What HBO’s “Girls” Has Done For Girls

hbo-s-girls-is-the-best-new-tv-show-of-2012

The show is set in New York City. It’s center focus is the lives of 4 completely different girls in their early/mid 20′s (who also happen to be friends), who we follow as they try to find their way in this post-college life. 

Clearly, I should never write summaries, ever.

So. I started watching ‘Girls‘ because my sister told me to. “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but Hannah, the main character, reminds me SO much of you”, she said, and those were the magic words that got me to sit down and watch the first episode, because frankly, I feel like my kind is underrepresented on television.

Anyway.

Five minutes into it, I LOVED it. I watched the first season, then the second season, and now the third season (my television habits are very interesting, I am sure), and while it can be debated whether the actual quality of the show is going downhill or not, I can say that this is probably the first time I have felt some sort of kindredship with any character on any television show. Except for ‘Hercule Poirot’, who is like the Belgian-chubby-male-detective version of me (I can’t believe Microsoft Word doesn’t know his name – blasphemy!).

I fell in love with ‘Girls’ for the following FOUR reasons:

  1. In my opinion, it succeeded where ‘New Girl’ failed. While I am sure that many can relate to Jessica Day’s personality, I feel like she is too perfect for me to be able to relate to. Everything about her is (perhaps unintentionally) made out to be endearing, and while some aspects of her personality are annoying, it is somehow very easily forgiven. I don’t think ‘New Girl’ has made it okay or easier to be a dork. I think it has made it okay to be “adorkable”, preferably in the key of Jess/Zooey Deschanel. People who might not otherwise be like that want to be her. Now, Hannah Horvath; color me ignorant, but I don’t think anyone has watched that show and have then subsequently wanted to alter who they were. If anything, I think it encourages self-acceptance. It doesn’t make me want to lose weight, or act differently, or talk a certain way. It just makes me feel like I am OKAY.
  2. Where the characters are in their lives. In the last episode I watched, Hannah just turned 25. I will be turning 25 this summer myself, and to me it’s nice that there is a show that focuses on these “in-between”-years of just getting out of college and trying to figure out what’s next in life. I feel like a lot of time of time has been spent covering the high school experience, the college experience, and the late 20′s-early 30′s experience, but what about that phase that takes you from the first-mentioned to the last-mentioned? With ‘Girls’, it feels less lonely.
  3. They look like real people. This seems to have caused quite an uproar. Apparently, some people don’t like to watch ordinary-looking people simulate having realistic sex. This is absolutely ridiculous to me, and speaks volumes about how accustomed we have become to watching things that have gone through some beautifying filter first. As for the sex — well, sex is sometimes awkward, unsexy, unromantic, and not pretty. Most of us have a first time that proves that.
  4. Hannah. To me, Hannah Horvath is perhaps one of the greatest television characters of all time. She rarely says or does the ‘right’ things, but she has this way of carrying herself that is absolutely inspiring. She is happy with who she is, and she is not going to change. She doesn’t buy into all of that.

I would be HONORED to be considered a ‘Hannah’, and like I mentioned earlier, I do feel a kindred spirit kinda thing with that character, but I think that is mostly because I am always that person — that friend. The one who does all of the embarrassing things, who says weird things, who wears mismatching things, and who is always kind of like a hopeless case. I don’t have her confidence, but I guess that is something to aspire to?

To me, ‘Girls’ is the antithesis to all the stuff that has been spoon-fed to us for the longest time by the media about how one should look, act, etc. Some of it is unrealistic (like the fact that they can afford anything other than a broom-closet in New York City), but other than that, I think there is a sense of authenticity to everything. The friendships, the relationships, the humiliations and victories. For me, it makes me feel good about myself, and where I am right now. It makes me less judgmental of myself, and more sympathetic to my own faults. I don’t get that feeling from watching anything else.

So, here’s to Hannah Horvath and to all girls!

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Do you watch ‘Girls’? If yes, what do you think about it?

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