***Show Spoilers Below***
HBO’s new television series, Girls, follows the daily lives of four twenty-somethings in New York City. In spite of its location, Girls is refreshingly different from the Gossip Girl-esque genre of urban living. We don’t see perfectly quaffed hair and couture sunglasses adorning the heads of our female protagonists. Nor do we see the extravagant cocktail parties, implausible family dramas and absurd love of quadrangles that seem to make a regular appearance in the lives of Serena and Blair. Rather, Girls presents an honest portrayal of the good, the bad and the terribly awkward, making this new program one that is bound to catch the eyes and steal the hearts of women (and even men) across the country.
Hannah—the “plain Jane” character in her mid-20s who is grappling with the newfound reality of being financially cut off from her parents—struggles with her writing career aspirations, her flimsy and unstable love life and her questionable ability to find true value in herself. Hannah’s best friend and roommate, Marnie, is a beautiful and responsible 23-year-old woman with a secure job and committed relationship. Her life may seem perfect, but she desperately seeks something more and vacillates between her moral high ground and her more selfish needs. Jessa, the long-time British friend of Hannah and Marnie, is a jobless and unpredictable world traveler with a taste for adventure and an aversion to any form of adult responsibility. Her cousin, Shoshana, is the bubbly and wholesome 22-year-old woman whose greatest source of secret shame rests in the fact that she is still a virgin.
But how relatable are these characters’ humorous incidents, encounters and behaviors to the lifestyles of real post-graduate women in New York City? I interviewed a few friends and avid Girls fans to find an answer:
“I can definitely relate to Hannah in the love department. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve allowed one guy or another to walk all over me just because I had feelings for him. When Hannah goes to Adam’s apartment to break things off because of his disrespect and lack of involvement in her life anywhere other than the bedroom, she presents a small diatribe, announcing that she’s through with him. Of course, a minute later they’re having passionate sex on a table, and in the next scene Hannah is so happy she’s basically glowing. It’s so typical of women (myself included) to submit to a guy if we really like him, even when he’s a total jerk and interested in nothing more than the surface perks of a relationship.”
“Just like Marnie, I’ve been in dating situations where I‘ve gotten too comfortable. On paper, my ex seemed perfect, but I was so unbelievably bored after a year that I had to break up with him. Of course I wanted my boyfriend to care about me (which he definitely did), but when he began acting like a girl himself (too emotional, overly present, submissive, etc.), that’s when I had to cut it off. When you’re in your 20s, you want excitement and fun… you don’t want to feel like you’ve lost the passion in your relationship already.”
-Jessica A., 24
“When Hannah gets fired from her year-long internship after requesting to be paid and then ends up at a job where her coworkers tell her to let it slide when their boss borderline sexually harasses her, I could relate. In my first job, there were so many things I hated about it that, looking back, it could have been perceived as not only annoying but also unacceptable… but I let it go because it was the only job I could find at the time. My job wasn’t glamorous, fun, or exciting like other TV shows portray them to be…it was monotonous, boring, and totally routine. I’d say Girls nails it pretty well.”
-Michelle A., 24
Whether it be awkward sex sequences, boring desk job scenes or video shots of traipsing feet dragging themselves down the busy streets of New York City, no stone is left unturned in this candidly relatable television gem. Watch Girls (to feel better about your life) on Sundays at 10:30pm on HBO!
Photo: at http://www.fem2pt0.com/2012/04/18/a-message-to-hbos-girls/