Wednesday, March 20, 2013

GIRLS sucked this season. There, I said it.

I was a little iffy about writing this post, because when you're female and you criticize Lena Dunham, people usually respond by saying you're jealous and/or you hate chubby girls. So, let's dispel that right now. Of course I'm jealous, I'm human. She's twenty-six and has her own show on HBO and a million dollar book deal. BUT I'm also not in the camp that thinks she's a talentless hack.  You can't write, act in, direct, and help run a TV show and be an idiot. And believe me, if she was super hot and thin on top of all that, I would be even more jealous.   She also gets a lot more flack than most people-- because she's young and female-- but to avoid criticizing her for those reasons is a form of sexism in itself, right? Not to mention, a lot of the critical acclaim she gets is in part because she's young and female.

So, now that I've rationalized why it's okay for me to write this post, here are the top ten reasons GIRLS straight-up sucked this season.


10.  Bad story-telling.  A good story has a beginning, middle, and an end.  The stories on GIRLS this season completely meandered.  They were all over the place.  For the most part, they ended just as quickly as they started.  There was no middle.  No real development in the narratives.  No build to make us care about the characters by the season finale.  I'm not sure if the writers had the entire season plotted out or if they were just making it up as they went along, but way too many plot points either disappeared or came out of nowhere (Hannah's OCD, Charlie suddenly running a multi-million dollar company).  I LOVE the dialogue on the show, but the stories felt half-assed this season.

9.  Donald Glover: Speaking of stories that ended before they even started... The show got a lot of criticism in its first season for its lack of diversity.  It's not totally fair to hold Dunham (and Judd Apatow) under the fire for this when most TV shows except for the three Shonda Rhimes created, lack diversity.  But the show addressed this issue head on by giving Hannah a black boyfriend played by Donald Glover (why he also had to be a Republican, I don't know.)  When they broke up in episode two (in a pretty amazing break up scene), I assumed we were going to see him again.  Nope.  There relationship literally consisted of two sex scenes, a stroll in Brooklyn, and a break up.

8.  What was the point of Natalia (played by Shiri Appleby)?  I got the sense the whole time that the show was making fun of her.  You know, the way hipsters make fun of people that shop at Banana Republic.  Her friends were terrible people because they did things like get engaged and watch sports.  She was particular about sex.  She was made a fool of when Adam told her to crawl into his bedroom on all fours, only to then jiz all over her.  It was clear she was disturbed by it, BUT in the very next episode they're having sex again.  I'd like to think that her directness with Adam over what she wanted during sex in their last scene together was an attempt to demonstrate that it's okay to be female and tell a man what feels good for you, but it was played as unromantic and uppity.  Hannah would never do that.  Plus, the show missed an opportunity by never having Hannah meet her.  It would have been interesting to see Hannah have a real emotion about Adam moving on to a much hotter girl.

7.  Hannah gets a book deal out of nowhere.  Did I miss an episode?  Why did this fall into her lap so easily?  I thought this was a show about girls struggling in their twenties.  Even if it is for an E-book, she was apparently paid an advance by an editor with a really snazzy office, so it's legit.  Someone needs to tell Lena Dunham getting a book deal is not that easy.

6.  Jessa.  I've always thought her character was totally unnecessary to the show and apparently the writers agree, because she had absolutely nothing to do in the second season.  Her surprise wedding was probably the worst thing about last season, but don't worry, because it only took about one episode in season two to get out of that storyline.  And just when it seemed like they were giving her a little more depth by introducing us to her dad (even though the actress totally phoned it in) she disappears.  And the thing is, I didn't miss her.  I don't think they should bring her back.  Why not use the opportunity to introduce a new female lead that we can actually care about?

5.  Shoshanna and Ray.  I actually thought their break-up scene was one of the better moments in the season finale, but I would have cared so much more if we'd actually gotten to see more of what they were like as a happy-in-love couple.  Honestly, I think HBO should give Ray his own spin-off.  The actor is great and the character has more depth and complexity than all the other characters combined.  And even though Shoshanna feels like a character from Saved by the Bell, I thought her reasons for breaking up with Ray were mature and valid.  BUT then the big reveal is that she really just dumped him for a hot blonde guy (even though she assured him that was not what she was doing.)  Why does everyone have to turn out to be a terrible person?  And what happened to the hot door man?

4.  The OCD storyline.  I'm sorry, I hate it.  It's stupid.  It feels self-indulgent.  It reeks of Lena Dunham dreams of winning an Emmy.  I know OCD is a real thing, but I wish Hannah at least had the germaphobia version of it, so she would take a shower.  Hannah went from being a confused naive twenty-something to Grey Gardens insane all in the span of two episodes.  And for what?  So she could tell a therapist she clenches her vagina together?  So she could stick a Q-tip in her ear?  And what brought it on?  The pressure of writing an E-book?  The break up with Adam that she was totally fine with all season?  The fact that Marnie and her ex-gay boyfriend slept together?  Please make it go away.

