Monday, April 16, 2012

What April 16th Means To Me: HBO's "Girls"

I was really looking forward to HBO's new half hour dram-com about modern era, confused New York 20-somethings, as critics claimed it was a glimpse of the world through the confused generation who fell victim to the sins of their fathers, and are now left to pick up the pieces, navigating through a jobless world. 

I enjoyed the episode, despite some of the "clever" dialogue that sometimes felt like a reaching re-hash of Diablo Cody, but couldn't help but wonder if the creator, 25 year old Lena Dunham, was in on her own joke. 

Dunham's character refers to herself as "the voice of her generation," but manipulatively amends it to "a voice of a generation," while asking her parents for what amounted to 26,400 (over two years), while she finished her book, somewhat implying that she was a victim to society and was entitled to this "scholarship" so she could provide the world her genius.  Of course, when her parents deny her, she didn't accept her new reality and, instead, faints while blaming her "sickness" on opium tea.  And, of course, because she's shattered, she tries to order room service on her parents dime the next morning, and then steals the housekeeper's tip because she desperately "needs" the money.  You know, because the world is so unfair.  After all, its tough being a college educated white girl living in New York City.

We live in an age where social media has encouraged us to flex our voice, but it also has provided us an illusion that said voice is important and needs to be heard.  With every Facebook "like" and retweet, we're further encouraged to spread our creative seed, as we increasingly become convinced that our words not only can make a difference, but are destined to.  And anything standing in our way, whether it be parents, unfair bosses, our housekeepers better watch out because they just don't understand what it's like being a jobless 20 something in today's America.  We've just created cocoons where our myopic view convinces us that we're under society's microscope, when in reality, the inaccurate assumption just increases our megalomania.  This is not to mitigate the problems someone like Dunham's character has (and I sometimes find myself aligning with her thought process), but her show represents a generation who prefers to roll over on its back at the first sign of trouble, instead of figuring out how to move forward. 

I'm curious to see which direction the show takes, and if it becomes more self-aware, but as of now I'm just not sure if it's trying to make a statement, attempting to create an actual, self-aware portrayal, or if Dunham created a series to reflect her generation's tortured thought process.  And if its the latter, that's a scary thought. 

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