The Pathetic Man-Boys of Lena Dunham's Girls
It finally had to be done. I had to catch up with the rest of the world and watch Lena Dunham’s Girls. After fortifying myself with three days or prayer and fasting, I dove in. I purchased season one, and watched the season two marathon on HBO.
Girls has been overanalyzed, so I won’t offer a broad interpretation. I can only point out what I think is Girls most glaring flaw: Lena Dunham did not include any control.
As in a control in a scientific experiment that serves as a “normal” component that you are not conducting the experiment on. Girls is the story of four twenty-something women in Brooklyn and the pathetic “men” that they date. There is Adam, the attention-deficit artist who always seems to be banging on something and has degrading sexual fantasies. There’s Ray, the schlub who manages a coffee shop and is almost too insecure to function. There’s Charlie, the soft-spoken musician who is so passive he can barely open doors. There’s Thomas-John, who has a job making real money but is written so one-dimensionally we really don’t know that much about him. And then there’s Booth Jordan (seriously?), an artist who locks one of the girls inside one of his works of art. He’s short and vulgar. (Doesn’t a single one of these guys–New Yorkers!–like or play sports?)
Girls creator Lena Dunham is very talented, and she’s only twenty-six, but it has to be said: like so many liberal Hollywood and New York artists, she has a powerful streak of cowardice. Girls would have been a much more compelling and less narcissistic show if Dunham had the guts to introduce a control into her Brooklyn petri dish.