3.  The Patrick Wilson episode.  I don't even care about the naked ping-pong thing, because honestly, I was playing Words With Friends during that scene and missed it completely.  I thought the storyline lacked realism.  Not just because he's so gorgeous and she's such a mess.  We've all hooked up with people that were probably out of our league.  It was the fact that she had no reaction to the fact that he was out of her league.  If they had just had one scene of her calling Marnie from the bathroom, freaking out about hooking up with a super hot rich doctor...or one scene of her actually being embarrassed to take her clothes off in front of him, it would have felt more true to life.  Getting naked in front of anyone new in your twenties-- when you're stone cold sober-- can be traumatic, let alone someone that looks like Patrick Wilson.

2. Marnie.  Ugh.  Let me start by saying that she might have been my favorite character in season one.  I know everyone hates her because she's Brian Williams's daughter and she's not the greatest actress-- but I liked that she was kind of uptight and judgemental and that she had to suffer through Charlie getting a new girlfriend so quickly.  They pretty much anihilated her character this season.  So...she sings in the middle of Charlie's party and instead of him telling her she's a fucking trainwreck weirdo, he has sex with her and they get back together.  Does she have a single redeeming quality at this point?  I'd like to believe that this is actually a story about how men are idiots too when it comes to relationships and that Charlie is a total dumb ass for taking her back... but their romantic proclamations at the end of the episode made it seem like the show expected us to be totally on board and psyched that they were finally making it official.

1.  WTF was up with the end of the season finale?  I have a feeling Judd Apatow was to blame for this, but all of a sudden I felt like I was watching a really bad Katherine Heigl movie.   Hannah's mental illness has manifested itself in a bad haircut.  She can't get out of bed and reaches out to Adam via Facetime.  We then get a sequence of him running through the streets of New York shirtless to get to her, while they are still face-timing (um, that shit only works when you have wi-fi, but okay.)  The music swells.  Adam runs up the stairs and picks Hannah up from bed and they kiss.  Swoon...!  NO.   Was I really supposed to care that much about these two getting back together?  If this was a gritty story about two fucked-up co-dependent people, then maybe I'd be into it, but instead we get an ending right out of a cheesy romantic comedy?  Sorry guys, that was the breaking point for me.  It would have been much more satisfying if Marnie was the person that was able to get through to Hannah at the end.  Other stuff that I'm reading on the ending is that to have a real moment between Marnie/Hannah would have been the safe choice.  Really?  When did being rescued by a man become ironic and cutting edge?

So, there you go.  Ten things that sucked about GIRLS this season and I never even mentioned Hannah being naked all the time.  Everyone says, love it or hate it, the show gets people talking.  As true as that is, I would still rather talk about how much I love it.  I know it has potential (the good music, the dialogue, the cocaine episode).  Hopefully in season three, it will realize that being a confused twenty-something does not have to be synonymous with being a terrible awful person that no one wants to root for, let alone watch on Sunday nights.


15 comments:

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  2. The Patrick Wilson episode literally had me cringing. What a random, awkward, pointless, thing. I actually try to block it out of my mind

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    1. Totally an aside but my friend just downloaded your book on her kindle. If only I had an e-reader :)

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    3. ooops! I accidentally wrote a comment with my joint log in with 20 LA Wannabe :) that is so totally cool and I wish i had an e-reader too!

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    4. Also, FOR REALS on the Patrick Wilson of it all.

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  3. You know I agree with everything you said here Saaara. Re: Jessa, the actress that plays her was pregnant while shooting so I feel like they had her disappear so she could take some time off before she had the baby and decided that would be an easy plot point. I don't think she adds much to the show but she's the only one I kinda like because I feel like she knows how selfish and ridiculous she is and doesn't care, unlike the others that don't think they have any character flaws.

    Thank god we have a few months off before season 3.

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    1. Yes, this is true. She is strangely more self-aware than the other ladies. I just feel like the bo-ho free spirited thing is a little overdone. i am glad i wasn't the only one that was totally dissatisfied with this season!

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  4. Another interesting note is the actress who plays Jessa is Lena Dunham's real life bestie. That's so awesome that your friend downloaded my book, please tell her thanks and I hope she likes it! I actually don't have a kindle or e-reader either but...there is a free kindle app for Mac and PC's for anyone who wants to read it but not having a kindle is holding them back!
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000426311

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    1. Thanks for the tip! Will def download and read when I get some free time :)

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  5. I LOVE this show and felt like this season I had a love/hate relationship with it. It kind of reminded me of SATC 2....worst movie EVER but I watch it every time it's on. I just can't quit them! Hopefully they'll make a comeback next season!

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  6. Perfect summary of the season! The last episode was so cheesy and in no way ironic as some would say. It felt like a middle school girl wrote that one.

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  7. So glad to know i'm not the only one that felt this way about the show! And good call about SATC2. I will still watch it, can't quit it either!

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  8. Totally agree 100%. But I just had a thought. Could the ending have been a satire of rom com happy endings? I don't want to give Dunham that much credit. But it's possible.

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