OMG did you watch? Will you watch today once it shows up online? Did you recognize the India Street, Greenpoint neighborhood where Lena Dunham’s character lives, or the one near St. John’s in Prospect Heights where her awkward sex friend lives? Did you see the Brooklyn Brewery product placement in the bodega scene? Did you cringe at the scene where Dunham’s Hannah asked her parents for an absurd amount of money to live off of ($1,100 a month) or did you cheer her along in brokester solidarity?
We all sat down to watch the premier last night and realized it is hard, as a website staffed by broke and struggling 20-and-30 somethings, to not take the hype (and there was a lot of it) around HBO’s new series Girls personally, and to expect something big. And all told last night, we were left feeling a little … flat, but curious enough to keep tuning in. This has been a year of shows aiming to capture the broke-in-Brooklyn lifestyle, from CBS’ ghastly 2 Broke Girls to MTV’s glossy and smooth version in I Just Want My Pants Back. Of these, there’s no doubt Girls at least goes for the gritty jugular, portraying awkward, unfulfilling sex scenes and a slice of urban female friendship that involves eating cupcakes in the tub. But is this generation doomed to forever be portrayed in popular media as some sort of whiny, un-self-sustaining succubus class with a sense of entitlement, a “generational minstrel show,” as Dave put it? Then again, would any of you watch a TV show about 24-year-olds who work at Trader Joe’s, take Gotham Writers’ Workshop classes at night and start three blogs to try to get their writing career off the ground?
It is slightly annoying that, especially here in Brooklyn, where the sense of entrepreneurship is high and many people chase down their dreams through back alleys of shitty jobs and hard scrabble, we have to keep seeing people on TV who expect things to be handed to them, and sulk when they’re denied.
More thoughts on the show, from our 11-member Team Brokelyn viewing last night, noting full well that all we have been treated to is a half-hour long pilot that may or may not be representative of the show’s arc as a whole:
-Apatow-influenced clever dialogue, with great throw-away lines like: “Watching this is like watching Clueless.” “The TV show or the movie?”; or ”I’m really not into eating this week.”
-Unlike Sex and the City, the show actually acknowledges that different classes of society exist and that everyone is not a cocktail swilling socialite. Karina says this is evident in a scene where Hannah talks about getting a job at McDonald’s, and the idea that she’s too good to work there. “This is at least acknowledging that there are different rungs,” she said.
-Lena Dunham seems like a real person, not a glamified version of a pretty young person. Faye says: “I think it’s cool that that chick has a show.”
-Is there another show that actually depicts young people dealing with financial issues? “I’ve never ever heard somebody confess that they’re getting support let alone being totally dependent on their parents,” Karina says. “People lie.”
-Hannah’s sense of entitlement portrayed in the pilot seemed to contain some cognitive dissonance: Brad says he saw this as different than in Tiny Furniture, in that instead of Dunham’s character getting what she wants via privilege, she’s portraying Hannah as a failed entitlement kid, and we’re not meant to cheer for her to get a handout from her parents.
-The line, from Hannah’s mother: “Get a job and start a blog.”
-Kelly, the 23-year-old in the room, was the only girl who didn’t particularly like the show, even though she’s a fan of Lena Dunham and her movie Tiny Furniture. “I feel likeTiny Furniture came a cross as more genuine,” Kelly said. “This came across as more douchey and classicst.”
-So far the characters are of dubious appeal. Kenji says: “I feel like this is just he TV version of the blog WhiteWine.com. It’s white people problems.” Eric said: “I don’t now long a show that doesn’t have anyone likable in it can be sustained.”
-Not enough sex. Brief nudity was too brief!
-It’s a show about struggling and not relying on your parents for support, starring four actors who all have very famous parents.
-But seriously, please at least try to get a job. Caroline says: I’m excited to see her character flail around a bit more and actually try. That hasn’t happened in the first episode.”
What did you think?