GIRLS: Changing the Scope of our Generation

The latest American television show phenomena, GIRLS, has sparked much discussion and generated an immense following across the nation. Arguably the best female dominated television show that has hit HBO (and the tube) since Sex in the City, GIRLS has revolutionized what it means to be quirky, single, broke, and twenty-something. Questionable choices, eccentric outfits, and messy relationships plague Hannah, Marnie, Shoshanna, and Jessa. And while we wonder why we find ourselves laughing, crying, and even dancing along with them, we realize that it is because although flawed at moments, the characters are relatable. They are human. We empathize with Hannah from the first moment she is introduced to us as her parents casually inform her that she has been “cut off”. While the episodes incorporate hilarity and wit, from the scene in which Hannah drinks opium tea in her parent’s hotel room to the time Jessa wears translucent clothing to her nanny job, the show provides the viewer with substance touching on the realities of the unstable economy, relationship mishaps, and even personal identity. GIRLS provides its viewers with an outlook on friendship, love, and the complexities of finding one’s path in life.

The show also asserts itself as a platform for young adults as a whole. As both creator and star of GIRLS, Lena Dunham’s voice is marked by clarity and bites at a deeper truth of our generation. Although she plays a young, inexperienced, aspiring writer on screen, she too has blundered through the mis-steppings of pursuing a somewhat unattainable dream to catch her big break. Thus, as a writer, she refutes the idealistic visions of women that films and media often portray, but instead illustrates the true and dysfunctional experiences of our generation. And while it may appear comical when Hannah says, “I have been dating someone who treats my heart like it’s monkey meat," there is still a realness in her tone as Dunham captures her characters in their most vulnerable moments. Perhaps this authenticity is what has set this show apart from other contemporary comedies.