Thursday, November 14, 2013

So I started watching "Girls"

By Anči

I know I'm a little late to the party here-- I only started watching "Girls" this past month.  (But that's because I take my show commitment's seriously, and I needed to finish processing Mad Men.)

Anyway we're not going to attempt an analyses or review here, because pretty much any observation I've made has already been unpacked on multiple blogs: the lack of people of color,  the amount of privilege written into the show, the quiet dignity of Lena Dunham's butt....

I do want however, to talk a bit about the reviews of the show--- some have been valid, but plenty have been startlingly unfair: The most infuriating charge being, that the characters on the show are immature, privileged and self-involved. Funny, you could say the exact same about Mad Men's Don Draper-- who is selfish, self-centered, wealthy, and on top of that an abusive alcoholic, raging misogynist, and pathological liar.
But unlike Dunham's alter ego Hannah Horvath, Draper also happens to be  charismatic, smooth and alpha-male enough to be forgiven for his shockingly shitty behavior. When Hannah acts self-involved (at the age of 24, compared to Draper's 40) we enjoy calling her out on it.  It's fun to snark on entitled bitches, isn't it? Especially if they also happen to be "fat."

This is what a real self-involved bitch looks like.

Draper on the other hand,  manipulates and berates everyone in his life in order to get his way...while maintaining his  identity as dapper, misunderstood, moody  and  "tortured" [boo hoo, I faked my entire identity, banged everyone's wife,  and now my life is really hard.]

Now I challenge you to find a single review that dreamily refers to Hannah as a "misunderstood tortured soul." Ten extra points for  additional  gushing adjectives like "mysterious." (You may not believe me, but Hannah Horvath is about exactly as mysterious as Don Draper: Why is she such a delicious mess of contradictions? It's a mystery.)

I'm not saying Hannah is a wonderful person. (Although frankly I like her, and I'd want to be friends with her. ) but the amount of backlash her character's been getting is starting to feel suspiciously gender-specific.  Because for all her flaws, the sheer amount of contempt and anger directed at this 24 year old white girl cannot possibly be justified. 

"I have my own show, a Golden Globe, and a book deal. What do you have, besides a prescription for Viagra??"

The biggest indicators of this misogynist girl-hate, were the ragey reactions to Hannah's fling with a character played by Patrick Wilson. In fact, Slate devoted an entire article to the episode... wherein two dudes expressed their mutual disgust and horror at the notion of a hot guy like Patrick Wilson wanting someone like Hannah Horvath. (a witty, adorable, sexually adventurous 24 year old? Blech!)

So time to unpack:

The article kicks off with the first injured reviewer whining: "Really, the whole thing left me baffled and uncomfortable. Why are these people having sex, when they are so clearly mismatched—in style, in looks..."

(Um, is this your first time watching TV? Are you really, that uncomfortable seeing a "mismatched" couple having sex? Did you react the same way when Mad Men's Roger married his 20 year old secretary - under much, much creepier circumstances?)

First reviewer then goes on to wonder: "Why is he kissing her and begging her to stay over?"
 (Oh I don't know, maybe because he's horny, he's attracted to her, and she seems to be willing?)

Second dude chimes in with a  version of "yeah, bro,"  stating: "Presumably there are things that Hannah would not, in any world that resembled our own, get. Such as Patrick Wilson, for instance."
(First of all beta boy, she's not banging Patrick Wilson,  she's banging his character Joshua, whom we know nothing about. And who are you to decide who Hannah can or can't get? Maybe she couldn't get you, (such a big loss for her, I know.) But I'm pretty sure you don't speak for every person in the world.)

Then we're back to First dude, who  procedes to call our Hannah out for being "Sexually ungenerous" (because, when a girl like that gets the opportunity to sleep with a hot guy, she needs to act gratefully  subservient, right?) His bases for this assessment is the awesome moment wherein Hannah tells Joshua "“no, make me come."(in response to his instructing her to "make [him] come" first. ) So its ungenerous when Hannah throws his original command back in his face? What if she had gone with it, would that have made Patrick Wilson's character sexually ungenerous? Also haven't these "reviewers" ever heard of sexual teasing, and power play? Lighten up, bros!

My favorite moment in this exchange comes next, when first dude brands Hannah "Defiantly ungraceful." aaaand queue the gaydar.
Okay, maybe its unfair to speculate about this guy's sexuality-- but if he can only get hot for a graceful black swan, then maybe.... he's not really into the ladies? All I'm saying is that If he had ever slept with a girl  he'd know that we don't spend our time waltzing around like flowers. We have belly fat that folds over when we sit, and sometimes we go days without putting on a shirt. (You're welcome.)


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