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Monday, January 14, 2013
Girls- Season 2, episode 1
Execs and most celebrities paint that time as one where we party like we're going to die young, where our whole futures are ahead of us, where we are desired, and where we have all this freedom. But the world has changed since they were young. When they were young, people were getting married earlier, so they have this memory of falling in love with an important person. We have texting, clubs, and the "hook-up" culture.
They remember a time when, because they went to college, they were set. Now everyone goes to college, we are broke, and we are uncertain. But on TV, every young person is brilliant, studious, and goes to an Ivy League school. Doesn't it seem that way? They've had all the internships and done everything right. Things most young people, far and wide, don't do. Of course their futures are bright. Somehow, the 24-year-olds on TV are almost always wealthy and their resumes stuffed.
We think older people forget that the early 20s is rife with uncertainty and insecurity. We don't really know who we are or what we want, but perfection is expected. A lot of us don't have our permanent (or even semi-permanent) jobs. There's nothing glamorous about doubt, guilt, and fear. Yeah, we look good, but as they say, "Youth is wasted on the young." In its obsession with youth, the media ends up piling on more extreme expectations for our fledgling, uncertain lives. The result is that most entertainment featuring young people is fun, frothy, and completely out of touch. Not to mention, everyone looks perfect.
Lena Dunham is not out of touch. She knows her subjects. She knows what they are thinking. This is what happens when you get actual young people writing about young people. She has a gynecologist express gratitude that she is no Lena's age in the second episode, and it made us want to cry with relief. This isn't the best it gets? Other people are confused? Not to mention, Lena Dunham doesn't look like Rachel Bilson, Leighton Meester, or Blake Lively. She looks like our friends. At first, the show stressed us out with how much it reminded us of our lives, but now we just feel happy someone understands and doesn't just wave our worries off or lecture us like our parents.
Throw in a fun tone, great moments, and originality, and you have a show that makes us feel heard and also entertains us. In the Sex and the City commentary, someone said, "We took a group and gave them a voice. Single career women in their thirties. The next success will be something that does the same thing." Messed-up girls in their 20s who know nothing about love? Yes, PLEASE.
Our plea was that season two wouldn't change what we loved about the first season. So far, it looks like everything is good. It wasn't the greatest episode, but it was still Girls. They've brought Leeard's future husband, Donald Glover, on for a stint. We loved when Hanna told him that she used to just like every guy who liked her. Who hasn't gone through that stage, at least for a moment? Then Hanna had trouble breaking up with Adam, who is rejecting labels. You can't unlabel something without a label.
Lena hit the jackpot with her gay roommate. We want a gay roommate! We loved when he said, "Sorry I have a boner. It's not for you." Of course, he's a little confused and Marnie was the worst friend ever to try to sleep with him. Ugh, Marnie's ex. There are some guys who are never single, who can never be single (some girls too). Charlie is that guy. It's not the GIRL he loves; it's being in a relationship and how he feels when he has someone. That's why he hooked up with Audrey so fast.
We like that Shoshanna gave Ray another chance and that Hanna realized Adam wasn't nice to her, and therefore, was undeserving. At his best, Adam is desperate. We don't think we've seen the last of that relationship though. We love the way older women are portrayed on this show. Marnie's mom and boss remind us of a lot of older women we know. It's not all of them and it's not totally fair, but about half of that generation needs to get brought to the carpet on their vanity, mid-life crises, criticism of their children, and selfishness.
Elijah saying that the only two groups you can make fun of now are Germans and bisexuals is whack. The actor should know, because he starred in The Book of Mormon. We love that Alison Janney is one of the two women he's attracted to on TV. That CJ Cregg...We want a scene where he watches her do The Jackal and explodes. Lisa Rinna though? We don't see it. Anyway, we're glad to have this show back, and we wish so much that it were an hour long. So many crummy shows are an hour long; we wish it were this one instead. :-(
Episode grade: B+
Photo by David Shankbone (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons