I watched the pilot of your new series “Girls.” I hated it. I hated what it “said about my generation.” It was just depressing, in an i-want-to-put-on-sweatpants-and-down-a-box-of-doughnuts kind of way. I almost popped in an episode of “Sex and the City” to erase the awful stench the show left in my parents’ basement. No, I don’t still live at home (which, by they way, IS the reality for many people in my generation). But I am a 27-year-old journalist with a budget that doesn’t include your fancy network.
I watched while simultaneously pedaling on a stationary bike, checking email and making final preparations for my sister’s massive baby shower mere hours after the episode ended. Yes, I know what I’m doing with my life. Yes, I have healthy relationships. Yes, I’m a bit of a workaholic/over-achiever. No, I see nothing of myself — or many other 20-something women (have you READ this blog???) — reflected in “Girls.”
Yes, some people in our generation are like the show’s characters: Whiny, selfish, spoiled, lazy, drifting, wasteful. And, thankfully, in my experience, they are the minority. But the perception in the show is that the characters are like everyone else in our age bracket. Thanks. Thanks for lumping me in with people who mooch off their parents, have no self-esteem and lack social skills, proper hygiene and common decency. Of course, their wit and sarcasm totally make up for these faults. I’m cringing — not laughing. How little writer/creator/hipster hero(?) Lena Dunham knows about us or, frankly, herself. Who is 25 and a writer/creator/hipster hero(?) She is.
True, being older than 22 and younger than 30 these days is no picnic. But what the heck is the main character Hannah (Dunham) doing flitting around New York City as a writer/unemployed? This is the same issue I have with “SATC” — It’s a financial-free fantasy. But at least that show featured chic, sassy, driven and only sometimes-whiny women. “Girls” gets on my nerves because Hannah SHOULD be living in her parents’ basements, emailing out resumes and possibly working out. (Would it kill her to take some pride in her appearance?) Maybe I don’t “get it,” but what’s the shame in figuring stuff out without wasting time and money (that isn’t even your own)?
Call me old-fashioned, lame or just plain sane, but I found myself rooting for Hannah’s mom, who abruptly ends her free ride. She basically tells her daughter to do something with her life, but, of course, she comes off as the villain. If you can’t tell, I’m a fan of tough love and the truth. My generation can take it, believe me. It will make us stronger. We don’t want to wallow in our white people problems. Yes, some people in this world live in actual poverty and have to clean hotel rooms and sure as hell don’t complain as much as “Girls.” Get a clue.
Yes, my parents have supported me here and there along the way. (I watch their HBO!) But I’ve worked hard for my independence, career and lifestyle. I might not be a writer/unemployed living in New York City or even a fab “SATC” gal, but I take pride in what I do and the woman I’ve become. I take pride in the many accomplishments of my friends and peers and not in a braggy-Facebook-update-to-let-everyone-know-how-awesome-we-are way. We are the reality. We are the future. “Girls” is not.