“Girls,” “Girls,” “Girls” — that’s all anyone seems to be talking about lately. Some may say Hannah Horvath is a relatable protagonist because she encourages viewers to chase after their dreams. However, if there’s anything Lena Dunham’s show portrays correctly, it is the insincerity of its characters and their friendships.
The series’ four main characters deal with their own problems, which range from relationship issues to establishing a writing career to trying to figure out one’s place in the world. Whenever one of the girls faces a personal dilemma, she figures the best thing to do is talk to a friend about it because, after all, that is what friends are for.
It takes a lot of courage to talk to friends about problems, but the effort counts for little when it comes to the characters on “Girls.” Instead of being faithful to one another, the characters show their complete lack of concern for their friends’ troubles, explicitly telling them, “I have other important things to worry about other than your problems.”
If “Girls” illustrates anything about our lives, it is that our friends are not as sincere as we thought they were. Why have friends if they are unwilling to give us valuable time for personal conversations? The solution is simple — we must constantly go through this cycle because, sooner or later, we will experience a shift in perspective and finally grow up, a process that will make us think twice about the people we allow in our lives.
— Junior Gonzales
For most shows, a scene in which a woman urinates on train tracks while childishly crying on the telephone with her parents could be considered outlandish, but for HBO’s “Girls,” this scene is just another day in the life of Hannah Horvath.
Lena Dunham’s “Girls” has received a barrage of angry tweets, lambasting scenes like this one. The rage surrounding the series’ more over-the-top moments isn’t unmerited. Maybe a well-to-do Brooklynite would never do cocaine, and friends don’t let friends get married on a whim. Hannah could probably never fall off the grid for a whole weekend while she has an affair with a married man, let alone one played by Patrick Wilson.
While any of these events would never occur in most people’s lives, they all make sense within the universe of “Girls.” That is why something so implausible — something like calling 911 on an ex-boyfriend just to see what will happen — can become so honest when placed in Dunhams’s hands.
Dunham’s performance makes us believe that Hannah would act so naively as to experience any of these situations. With many tears and a number of comical, absurd situations, Hannah could have been a manic, hipster mess of a character. But Dunham’s painfully real, Pabst Blue Ribbon-drenched world makes the loyal fans of “Girls” willing to believe in a character they can’t fully support. After all, one man’s realism is another woman’s tragicomic rendition of life.
— Alex Greenberger
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