Lena Dunham’s new show, “Girls” debuted April 15 on HBO, and predictably it’s the new media darling for its awkward “honesty” and incredibly feminist plot. “Girls” is all about the woes and misery of idle youth and post-collegiate despair, and if Dunham really is “the voice of a generation,” as she claimed in the pilot (while high on drugs) then our future looks bleak.
In 30 minutes “Girls” managed to casually reference abortions, show graphic nudity and sex scenes and depict characters getting high on opium. Upcoming episodes will include sexually transmitted diseases and a masturbation scene (starring Allison Williams, daughter of NBC News’ Brian Williams – Dad must be so proud!).
Hannah’s (played by Dunham) tired “struggling artist” trope came off as selfish and smelling strongly of Occupy Wall Street entitlement, since she expected to keep freeloading off her professor parents. In arguing that her parents shouldn’t cut her off, Hannah proved that her real poverty – and that of “Girls” overall, is moral. Hannah told her mother she “knew a girl who had two abortions in a row” because her parents stopped supporting her.
Apparently “Girls” will tackle the issue of abortion in upcoming episodes when British jet-setter Jessa (played by Jemima Kirke) discovers she is pregnant. Predictably, it doesn’t seem like the show will bring any moral intelligence to the situation, as the preview showed Hannah wondering, “What was she going to do? Have a baby and take it to her baby-sitting job? That’s not realistic.”
Presumably, that honesty includes dialogue punctuated with profanity and themes that equate sexual exploration and promiscuity with a woman’s “freedom and identity.” And within the first 15 minutes, “Girls” inflicted an explicit and explicitly awful sex scene on viewers.
And that’s the most disturbing thing about “Girls”: the reaction from women reviewers. Lefty women writing in Mother Jones, the Huffington Post and Rolling Stone fawned endlessly over how “painfully true” the series is.
In the Huffington Post, Crystal Bell gushed, “as a young twentysomething female writer living in New York City, I can tell you that I relate to Hannah (Dunham) -- the extremely self-aware, but deeply vulnerable writer at the center of "Girls" -- far more than other character on TV.”
In Rolling Stone, Halle Kiefer defended the sex scene above, writing, “people, are you out there right now? Seems like someone is romanticizing all the terrible, terrible intercourse that comes with being young and sexual active. Some good-looking idiot bumbling around and peacing out immediately after seems pretty ripped from the sexual headlines to me.”
If Bell and Kiefer are to be believed, a large subset of young American women live in a banal, self-inflicted moral desolation, short on dignity and purpose. The question is why would they applaud “Girls” for holding up a mirror to such an ugly world?