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Opinion: GIRLS Wins Audiences With Mediocre Plots, Uncomfortable Situations & Sub-Par Acting

Let’s get this out of the way right up front. I don’t like Lena Dunham. I really like Judd Apatow. In fact, I’d probably put up with Dunham if it meant I could spend some time hanging out with Apatow. It needs to be understood that through the episodes of GIRLS that I’ve watched, Dunham’s character makes me want to run my vintage one speeder off the Brooklyn Bridge.

All of that being said, Dunham is not the reason I hate GIRLS. I hate the show for two very distinct reasons.

  1. The show is written around the wrong characters.
  2. Fans think that GIRLS is a representation of “hipster” norms.

We’ll tackle these in order. Never in the history of television has there been a main character this unlikable. I dare you to find a show in which the main character is so easy to hate. I’ll wait…got anything? Didn’t think so. Dunham is a train wreck in the show and rooting against her is the entire premise of my watching of GIRLS.

I didn’t begin watching the show until after it cleaned up at the Emmy’s a few years ago. I thought, OK, I could get into this type of show, especially with Apatow involved. I had heard about how Dunham was so brave for taking on the role. The question was, how could a role in an HBO show be considered so brave? Then I began watching. Oh the nakedness.

Dunham has gotten praise for taking her clothes off. I wonder how people would have reacted to this exact show without the constant barrage of naked people that mainstream America deems “ugly?” I’m not sure how taking your clothes off is a brave act? You could even make the case that hype over her nudity won her an undeserved Emmy during the shows first season. We get it. You’re a free spirit. Now, please, for the sake of my sanity, put your clothes back on.

Onto the substance of my first point. The show features characters that range in levels of intrigue. From Hannah (completely uninteresting) to Shoshanna (extremely interesting). There’s a whole spectrum in between but the real question is why the show was written around Dunham’s character and not Shoshanna’s (played by Zosia Mamet).

They could have also been written around Allison Williams and her character Marnie but that would have been too easy. Marnie has classic good looks and generic character flaws while Shoshanna is an OCD, hypochondriac with enough social issues to fill Brooklyn Brewery.

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The obvious answer is that Lena Dunham is not only the shows star, but the producer, writer and director. Given that kind of power, it’s easy to understand the shows dynamic. It’s Lena Dunham’s world and we’re all supposed to just go along with that fact. See where I’m going here?

My second issue is with the shows loyal fan base. Shows often portray the characters living the life that the audience is living in a perceived world. We all wanted to live next door to Rachel and Monica on Friends and who wouldn’t want to be a fly on the wall in the Two and a Half Men house (when Charlie Sheen was running hookers through)?

GIRLS does the same thing to an extent. Hipsters from Brooklyn’s Williamsburg to Brooklyn’s Park Slope are rejoicing that someone has created a show that tells their story. The problem is this story is complete and udder nonsense. It’s aiming for the bottom after spending all of mommy and daddies money trying to look poor. The truth is, people working in coffee shops and failing as writers don’t actually live in Brooklyn. They’re forced out of their apartments when they can’t pay rent and then move home. Is that news to anyone?

If the show wanted to remain true to life they’d send Dunham back to her parents house and then watch the rest of the characters rejoice in her absence. That’s a story I’d watch. I’ve actually spoken to people who live outside of New York who have this notion that GIRLS is “how people live in Brooklyn.” Kill me now.

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The concept that people outside of Brooklyn actually think that GIRLS is an accurate portrayal of life in Brooklyn should make you cringe. So let this be my apology to those of you living in Brooklyn, Lena Dunham is not what Brooklyn stands for. I should mention that I started writing this a few months ago when GIRLS was still relevant. Since then, it’s taken a major dip in ratings and if we’re lucky, Judd Apatow can soon return to making movies staring Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd and not producing a crap storm starring Lena Dunham.


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