If you’re tired of Gossip Girl, 90210 and all the other teenage dramas filled with stories of the fabulous and the elite, then look to Girls, HBO’s new comedy. Girls is, unsurprisingly, about a group of girls, all of whom are in their early twenties, living in New York, but the difference between these girls and those of the Upper East side is that they’re all normal girls, struggling to make ends meet in their normal lives. The poster for this TV show is probably the most glam that any of them ever look during the show and you’re much more likely to find them slogging away in their trackies, work clothes or nothing at all.
The show is centred around Hannah, an aspiring writer who has just been cut off from her parents and is consequently left with no source of income. In addition, she’s got a sort of friends-with-benefits thing going on with Adam, who treats her like s***, but she puts up with it, because otherwise she’d have no guys interested in her at all. Her best friend and flatmate, Marnie, has been going out with her long term boyfriend since College, but she’s bored and doesn’t know how to tell him. Jessa, Hannah’s British friend, has a f***-the-world attitude and goes around doing what she wants and who she wants – just because she can. Then there’s Shoshanna, Jessa’s cousin, a quiet and shy girl who is desperate to be ‘one of the girls’, but is secretly still a virgin.
I only started watching Girls because I’d read some very praising reviews of this with many people commenting on just how funny it is. After watching the first episode, I have to say that I was thoroughly confused by these reviews because I didn’t actually find this show particularly funny. Sure, it’s funny at times, but it’s not hilarious, the jokes are just enough to make you smirk. I was thoroughly confused as to whether or not I actually liked this show, but I decided to give it a chance and keep watch a few more episodes. Whilst it did not get much funnier, I still didn’t want to stop watching because I was drawn in by the relatability of this programme. For those people living perfect lives, this probably would seem extremely funny and would make you appreciate your life all the more, and for those whose lives bear an unsettling resemblance to Hannah’s, it’s always nice to know there are more people like you out there.
I’m not sure what the rating for Girls is, but since it’s aired on HBO, it’s unsurprising that it is full of naked bodies and full on sex scenes. Again, these aren’t raunchy, sensuous or sexy scenes, these are real and awkward sex situations. Quite honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen more awkward sex scenes in my life. These are probably the most humorous scenes in the show and I usually get the feeling of ‘this-is-so-awkward-I-should-look-away-now-but-it’s-just-so-fascinating-I-can’t-help-but-watch’. If you’re the sort of person who can’t stand to watch ‘real’ sex or shies away from the sight of a pair of breast, then this definitely isn’t the television show for you.
What makes Girls even more impressive, apart from the fact that its completely gone against the status quo and is still successful, is the fact that it is written, directed, and starred in by Lena Durham (plays Hannah ). It’s really quite impressive that one person could do all of those things, I mean, essentially this show is entirely her work and all the credit should go to her for an original piece of work. The other actresses: Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet and Allison Williams are all brilliant actresses as well and there isn’t the faintest hint of silliness or melodrama, which would be quite easy to slip into with such a ‘real’ comedy.
I like this show because although it isn’t as glamorous or wowing as 90210 or Gossip Girl, it’s real. The four girls face real life problems with money, friends and men, unlike some of the other highly entertaining, yet unrealistic dramas on air today. Judd Apatow stated he hoped the show would provide men with an insight into “realistic females” and I think this is exactly what it does. Although this programme is defined as a ‘comedy’, I wouldn’t say that this is its greatest strength, I think the reason people like this show is because it’s unique and different to anything else airing at the moment and there’s a certain likability to all the characters as there’s the sense that they’re exactly like you.
If you liked the sound of this, you might also like:
Film Review: Bridesmaids
Book Review: The Girlboss Workbook by Sophia Amoruso
Book Review: Wild by Cheryl Strayed
TV Review: Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23