Why “Girls” Is Just Another Poor Portrayal of NYC, This Time in Poor Clothes

behold, the grey tights

I’m not much of a TV fan (even though I have made some pretty bold statements about TV shows and their viewers in the past). I actually don’t even have a cable subscription in my apartment. But after a particularly painful process, I was able to secure my parents’ online information to score an HBO GO pass. I did this mostly for the True Blood access, but discovered Girls along the way. And I’m sort of obsessed. Like stayed up until 2am watching every episode I missed obsessed. I cringe. I watch through fingers spread over my eyes. I laugh and thank god that despite its striking resemblence to my life; it’s not actually my life. But the more I watch it, the more I obsess over the parts of the show that suck.

I knew as soon as I saw the opening scene that this would be a show I inevitably blogged about (4 girls, in their 20s, living in NYC — PMP and Girls share Google search terms, basically). I didn’t know what form the blog would take initially, but if I read one more article about how Girls is the best thing to happen to women since bras and Bridesmaids and how Lena Dunham is saving the city, I will spew. So I decided a rant was more fitting. 

1) The “girls” — Oh, where to start with this one? Hannah, Hannah, Hannah. I keep mentally comparing her to Josie Grosie (Drew Barrymore’s pre-hottie high school disaster in Never Been Kissed) or Laney Boggs before Sookie Stackhouse Anna Paquin tweezed her eyebrows. Like maybe there’s a beautiful swan just waiting to emerge from the grey-tighted duckling. One can only hope. I mean, I don’t want to make comments about how fugly Lena Dunham is in her portrayal of Hannah (if you have eyes, you can probably assess that for yourself), but it’s like she’s actually not that bad IRL and just tries inexplicably to make Hannah look like that lady who sleeps near the 35th Street exit at the Herald Square station. Her clothes. Hold on, I just dry heaved from a mental image of the crushed red velvet/ ivory lace number she wore on her date with the pharmacist (she looked like a red velvet cupcake). Being from New York makes you interesting, Hannah, but it also means you have the right – no, the responsibility – to dress well when you go to other cities. You’re giving us all a bad name. Please, comb your hair, find a barrel brush, a decent bra and a red lipstick with more purple undertones. Also, you’re 2 years out of college, English major. Been there, done that. Get a freaking job.

Brief commentary on the other “girls”:

Jessa — clearly Lena Dunham went abroad for a semester and had a lesbian relationship with a Parisian girl. This is Jessa. Jessa is sort of cool but again, whoever styles these girls should be fired immediately. Or try living in NYC. This doesn’t happen. This is sort of what happens in the minds of small-town Americans dreaming about the wild outfits real New Yorkers wear. I blame Sex & the City for this, but at least they wore couture. I also believe about 1/5 of the stories Jessa’s telling. She’s just trying way too hard. I’m waiting for the breakdown. And welcome it with open arms. I bet the accent is fake too.

Marnie — I still don’t understand how Marnie ends up best friends with Hannah. There’s like a hotness formula with friends. Something about a ratio of one friend’s personality to another’s body type and looks. I can’t remember the specifics, but whatever they are, they can’t equal to Hannah the Horrible being besties with Marnie, despite the fact that I simply refer to her as Marmie — like a school marm. Because that is what she is. I hate her most of all. The terror in her eyes as she was approaching a party? I mean I get it’s in Bushwick, and I would be horrified too, but come on. Also, way to masturbate in a bathroom after a hot guy close-talks you. Get out more.

Shoshana — I’ll admit, I fucking love this character. No judge on being a 22 year old virgin. I’m rooting for the day she finally gets nailed. I also predict she’ll be an attached bleeder, despite her protests otherwise. She might actually be the most brilliant character on television.

