There has been a lot of hubbub about this show Girls. I don’t use the word hubbub very often, so this is special. Girls has been getting kudos for being the ultimate show for the 20-something year old women out there. The thirty-somethings had Sex and the City – Girls is our show before we level-up a decade. The main ‘girl’ Hannah Horvath claims early on that she is the voice of our generation, and the actress for Hannah/creator of the show Lena Dunham seems to believe the same thing.
As a young female, I was curious to see a show dedicated to my demographic. I decided to delve into the two seasons (wrapped up on March 17th). What I expected was a younger and “hip” Sex and the City with equally bad sexual puns in an effort to regenerate a stale premise. No, that’s The Carrie Diaries, whose mere existence makes me cringe. With Girls, I got something different. Sure, you could pin them as a Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte if you wanted, but the show offers a more stripped down version of SATC. There is less glamour and more delusion. These young characters have dreams and hopes without the means to follow through. They’re flailing in life and the show doesn’t try to whitewash that.
But as for representing my generation, I don’t think so. These girls have a degree of privilege that can’t be considered relatable. They immediately get work and book deals, which everyone who has ever been on the hunt for work or publication knows is bull shit. They show up to work whenever they feel like it or don’t work and still manage to feed themselves. They drop by fancy parties and buy cocaine. You know, stuff you do on a budget. Whenever I watch the show I get the feeling that the characters, or at least the actresses, have owned at least one pony. Or had a summer home. Voice of my generation – dear God, I hope not.
The one thing that works for Girls is a little weird, and some might not like hearing it. It’s the sex. It’s awkward and not up to-par to some of the hot action that HBO usually shows. The girls do not define my age group, but I feel like their sex lives speak to us on a strange level. Sex isn’t like it is on most television shows. It doesn’t usually involve two perfect hairless beings with olympic stamina and flattering candlelit rooms. No one wants to admit it, but sex can be awkward and embarrassing. That’s normal. Girls represents this with vigor. There is the desperate attempt to lose one’s virginity after high school (take that, American Pie franchise). There is sex during the final days of a dwindling relationship. There is the reminder of protection, the fear of pregnancy, and the anxiety over STIs. Everything we want to brush aside while escaping in TV-land is put right in our faces with Girls. If most HBO is the perfect fantasy with six-packs and orgasms galore, Girls is the sex with your socks on. It’s the sex on the couch that you have to rush because your parents will be visiting at any minute. It’s the sex we all have, but we don’t expect on television.
So, Girls might not be the voice of my generation. It might not be a universal representation of what it’s like to be a young female trying to find her way in the world. But Girls perfectly represents sex for a young person, and even for a person in general. No one wants to be bad at sex. But sexual prowess is subjective, it changes with every situation and lover. You can’t be amazing every single time. And as much as an ego-bruiser as that is, it’s true. As lovers, maybe we’re all just a little insecure. Maybe we’re all fumbling or imperfect. It’s something that no matter what age you are, you can still feel anxious or unsure of. In the bedroom, we may be women but we still feel like girls.