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Girls: Voice of Her Generation


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#1

Scrb

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Posted Apr 14, 2012 @ 1:10 PM

Starting tomorrow, just after the East Bound and Down finale.

NPR Fresh Air reviewed raved about the dialogue which is "so good."

Comparisons will be made to Sex and the City but these are about Brooklyn girls still becoming somebodies. Shows about young single women trying to make it in the big city harken back to the Mary Tyler Moore Show and That Girl.

But the NPR reviewer compares this show more to Louie, as it's also written, acted and produced by a brilliant writer. Lena Dunham plays the main role, got the show based on a movie she wrote and directed.
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#2

hardy har

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Posted Apr 14, 2012 @ 9:00 PM

I'm glad there's a thread for this, but shouldn't it be in the Sitcoms and Other Yukky stuff section? Anyway, there's a bit in the promos that goes something like:

Girl 1: I'm in a really good place now.
Girl 2: Oh, yeah, everything you own is in trash bags in my kitchen.

That makes me laugh so much. Probably because I've more or less been on both sides of that exact conversation.

Edited by hardy har, Apr 14, 2012 @ 9:01 PM.

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#3

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Posted Apr 14, 2012 @ 9:05 PM

Well Californication is in Dramas.

It seems to be a dramedy and seems to have more serious moments than a typical sitcom.
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#4

kiseki

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Posted Apr 15, 2012 @ 2:12 AM

Created by and starring Lena Dunham ("Tiny Furniture"), the show is a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their early 20s. Dunham wrote and directed the pilot of the series, which she executive produces along with Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner.† The cast also includes Jemima Kirke, Allison Williams, Adam Driver and Zosia Mamet.† Episodes were shot in New York. The ten-episode season debuts in 2012.


http://www.youtube.c...h?v=GwG48qbkfHk

No thread yet? Really? It premieres tonight at 10:30.

Despite the lack of POC and my jealousy of Lena Dunham, I'm "eagerly anticipating" this show. I liked Tiny Furniture a lot and the previews look amusing.
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#5

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Posted Apr 15, 2012 @ 2:19 AM

I created a thread in the Dramas section.

Not fully sitcom, not fully drama.
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#6

TWoP Howard

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Posted Apr 15, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

I think itís a slightly better fit for this category, so Iím closing the one in Dramas and directing traffic here.

#7

bulldawgtownie

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Posted Apr 15, 2012 @ 12:17 PM

The ironic thing about the inevitable Sex and the City comparisons is that IMO Lena Dunam was making subtle digs at that show in the extra where she talks to Judd Apatow about Girls. She says she hates the archtypes that have been created for female characters like the sexually confident/sex obessed one and in a different extra she mentions that one of the original titles of the show she thought up was "Tampons in the City"(which I would have loved}. Anyway from the clips I saw this show looks hilarious. And on a shallow note Allison Williams is gorgeous, from now on whenever I see Brian Williams I'll only be able to think how he produced an insanely hot daughter.

Edited by bulldawgtownie, Apr 15, 2012 @ 12:22 PM.

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#8

hardy har

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Posted Apr 15, 2012 @ 10:25 PM

Anyway from the clips I saw this show looks hilarious. And on a shallow note Allison Williams is gorgeous, from now on whenever I see Brian Williams I'll only be able to think how he produced an insanely hot daughter.

She just happened to be on Letterman's show after Keith Olbermann's facepalmy interview. She was pretty damn charming.
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#9

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Posted Apr 15, 2012 @ 10:37 PM

I like this show. I like the fact that Hannah (?) is relatively plain looking and is relatable to a lot of young women her age (yes, I know, having one's parents support them well after one turns 18 is a privilege, but it's a kind of privilege that isn't unrealistic - it's not like she's 24 and has a closet full of Louboutins, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs) especially considering her job situation. I would have liked it more if they had a character who was living with her parents (and hating it)... Sorry, Mad Men, but Sunday nights are now reserved for The Girls!

Edited by PRgal, Apr 15, 2012 @ 10:38 PM.