2) Their phones – Hannah rocks it with an iPhone, thank god. But Marnie’s comment about parents paying Blackberry bills… does anyone in their 20s still own a Blackberry in this city? Pretty much as soon as Verizon picked up iPhones, everyone ditched QWRTY keys for a touchscreen. And if you’re all “anti-Apple” you likely have a Droid. Especially for these jobless characters. I don’t think the ability to email with greater ease is a real selling point in their cell phone selection process. Also, I get that Jessa just moved from Paris or whatever, but she didn’t move from the 90s. A flip phone? Stopppppp.

3) The guys – Again, I get it. It would be weird if Hannah was hooking up with someone halfway decent looking. So I understand the need for Adam’s character to look like a tanner version of Paul from the Wonder Years and sound like Andre the Giant. But how am I supposed to get behind her insanity and readiness to let him a) lie about fucking her without a condom b) give her HPV c) LIE about giving her HPV d) creepily call her “kid” all the time e) demean her during sex f) etc. etc. etc. The whole relationship is just wrong. And his looks don’t do anything to tip the scales to “right”. (Side note: after last week’s episode, I’m singing a slightly different Adam tune. He’s deep. But now I question his judgment on dating Hannah. Ah, the complexities. Also, AA since he’s 17. It’s like Dylan McKay all over again!).

Then there’s Charlie who’s actually attractive once he got rid of that raccoon hair-do which did nothing but make him look like one of the nice guys from Grease. Good move. Despite his lack of testicles, and the fact that I know, deep down, he cries after sex; he’s not so bad. I like him more after last week’s episode (it was a good week for the guys. Especially Elijah smacking Marnie). Also shout out to Charlie: THANK YOU for fucking over Marnie. You’re not a sociopath. And that Navajo was way cuter than the Stepford Wife you were dating. However, what I can’t appreciate from him is that he hangs out with Ray, the mutant Jew. Like where did they find him? Who told him “Why yes, you should be on television”? I swear to god, if he takes Shosh’s v-card, I will start a Twitter revolt.

4) Their “partying” — By far the most troubling Girls discovery happened for me last week when we discover Hannah doesn’t drink. Her and drinking don’t mix, apparently. Because the last time she got drunk, she ate brie and puked on her phone. Hey, it’s called Friday night, kid, and we’ve all been there. When I was your age, I ate something called a garbage plate at 3am and proceeded to puke it out about 15 minutes later everywhere in my bathroom except the toilet. Man up. I thought I found hope when Jessa ordered a white Russian from a bar at 1 in the afternoon. While she was pregnant. But she hasn’t had more than a sip of anything since then. Once again, Shoshana comes through as the coolest character by smoking crack.

5) The excessive use of cupcakes and apparent lack of caffeine — Maybe it’s because most of these girls don’t have jobs, but where is the iced coffee? The mid-day Starbucks run? How do they survive? I don’t understand. Marnie buys a Smart Water. Once. And she wasn’t at the airport, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of it. Please drink more coffee girls, this is New York for god’s sake. And STOP EATING CUPCAKES. I love cupcakes as much as (ok, maybe a little more) than the average girl. But Hannah, waking up and eating cupcakes from the fridge — not ok. Shame-eating cupcakes in Shoshana’s bathroom — NOT OK. You look like a cupcake. Let that soothe your hungry soul. Because it’s not food you’re hungry for. It’s love from Adam the Giant.

6) Happy hour? The subway? Shopping? Anything else that slightly resembles NYC except a tolerance for hideous clothing and no ambition? — These girls could live in any city in America. I’m not impressed by the utter “New York-ness” of it. Ride a subway. Go out to an actual bar. Having Tasti-Dlite in one scene doesn’t make you a New York show. Sex and the City already did that, and it propelled Tasti into a whole other realm. You know, a realm where you can buy Tasti in pretty much every major US city. Please, try to make it seem just a little more New York, Dunham. I beg you.

Alright, rant over. I still love you though, Girls. Like a lot. And the writing is brill.

Posted on May 30, 2012, in new york city, rants and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. HBO did it right with How to Make it in America… Check that show out… even though the cancelled it…

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