So I recently (and by recently I mean yesterday) started to watch the series Girls. It was recommended to me a few weeks ago and I was a little sceptical about it to be honest. Then I fully realised the genius of Lena Dunham: creator, writer, director and co-executive producer of the show. We get what I think is a good insight into the life of modern twenty-something women. It’s refreshing, cynical, realistic, quirky and interesting. It’s a little depressing in parts due to the fact it deals with struggles that are all too real for most young women (and men) these days aka. unemployment, unfulfilling relationships, societal pressure etc. However, that depression is lifted somewhat by the dark, occasionally cynical humour. There are 4 distinct characters, all of which bring something different to the table in terms of personality, attitude and life experience.
We have the main character Hannah Horvath (played by creator Lena Dunham) who is a 24-year-old struggling writer living in New York who is in and out of employment after being cut-off from her parents financial support. Hannah is self-deprecating, anxious, quick-witted and coming to the realisation that her dream of being a reputable published writer isn’t coming to fruition as easily as she had hoped.
Marnie Michaels (played by Allison Williams) is Hannah’s room-mate and closest friend. She is a 23-year-old art gallery curator in an unhappy long-term relationship. The love she once had for her boyfriend has disappeared and her dead-end career is adding to her quarter-life crisis.
Jessa Johansson (played by Jemima Kirke) is 24, unemployed and well travelled. She is the most free spirited of the group but finds it hard to come to terms with being an adult a lot of the time. Finding herself back in New York after travelling world, she now has to adjust to a more settled lifestyle, figuring out who she is and what she wants to get out of life.
Shoshanna Shapiro (played by Zosia Mamet) is Jessa’s cousin and offers her a place to stay when she returns to New York from her travels. Shoshanna is a 21-year-old virgin with an obsessive personality. The fact that she is a virgin creates a lot of anxiety for her because she feels “left out” and inferior to her other female friends. Her admiration for Jessa’s open lifestyle is excessive and she often puts other women on a pedestal.
So if you’re looking for a new series to watch or just something entertaining, I would highly recommend Girls, for women and men alike. I enjoy the fact that each character is given the freedom to be vulnerable, tough, kind and mean all at the same. It shows the complex nature of sexuality and doesn’t sensationalise relationships in Hollywood fashion. Each episode is only half an hour long and it has been on since 2012, so there’s plenty to binge-watch before you catch up!