Joan Didion’s “Goodbye to All That” is so often imitated it has become a trope, and so too, on a smaller and more time-sensitive spectrum, has the Girls takeaway op-ed. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with either. Both essay types touch on popular and ever-relevant themes (leaving New York; saying goodbye to something that was, if not good, fleeting and romantic; youth; the ends of eras). As well, both are opportune springboards for poetic meanderings about the hopes and dreams of a generation of young people (not to mention gauging the self-awareness of Didion and Dunham).
It’s been six years, and New York is a whole different world from what it was in 2012 (a MetroCard swipe was 50 cents cheaper, for one thing), and, like the protagonist’s of Girls, it’s relatively unclear if the changes have been for the better. The show has polarized the internet and been held up as both an example of deplorable white privilege and a battle cry of normalization for women’s bodies. Viewers have crawled out of the woodwork to voice their say on Girls, and the takeaway essays run the gamut from tone-deaf and dismissive to heartfelt to powerful. Love it or hate it, it’s clear Lena Dunham has succeeded in spreading her message far and wide, although just because you’re one of the louder voices in the room doesn’t mean you represent a generation.
Here are our favorite Girls takeaway pieces (not including our own), the cream of the crop ranked from least insightful to most resounding. (more…)
All the women who independent, throw your hands up at me, unless you’re holding a baby, in which case, please be careful! The final episode of Girls was all about letting go — of relationships, of obligation, of whatever you thought maturity looked like.
While many would argue that last week’s penultimate episode felt much more like a fitting, traditional finale, this week’s three-character play set out to give closure to a few of Girls’ running themes, instead of adding any additional flourishes to individual characters’ storylines. As you may have already read, we’d seen the last of Elijah, Ray, Adam, Jessa and Shosh, leaving us with Marnie, Loreen, Hannah, plus one. (more…)
According to pop culture lore, Brooklyn was founded by Miranda Hobbes of the Manhattan Hobbes, when she bravely planted a Manolo Blahnik across the bridge and settled the land in 2004. The borough became home to pantsless hipsters and multiple broke girls until 2012 when Hannah Horvath appeared and single-handedly drove up rent prices, put a cupcake ATM on every corner and made everyone start loving that Icona Pop song.
OK, so maybe that last one is true, but the rest is clearly bullshit. Blaming Girls for the rapid gentrification of certain Brooklyn neighborhoods is like blaming Austria’s loss at the Battle of Marengo on Napoloeon Crossing the Alps. But that hasn’t stopped folks from falsely attributing rising rents, the proliferation of Pinterest-ready dessert trends and the influx of hipster derivatives to the HBO series. (more…)
An appropriate reaction to the fine china wall art hanging behind. Photo via HBO
When HBO’s Girls wraps its sixth and final season on Sunday, it’ll leave a cronut-shaped hole in the cultural discourse. The dramedy that launched a thousand think-pieces will surely spawn at least a few more posts of wide-eyed wonderment pondering what the series ultimately says about women, about millennials, about Brooklyn, about cupcake ATMs, and on and on.
As we stare over our own laptop screens into middle-distance asking if these Girls will ever finally become Women, we turned to someone with a bit more perspective on the series.
Alex Karpovsky is an actor (Tiny Furniture) and filmmaker (Rubberneck, Red Flag) best know as the cantankerous Ray Ploshansky on Girls. On a show where every other character appears to be in a contest of who can truly embody “the worst,” Ray’s been a Brokelyn-approved breath of reality and reverence for our fair borough.
We chatted with Ray about his time living in Greenpoint, his favorite way to save money in Brooklyn and the legacy of Girls. Check out his favorite neighborhood haunts and how he’s seen Brooklyn change in our interview below. (more…)
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday, unless your yesterday is full of narcissistic monster children desperately clinging to squalor and unhealthy relationships like they’re the mark of a life well lived. Saying goodbye is at the heart of last night’s Girls episode, appropriately titled, “Goodbye Tour.”
