Girls and the City
Written by Garrett O’Brochta, Edited by Valerie Vernon
“That was really good. That was so good. I almost came,” I hear over my electric trimmer. I stop shaving my face, turn my attention to my TV and start watching a pear-shaped girl. Like a cat drawn to catnip, I was hooked within the first thirty seconds.
I find out the pear-shaped girl’s name is Hannah. She is at dinner with her parents. At an attempt to be as nice as possible, Hannah’s mother explains, “no more money.” In retaliation, Hannah spits off about the economy and that her parents are lucky to have her. She could be doing drugs, or worse be like her friend who got two abortions in a year. I’ve totally had a similar conversation before. Thus started my relationship with HBO’s Girls.
Categorized under comedy, this show is so much more. Based in New York City, around four twenty-somethings, it follows suit of the timeless Britney Spears lyric, “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman.”
Like Britney, we all go through the tumultuous 20s. Lost in a land of awkward silences, awkward sexual encounters and awkward singing, there’s one word to describe this phase in life, awkward. And as a twenty-something guy that lived in NYC, I take pride in saying Girls may be the one show to gracefully depict this
awkward stage in life.
In a nutshell, Girls stars the writer and director, Lena Dunham. Lena plays Hannah Horvath, an eclectic, yet ordinary twenty-something. Living in NYC, Hannah and her three friends experience accidentally smoking crack- with hilarious results- to not understanding “he’s just not that into you.” It’s a show that simply depicts the life experiences of twenty-something year old girls. I mean women. I mean girls.
Let me first start off by saying, when it came to this show, I had my doubts. I, like many, compared it to Sex and the City. Although a huge fan of the cheeselicious sitcom, I felt Sex and the City had some unrealistic tendencies. Just a little bit. There is no such thing as a columnist living in the Upper East Side; nor could someone maintain rent with a closet full of Manolos. I will admit, I was wrong in comparing the two story lines. However, Sex and the City does accurately depict the realism in female friendships as Girls depicts the realism of being a young adult in the Big Apple. Something I love about both shows.
Having a twin sister, I know both of these shows are the best depictions of how girls interact with each other. Unlike Gossip Girls main characters Serena Van Der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf; who I could go off on a tangent, but lets just say they are lost in an entirely different world.
Whether it be making sexual jokes, or simply talking about the monthly routine visit with Aunt Flow, both shows aren’t afraid to hold back. Something Girls does do differently is incorporate the twenty-something lifestyle.
If you are a twenty-something living in NYC, you are broke, or you have rich parents. You are doing the grunt work at an office, barely covering rent. However, there are some exceptions, congrats if you are one of them. For the rest of us, it’s a world of grey. Though I will admit, Girls did add a little color to mine.
For years, I’ve looked for a show that accurately depicts this. Don’t get me wrong, I love a show that makes me laugh or makes me feel like a 6’ blonde in heels; but there’s nothing like relating to a character on more personal levels.
One of those personal levels being, friendship. It must be said that girls are close friends. They have slumber parties. They hold hands. They do each others make-up. They even go to the restroom together. This is where Girls shines in realism. Being a twenty-something in NYC, you rely on your friends to get you through the city life. Girls accurately depicts this reliability in friendship. Something Sex and the City started, but Girls is setting the standard.
Girls is that familiarity you can’t deny. Whether it be awkward silences during sex, or sleeping with a retainer, Girls isn’t afraid to be real, especially in their friendship. The bond the girls have is almost too real for words.
With each episode you get lost in their world. You might not understand what they feel at all times, but there are situations everyone can relate to. They are approachable. They are the girls you pass on the street. The girls you went to college with. The girls you just met. The girls who are your friends. There’s no denying it, If you watch this show, you’ll be hooked. Too bad you’ll have to wait until January for your second dose.