I have been excited about HBO’s new show Girls for months leading up to it’s premiere and I enjoyed the first episode on Sunday. What I didn’t expect was the show to be such a topic of conversation and controversy in the cultural zeitgeist. I have always admired those who take pretty much complete control of their creation – like Louis C.K. who wrote, directed, starred in and even edited Louie on FX. So that is what drew me to Lena Dunham and Girls. That and the fact that the plot involved somewhat broke twenty-somethings trying to survive after college.
The majority of reviews for the show have definitely been positive but it seems as if some people have serious gripes with the show. These include the show’s lack of diversity, the fact that the 4 leads of the show all have famous relatives and even some are complaining that it is hard to sympathize with the characters because they are over-privileged (a truth that the show is very self-aware of and even uses to help develop the characters).
People are entitled to their opinions, but it seems as if these criticisms are magnified because the show was created by and stars females. Why, every time a girl is behind a show or a movie, does it have to represent the entire gender? People need to stop projecting their gender issues on people like Kristin Wiig and now Lena Dunham. Bridesmaids was a really funny movie that got so much extra attention, both negative and positive, just because a female created it. Girls is going under that same microscope now. Bridesmaids was a really funny movie and Girls is a good show so far (at least the pilot was). End of story.
I almost feel bad for Dunham a little but then I remember that all this attention is exactly what she wants and will keep her show relevant for years. Not to mention, she has gotten a ton of positive reviews and accolades so there is plenty to be excited about for the 25 year old. I hope that we as a culture can just move past the fact that a female has created, written and starred in a comedy and just take it for what it is. It is an accomplishment for anyone to write and star in a show and it’s not like men who do the same suddenly feel they must represent their entire gender. Someday, reviews of shows like Girls will just be normal reviews – without the writer feeling it is mandatory to include the caveat that it was written by and stars a girl.