It was the fury surrounding the lack of racial diversity in GIRLS that introduced me to the show. Initially I was only familiar with the faults of the first series and this almost put me off altogether. However, a drama so popular that exclusively focuses on four female protagonists is obviously intriguing.
Now I’ve caught up with the second series and am glad I gave Lena Dunham’s effort a chance. As Stephanie Rogers writes on Bitch Flicks: “It sort of blew my mind to hear women talk to one another about abortion, HPV, colposcopies, virginity, and menopause, like, repeatedly—and with no unnecessary mansplainy perspective involved.” Exactly. It is so refreshing to see interpretations of female characters that aren’t trivialised, sexualised or roles painfully limited. The significance of this can’t be underestimated.
Apart from being privileged, I can relate to some of the personal/professional scenarios that the twenty-something characters find themselves in and this most definitely influences my enjoyment for GIRLS. It’s likely that the show’s core audience also find themselves dissecting their identity and pondering the true purpose of their lives; just Hannah et al have the economic start-up, looks and opportunities to allow all of the experimentation, floundering and self-indulgence it apparently takes to find solutions to these issues.
What I love about the show is how Lena Dunham manages to present endearing characters whilst subtly making fun of the their minor struggles and social trivialities. Yet I imagine that for every girl who finds herself laughing in recognition with Hannah, Marnie, Jessa or Shoshanna there are others who take no enjoyment whatsoever in viewing the quirky lives of four white, New York hipsters.