Hello. My name is Jeff, and I love Girls.
Not girls, but Girls — the comedy series on HBO. I mean, I also love girls, but really just one girl — my girlfriend, Sarah, who would be VERY pissed if I said I loved non-capitalized girls with an ‘s’ on the end.
Anyway, I know Girls is probably targeted at actual girls and not 32-year-old dudes, but I don’t care. It’s a brilliant show with very intelligent writing that speaks to a generation of young people.
I’ve long said if I could have lunch with any one person, it would be Larry David (because I’m a huge fan of Seinfeld and especially Curb Your Enthusiasm, of which I’ve seen every delightfully awkward episode). I’d love to sit there and pick Larry’s brain about how he comes up with his concepts and how he puts everything together so well.
Larry is a comedic genius, and I’m interested in talking to any talented person in any profession — whether it’s writing, business, bus driving or performing autopsies — because I think you can learn so much from them (was the autopsies mention too weird? I actually have talked to a coroner about his job over a beer, so I was including that as a real-life example).
But now I’d have to say Girls creator Lena Dunham is on my lunch list, too — a close second behind Larry, perhaps. Think about it: Lena was 25 — 25!! — when a series which she wrote, directed and starred in debuted to critical acclaim on HBO. I mean, come on! That’s crazy.
Sarah and I were late to the Girls party because she couldn’t get into the pilot episode. So we turned it off (in the interest of finding shows we both liked) and watched other stuff instead.
When Season 2 debuted this year, though, I watched an episode and then convinced Sarah to give it another try about halfway through the season. This time, we were hooked. We watched all of Season 2 — mostly on HBO On Demand, then went back and just finished watching Season 1.
Being behind turned out to be to our benefit, because the On Demand episodes all had a little postscript called “Inside the Episode” where Lena would sit there and describe what she was thinking when she wrote the script. Basically, she was like, “This is how I blew your minds this time!” She was humble about it, of course, but it was very insightful. I’m quite jealous of her writing ability, because she’s gifted in a way that most of us are not.
Girls is about characters living in the “Me” Generation, but it does an excellent job of presenting its characters in a painfully raw reality. We see Hannah, Marnie, Shoshanna and Jessa not as they want to be seen, but how they are.
Many people’s lives seem way better than they really are these days, thanks to social media. We only put the best of ourselves on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (we even have fantasy filters to help us in that case) — it’s the best sunsets, the best concerts, the best times with friends. We create a facade where people don’t know the real stuff that’s going on with us, just where we’ve been and the cool people we’ve been there with.
“Wow, that person seems to have the perfect life,” we think.
Well, really, they don’t. No one does. We all have problems.
Anyway, we get to see some of those problems in Girls. Lena bares it all — literally and figuratively — when it comes to putting some of her own experiences into Hannah’s world.
None of the girls are people who we should want to be. The girls are self-absorbed and often act selfishly. They aren’t role models for young women, but they do reflect the struggles a lot of young people go through while trying to figure out who the heck they are and who they want to be. Girls is a peek in the mirror when we’re not looking our best; fortunately, we can laugh at them instead of ourselves.
In the show, Hannah wanted to be the voice of her generation; in real life, Lena is well on her way to doing that.
So yeah, I love Girls. I’m not ashamed to admit it, either.