Adventurous Women

May 1, 2012 16:37:53 Posted at May 1, 2012 16:37:53
Duana Posted by Duana
Photos:
Wenn, Slaven Vlasic/Getty

Girls Season 1 Episode 3 recap

(Girls has just been picked up for a second season.)

We need a 2 minute “previously on Girls”?  There's only been 60 minutes of Girls so far, total.

So how are you feeling about these people?  These young women?  I have to admit that the show is getting better at being more cohesive; I have a better picture of what these girls' lives look like (the mentioned-and-dropped rent was the part that got me), and slightly more interest in who Hannah will be ... but they still feel far too similar for me.  Oh, yes, sure, the bohemian-ness that surrounds Jessa like a cloak is “different”, just like Shoshanna is uptight and Marnie is...I don't know, bored, but  they still feel less like four girls, and more like four permutations of one.   

None of them has a job she's passionate about and is excited in?  (Don't tell me Marnie, Marnie has personal calls while sitting at her desk.)  None of them is making every move with the plan of going on a train trip through Siberia (real (and realized) goal of a friend of mine back then). They're all just a little too similar - jobless or near jobless, love life is lacking - to get really invested in.

The other thing that makes me feel weird about Girls is that I remember these years, and they aren't so far off but for every accurate-and-painful moment with guys (that moment where Hannah's outfit hits the pay-dirt she wants with Adam was great) or parents or STD clinics, I remember there were moments of unmitigated joy. Even if it was just a work prospect who called me back, or a new flirtation to add to the ones I was balancing - nothing felt like a roller coaster as much as my early 20s, and right now, the show is failing to show me that.

The reason, I think, is that these girls are slightly too cool to be excited.  We know they're from privileged families (and don't tell me Dunham doesn't know who she's gently skewering, after those babysat girls and their precociousness) and in comfortable situations, and maybe that means they're not allowed to squeal at the small joys in their lives. But that's what I remember most - that in between the crushing soullessness of not knowing what the hell you were doing, there were moments of clarity and giggliness and elation.  

Are we past that now?  Am I old fashioned?  Or does fevered masturbating in a public bathroom (which I'm not knocking, that scene was brave, if gravitationally improbable) count as that? Sure, there was a dance party to Robyn, but does anyone on this show allow themselves to be uncool, ever, or is that not in the manifesto?

The criticisms that Girls isn't showing enough girls of colour or economic status has died away a little, but I do feel as though they're showing only one side of a certain life.  The whole reason you fight your parents tooth and nail not to move back home after university is because the city gives you something that you need when you're otherwise bereft, and I'm not saying it needs to become “the fifth character”, but I'd like to see some of what keeps these girls convinced that they're doing the right thing: the small wins that make the big losses on the tally sheet seem that much larger.

Attached - Lena Dunham at the Tribeca Film Festival last week.

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