Hannah’s facing the prospect of bidding adieu to her friends, her “friends,” her apartment, the city, the streets full of human shit, because she has somehow inexplicably been offered an insane sounding job at some anonymous liberal arts school upstate. Turns out, cranking out a few thinkpieces on the internet can not only make you a viral sensation, earn you a book deal, get you paid thousands of dollars by brands being an “influencer,” but it also somehow makes you a fucking academic now? Cool. (more…)
Baby, it’s not over ’til it’s over, except maybe even then it’s not really over until you find your pregnant ex in a pile of freeze-pops and spend the day playing parent-to-be until you’re both sobbing over soup in a greasy spoon.
That’s the crux of this week’s episode of Girls (with the on-the-nose title “What Will We Do This Time About Adam?”). The titular actor begins by explaining to Jessa that he has to pursue his true feelings for Hannah and ask her to raise this baby with her. (If we had to sit through his awful movie, we might start questioning a lot of our life choices, too.)
Jessa takes the news that he’ll be offering his paternal services (that sounds gross) to Hannah … well? Or at least it seems. He heads out into the sticky Brooklyn heat to find Hannah battling a busted AC by stuffing her dress full of freeze-pops at the local bodega. He tells her he wants to help raise the baby, and Hannah overcomes her initial shock to accept. (Blame the heatstroke.)
These dogs could all be you. Via Flickr user F Delventhal
Having your own public access show is the dream of every teenager circa 1992, but as it turns out, it’s a surprisingly attainable dream in 2017 Brooklyn. New York has several public access channels and not only are they full of hidden gems, they’re also very open to giving television shows to people with something to say (read: You). Plus, with public broadcasting looking down the barrel of a rather unfriendly national budget proposal, we here at Brokelyn thought it as good a time as any to take stock in our fair city’s rich public access television scene. (more…)
It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything
You can’t keep a good man down, but you can keep a bad man from keeping you down. Or at least that seems to be the lesson Hannah, Elijah and Marnie are learning.
After his last performance received rave review (yes, singular) at a high-end retail boutique, Elijah is ready to move on to his next role. This time he’s auditioning for a role in a workshop of White Men Can’t Jump: The Musical. It’s the part he was born to play, as a milk-white gay boy who hasn’t touched a basketball since making skin-to-skin contact with one back in the sixth grade.
The last time he auditioned for anything, it was a commercial announcing the arrival of stuffed crust pizza at Papa John’s. Now he’s got to deal with nerves and a romantic crisis. His ex-boyfriend Dill shows up at his door in the throes of a PR nightmare. Apparently he’s been trying to adopt, but only white babies, and only on the black market. Yikes. (more…)
The more things change, the more things stay the same, except for Hannah, I guess. Her life is facing a slew of changes, and it seems like she’s not only changing too, but changing for the best.
We begin with a very typical salad dinner for Marnie that Hannah has orchestrated to tell her about her pregnancy. (Literally the only carb Marnie could stand at dinner is Hannah’s bun in the oven.) Shockingly, Marnie takes the news of Hannah’s impending motherhood pretty well. It’s not until they disagree over informing the father that the typical sharp edges of their friendship show through. (more…)
What do you get the mom that has nothing? Weed gummies, obviously.
Ready or not, here comes mama. Mama’s talkin’ loud, mama’s doin’ fine, except she’s really not doing fine at all. It’s more like Mama’s eating too many weed gummies and vomiting in Chinese restaurants. Let’s see Bernadette Peters try that.
Hannah’s mom Loreen is in town, and she’s in rough shape. These days she’s got a sweet medical marijuana hookup, and spends her lonely days stoned. As she munches on her first gummy worm, Hannah drops the bomb that she’s pregnant. Loreen reacts with a ton of chill, because she realizes Hannah feels like this really is her baby. (more…)