In continuation with the fact that I am late to new big things, I am finally watching the HBO show Girls. I missed it last summer the brief time I had HBO, and when I discontinued it I realized I didn't tape any of the episodes (I was taping the Ethel Kennedy documentary, The Newsroom and Bill Maher) So imagine my delight when my cable company told me that they were showing Girls free this week. Huzzah! Sure I can rent it on DVD, but for free! Let's see some girls!
I wanted to see it because it's gotten great reviews, plus Lena Dunham is everywhere these days. On the cover of Rolling Stone, accepting Golden Globes, and up front with her life: She suffered from depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, but somehow turned it into art. She reminded me of the character Anybodys, the tomboy in West Side Story who wants to be a Jet so bad but never fits in. Lena Dunham was fitting in.
She got a multi-million dollar book contact for a book of essays.This definitely perked my interest: okay chickie. I'm declaring myself a Shark, you're a Jet. What makes you so great that you can get millions of dollars for an essay collection, huh? Huh? I write essays, but I'm not seeing anyone knocking on my door giving me millions of dollars. I suddenly felt like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler when they pretended to get drunk at the Golden Globes after they both lost to Dunham in the Best Actress Comedy category: "Got her through middle school, did we?" Fey said as she drunk. Suddenly I wanted to say "Tina! Save one for me, babe!"
But I wanted to see the show, so last night I curled up in my pajamas and started watching. And wow. There's no doubt that Dunham is a great writer; the dialogue is snappy and funny. All the characters are incredibly defined. Can I just say I loved Hannah's parents in the pilot? Especially Peter Scolari? I'm so glad he's working.
But Hannah has this boyfriend Adam. Wait, he's not even a boyfriend. What is Adam? A friend with benefits? A f-buddy? Adam is that boy in high school who always seemed stoned and a bit out of it. He might say something fantastic one day in class then the next day might not know his own name. Adam is that guy you fool around with and when it's over, hey you better get going, his real girlfriend is coming over and he has to clean up.
Let's not forget the sex scenes: I was warned in articles about the show the sex scenes were oh, awkward. And they were. I wanted to fast forward them. I wanted to hide under my couch until it was done. Not so much the sex, but the dialogue during it. Because let me tell you something: If any man talked to me like Adam did to Hannah, aloha on the steel guitar, buddy boy. You're not worth my time and you have no rights to my body. As Anne Lamott once said about a ex-boyfriend that turned out to be a rat fink, you're not even allowed to drink my bathwater. I don't want to repeat the dialogue here; I try to keep my blog PG-13 rated, plus it's something you need to see for yourself.
I could only manage two episodes last night, then went to bed. I tried to read, but I kept thinking about the show. On my clipboard I keep a picture of myself at twenty, right before I was going to spend a semester in London: I was in my driveway, laughing. In the air was a hat. Yeah, I was doing Mary Tyler Moore. I loved London but I also went through a dark period there. One of the darker moments I wrote about in a new ebook that's coming out in a couple of weeks called Here's Where The Story Ends. I don't want to say too much about it (because I want you to read it when it comes out) but I will tell you this: there were times I was so lonely I couldn't stand myself. It seemed like all the girls had it together and I was a total mess. I felt like that throughout my twenties. I felt very alone. I am guessing Lena Dunham has felt alone too. And she created a show that made other girls feel less alone.
So will I continue to watch Girls? Yes. Will I cringe watching it? Yes. Will I want Hannah to dump Adam and get together with a nice writer boy she could meet at a writer's colony? Oh God, yes. But just like you want Anybodys to become a Jet, there's one thing for sure: You hope Hannah grows up quickly, and become the fantastic woman she's meant to be.
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries