What I’m Watching: Girls

I’m trying to remember when I first heard about Girls. It might have been when that whole ridiculous Lena Dunham abuse thing came out. Or maybe just that I kept seeing her name everywhere.

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Anyway, Girls hit my radar a while back and just a few months ago I finally got around to watching the first episode. You know that thing where you meet some bloke and just know he’s The One? Well, Girls was like that for me. Minutes in and I was hooked. End of Season Four and I’m still bewitched and desperate for more.

I am totally in awe of Lena Dunham. Mostly her prodigious talent – she writes, directs and stars in the show as twenty-something Hannah, stumbling through her life in New York. This, however, is so not Friends. Yes, it’s funny but with a humour that’s subtle and bittersweet. There’s nothing cute or staged about Girls. It’s gritty and realistic, subtle and serious.

Hannah is an extraordinary creation: selfish and neurotic, sensitive and kind, plain yet alluring, clever and dumb. Dunham as Hannah unfolds herself so openly and guilelessly, you can hardly believe she had the guts to do it. She strips frequently, laying bare her ‘imperfect’, so-not-Hollywood body with as little inhibition as she does her soul.

Okay, I get it. Hannah is fictional. She’s not Dunham. But you can’t create a character that convincing, that complex, that completely fucked-up unless you contain all those things yourself. Or at least have a more than nodding acquaintance with them. Whatever. Autobiography or fiction, Girls is something to savour, preferably alone, so you can focus on it undisturbed.

Seriously, it’s that good.

 

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