HBO’s ‘Girls’ divides a generation

by Jamie Ballard

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Nearly every entertainment outlet and millennial-aimed site (looking at you, Thought Catalog) has published an article or two about the latest season of “Girls.” Overall, the response continues to be lukewarm at best.

The show has always been divisive, and it absolutely panders to a certain demographic. This isn’t to say it excludes anyone outside said demographic, but the show undoubtedly strikes more of a chord with upper-middle class women in their 20s. I like the show because it does feel realistic in a way that’s sometimes uncomfortable in its accuracy then again, I’m part of the crowd actress/creator/ and frequent director Lena Dunham seems to be catering to.

When Hannah (Dunham) says something such as “I hold the keys to the prison that is my mind,” or Marnie (Allison Williams) remarks, “But I’m on a journey. And it’s my journey, and I’m OK,” I get it. These are basically the same sentiments I exchange with friends in the dorms and I overhear around campus. Are they pretentious, silly comments that we’ll later cringe at? Maybe, but who cares? As Hannah says, “I’m an individual and I feel how I feel when I feel it.”

“Girls” draws flack because at its inception, it was hailed as a representation of every 20-something’s life. Clearly, it’s not. But it does speak to some, including me. Dunham holds up a mirror, and sometimes the reflection is uncomfortable. But life is awkward and uncomfortable, much like the season’s opening scene in the cafe, where Hannah and Adam (Adam Driver) run into Adam’s ex, Natalia (Shiri Appleby). Natalia and her friend come over to yell at Adam, who abruptly cut off contact, and by extension, Hannah. It’s some of the most uncomfortably hilarious television I’ve seen. But it’s a situation that’s played out for a lot of people, and will continue to do so.

Sometimes young people are selfish, self-involved and financially dependent on their parents. Relationships are messy, and problems aren’t raised and resolved in a half-hour episode. It’s reality for some people, and it’s the reality reflected in “Girls.” As someone raised on shows such as “Gossip Girl” and “Glee,” I think it’s time for something real.

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