Girls gone too wild

Posted: February 7, 2013 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It’s time to fess up: I’m in on Girls. Granted, I’m not as in as I was during Season 1, but I’m in nonetheless.

And that is where things start getting weird.

I’ve come to realize that I like Girls for many of the same reasons I like, say, Trainspotting. It’s quirky and gritty and stylish, different and thoughtful – or at least it tries to come across as different and thoughtful. There’s a fine line between trying and trying too hard and losing your way.

There’s some vicarious adventuring going on, too. While I’ve never lived in the United Kingdom or been addicted to heroin, I like that Trainspotting gave me a glimpse at what that might be like in a movie sense, anyway. Plus, it featured some fantastic accents.girls-show

Same with Girls. I’ve never lived in New York – only visited there once. To the contrary, I’ve lived in the Upper Midwest for 34 consecutive years. But I have a picture in my mind of what it would be like to live in the City as an unfettered 20-something with average means. Part of what’s appealing about that is the idea that you’re allowed and/or encouraged to act like an overgrown teenager. Go where you please, when you please to do what you please with whomever you please. What’s more, it seems like screwing up (innocently, anyway) is part of the deal.

In fact, if I ever went back in time to create those conditions, I’m fairly certain I’d make some questionable to reckless decisions on the premise that it’s practically required. That’s how certain my Midwest self is about how things work in the Big Apple.

However, there’s a difference between doing stupid, youthful things and floating aimlessly. Season 2 of Girls has too much of the latter for my liking. How Midwestern is that? I’m only OK with some certain irresponsible acts.

But beyond my own, weird ideals, the show seems to be walking a fine line between too much Lena Dunham and just the right amount. That seems to be dramatically different from one show to the next right now. Lena Dunham that tosses out her roommate and cooks meals for her friends, good. Lena Dunham that does coke just so she can write about it and then ends up wearing a yellow mesh tanktop, bad.

And I thought I liked drug-fueled sequences. It’s just that particular bit felt like Dunham was awash in all her Dunham-ness. Same with Marnie, ahem, hanging out with that tiny artist. I was relieved that things calmed down the next week because I didn’t want to remove the show from my rotation. But I only have time for small doses of madness and ideally it’s mixed with some introspection.

Most likely, things will change over time, Dunham will find her stride – although probably not during the course of this show – and gain just the right amount of maturity to be able to explore the themes that seem to come easily to her without staining them with attempts at something else. Or maybe this is her ideal voice and exactly what she aspires to make. Either way, it’s good enough to make me feel compelling to keep watching. For now.

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Comments
  1. I think we’re in the same boat. I’ve compared “Girls” to the hipster “Dawson’s Creek” — as in, no one talks like that!!! Lena Dunham’s biggest fault is that she overwrites things; takes the long, winding road with stilted dialogue when a simple exchange will do. She hasn’t yet learned the power of a sublime moment, though she did write a poignant scene at the end of the last episode. I’m going to wait it out because there’s definitely potential.

    • I’m OK with some over writing – Diablo Cody does that well. But she makes it work by adding endearing moments. Dunham would be wise to keep that in mind going forward. Good thing she is a loyal TVFury reader.

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