Like everyone else with HBO, or the ability to get on Pirate Bay, I have viewed the much-buzzed-about new series, “Girls.” “Girls” is about four early 20-something white chicks, presumably from privileged-enough backgrounds that they can walk around the city and sit around their seemingly decent apartments smoking cigarettes and weed in their fashionable consignment shop wear, bitching about their lives.
Do we need more shows about entitled white kids? Or are we all good now?
I want to like this show. Really. Seriously. It has the capacity to be good, but somehow the private-schooled, unpaid internship, finding yourself in north Brooklyn (aka Williamsburg and “Greenpoint,” as we learned last night, which is essentially the same thing with more Polish people and delis) preys on Every Little Thing I Fucking Hate About New York.
Way to go HBO. You’ve managed to make yet another precious show about NYC. See “Bored to Death,” the twee, adorable adventures of one Jonathan Ames (who is actually a decent writer), which has since been cancelled.
First thing: If you’re going to write about New York and its neighborhoods, please get your details right. The bars Weather Up and Washington Commons are in Prospect Heights, not Cobble Hill. Two completely different fucking neighborhoods—kind of like getting the Villages mixed up. BTW, both those bars suck.
Moving on… I don’t know what bothers me most about this show…the fact that it smacks of insider privilege from the get-go. Creator/Director/Writer Lena Dunham’s own history begins the problems: in addition to her own very precious background (artist parents, Oberlin), she got the series through her first indie film, “Tiny Furniture,” which means she was a film-making and being bankrolled instead of actually working through some shitty, unpaid internships, whilst living in some rat-infested studio in Bed-Stuy.
Indeed, Dunham does exhibit talent for her medium—her characters get in very New York-y type situations, say funny, clueless things—but, I guess after years of living in a city, struggling to pay bills and survive with a shred of dignity instead of waking up with female condoms on my doorstep, I’m tired of hearing this NY story: Rich kids move to city; “struggle” through demeaning jobs (not really); don’t get what they want; repeat.
One of the show’s promo clips even shows Dunham saying to herself in the mirror: “You are from New York. You are automatically more interesting than other people.” Or something like that. People actually believe this shit about themselves, it’s just that this joke isn’t funny anymore. Especially when you’re surrounded by these kids.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I am incredibly suspect of anyone who hasn’t had to have a shitty gig at least once in his or her lifetime. To this effect, the most annoying character in Episode One, Mr. Brooklyn—the overeducated, non-stop talking, vintage sweater-wearing know-it-all—spits out something along the lines of “You guys have no idea what problems are. I have $50K in student loans,” whilst mixing up some opium tea. If Mr. Brooklyn is your Common People Touchstone, you got fucking problems.
Is it the incessant whining about their miniscule problems? Endless self-absorption? Or inability to make decisions and stand up for themselves? I don’t know. All I know is that I had to have more balls than this at 22.
So, TV, enough with these Entitled White Kid NY Stories. Here are some shows I’d like to see:
1. Kenny Powers takes over managing his hometown Wal-Mart.
2. The Norma Rae story gets a 21st century facelift—factory workers (oh, wait, are there American factories left?) who make a few bucks above minimum wage on the night shift get into silly antics, meth.
3. Overseas volunteers near some refugee camps navigate 12-year-olds with semi-automatic weapons, diarrhea and teaching people how to use female condoms. It could be called “NGO.”
4. “Johnny F.: Pool Boy.” A 30-something man who services pools in the Hamptons’ raucous experiences with Real Housewives, exotic pets, marble saunas and diaper sex.
5. “The Young Ones: The New York Years.” Find four fuckwits trying to pay their rent in NYC: a bike messenger, a wannabe chef who’s slinging sandwiches at a greasy spoon, a truck driver and an unemployed. Throw together in an unheated, bed-bug ridden, industrial loft in East Bushwick. Make one of them sleep behind a sheet in the corner of the apartment and pee in a bucket. Repeat.
Or just bring back Roseanne.