By Megan Whalen
Last December, after my good friend raved about “Girls” on HBO, I immediately watched the first episode and proceeded to watch the whole first season. To say that I enjoy this show is a grave understatement, and it seems that Hollywood agrees.
With several Golden Globe nominations and wins this year, “Girls” is a sleeper hit with wit and charm to spare. The show was created by Lena Dunham, who seemingly came out of nowhere and made us fall in love with her.
She plays Hannah, an aspiring writer fresh out of college who cannot seem to find a steady job or a real boyfriend. Hannah is the “every girl.” She is plump, cute, funny and vastly insecure. While watching, you cannot help but feel as if Dunham incorporates aspects of her own personality into Hannah’s character.
This makes for a startlingly realistic performance that serves as the show’s backbone and won Dunham the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series.
The show is much like “Sex and the City,” without the designer brands. It is set in New York City and follows the lives of four 20-something women who are struggling to navigate the job market, romance and friendship.
At its heart, it is an honest look at what happens after college and the fact that, in our economy, not all dreams are attainable right away. Both Hannah and her best friend Marnie (Allison Williams) struggle to keep their heads afloat in industries that are simply not hiring.
Both girls commit themselves to unhealthy romantic relationships and struggle to discover what they want and deserve from romantic partners.
Although, as a senior in college, it is terrifying to watch this show, it is also refreshing to see an original take on the lives of young women in their twenties.
While some shows and movies idealize this time of life, “Girls” chooses to represent it with no holds barred. Not all of us can be Carrie Bradshaw making a living writing in the Upper West Side.
While Hannah and Marnie take the lead roles, the other girls, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet), complete the foursome. Jessa, complete with a British accent and fierce sexual appetite, is the fearless, in-your-face counterpart to the other three girls, particularly Shoshanna.
A virgin in a sea of women who seem to constantly be having sex, Shoshanna is sweet-tempered and big-hearted. Her charm is increased by her hyperactivity, shyness and adventuresome spirit, which is only revealed at rare points.
She is the kind of girl you want to root for, and she seems to be flourishing more in the second season than in the first.
In the tradition of other popular HBO shows such as “True Blood” and “Game of Thrones,” the nudity and explicit sexual scenes in “Girls” are often gratuitous. In a recent episode, Lena Dunham donned a neon green mesh shirt with nothing underneath.
Although a show that attempts to realistically depict the lives of women in their twenties must include sex, it seems as if some of the scenes are thrown in simply for the sake of showing a little skin. They rarely add much to the plot.
“Girls” is a “Sex and the City” for a newer, more intellectual generation. The show casts a realistic light on young adult life and all the humor and heartbreak that go with it.
We are hungry for witty writing and characters we can connect with, and “Girls” provides just that.