I was wondering why Lena Dunham’s new show on HBO, “GIRLS,” got the bitch slot (10:30pm) on the Sunday night line-up, despite all of the glowing reviews in the media. Or at least the New York-centric, witty pop culture media that defines my worldview.
After watching it last night, I think I know why. Despite the fact that New Yorker television critic Emily Nussbaum describes herself as “a goner, a convert” for the show, and even though writers like Frank Bruni seem to think that it defines the way that the rising generation of women feel about sex, the network executives aren’t sure it’s that good.
And, if the first episode is any indication, it’s not. I say this with a twinge of envy-relief—and also with disappointment, because I find Lena Dunham to be really endearing, the kind of girl you’d immediately want to be friends with—but the show was dull, confusing, and myopic. “This is what middle-aged well-educated white people WANT to think 24-year-olds are like today!” I thought, as I continually checked the clock from 10:33pm until 11:04pm, waiting for the minute when I could, with good conscious, turn off the television and go to sleep.
Because from the moment that Lena appeared on the screen as Hannah, a young woman from the Midwest who has been living on her parent’s dime in New York for the past two years, to the first time she referenced how hard it is to get a job in this economy—in the publishing industry, no less, which doesn’t even pay living wages for its executives, thereby rendering a quest for a salary almost superfluous— to the awkward, uninspired sex between Hannah and her worm bellied loser of a lover, to the final scene in which Hannah, on her own, walks bravely past a TAXI CAB, Carrie-style, towards the subway, I was fucking bored.