greenlit the Pina Colada Channel, so we’re now at a bazillion and one. Grand.
It’s not fair to complain that Girls can’t address all your needs. The bottle never claimed that it could.