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#10

Princess Aldrea

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Posted Apr 15, 2012 @ 11:24 PM

The pilot wasn't really funny, just awkward and uncomfortable.
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#11

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 12:50 AM

I'm not a Dunham fan but I watched anyway. I didn't laugh once. The only character I liked was Mamet's, but I'll watch another ep to see if it's just a pilot that tried too hard.
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#12

Agnes Bean

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 12:53 AM

I like the fact that Hannah (?) is relatively plain looking and is relatable to a lot of young women her age


See, my biggest problem with the pilot is that, as a (white) young, semi-hipstery woman Hanna's age literally living in Brooklyn with parents that do help support me a bit (though I have a job), I actually didn't relate to her at all. I'm going to keep watching the show because it has an interesting POV and I like that it does capture the ascetics of Brooklyn (and actually has small apartments!), but I think the marketing push to make this show seem like it might speak to the experiences of a generation, or even a specific subset of a generation, might end up getting a lot of backlash. I think I would have enjoyed this pilot more if I were just expecting a quirky look at the world through Lena Dunham's eyes, and not something that I was going to relate to, emotionally. Because I really didn't relate to almost any of these girls (maybe Hanna's roommate a LITTLE), and almost no one on the show reminded me of anyone I know. They had the same issues on the surface, but their emotional reactions were kind of foreign to me.
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#13

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 1:27 AM

Not sure how long this is going to last but it shows it's own slice of NY, which is different from SATC, different from How to Make it in America, different from Bored to Death.

I liked all these shows.

Some of the other characters seem to have specific opinions -- the British chick, the guy defending McDonalds, the roommate talking about the totem of communications. Could be kind of a less glamorous Whit Stillman movie -- and not just because Chris Eigemann made an appearance.
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#14

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 8:18 AM

On a shallow note, Allison Williams is gorgeous--wish I looked like that! She has shiny, Kate Middleton-like hair.

As far as the actual show...
Well, that was overhyped. I'm 23 and living in a big city* and having my parents help out with living expenses during grad school but, like Agnes Bean, I didn't really relate or find it funny. The only time I came even somewhat close to laughing were Allison Williams' character wearing a retainer (b/c I still wear mine, although I think she was trying to gross out her boyfriend).

I don't blame Hannah's parents (my parents definitely would not be helping to support me if I didn't have health issues and wasn't in grad school to get a "real" job). Why couldn't Hannah find a paying job and write in her spare time (e.g. Ken Cosgrove on Mad Men)? Or even work part-time somewhere and intern part-time? Yes, that may mean working at McDonald's, but at least she'd be bringing in some money. And even if she had a super amazing book, wouldn't she have to pay for an agent to sell her book to a publisher? And why is someone in her mid-20's--whom I'm assuming hasn't had any major life experiences (and isn't a celebrity)--writing a memoir? Who's going to read it?

I know this is HBO, and maybe I'm just a prude, but I really didn't care for the sex scene. And the guy (Hannah's bf? fuck buddy?) seems douchey. If Allison Williams' character doesn't like her boyfriend, she should just dump him. I hate it when people stay with/go back to someone who they're not interested in or treats them badly.

Who was the couple that showed up to dinner? I hope they go more into the background of the girls and supporting players (like how they know each other).

I find it ironic that the girls are playing characters that are struggling financially. I read somewhere that Lena Dunham's parents are well-off and supported her after college, Allison is the daughter of Brian Williams, the British girl's father is a famous drummer, and Peggy's lesbian friend from Mad Men is the daughter of a famous playwright.

All that being said, I'll keep watching...

*Why does every show (especially a coming-of-age one) have to be in NYC? There are other big cities out there! Or, it can even take place in the suburbs or a small town!

Edited by Writer13, Apr 16, 2012 @ 8:28 AM.

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#15

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 8:54 AM

Peggy's lesbian friend from Mad Men is the daughter of a famous playwright.


David Mamet.

I agree this seemed overhyped, based on the first episode. Lena Dunham did not seem as good an actor as the rest of the cast, but I guess I can excuse it as being naturalistic.
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#16

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 9:03 AM

To quote Lena Durham's character: yeah, no.

I was never that into Sex and the City (although I did eventually watch the series on Netflix) but I thought I'd give this a try because I'm all for a show about women finding their places and figuring out who they are.

Unfortunately, I didn't find any of these characters likable. the opening scene really set the tone. How am I supposed to feel bad for an adult (who is later revealed to be 24 years old) who is upset that her parents are not going to be financially supporting her anymore. Cry me a fucking river. You want to be a writer? Write after work. Maybe having a job will give you more life experience to write about in your memoir.

I'm not saying she should give up on her dreams, but that doesn't mean her parents should be the ones funding it either, especially when she graduated from college two years ago. That she later had the audacity to ask them to give her $1100/month for another two years so she could write a book really annoyed me. Whether they can afford to or not isn't even a factor to me. Her parents should do whatever they want with their own money, whether that's buying a lakehouse or swimming in it Scrooge McDuck style. If you want to do something, then go do it yourself but don't get all pissy because your parents decided that it's time for you to pay your own rent. The "but I'm not a drug addict and could be doing much worse things" argument was just as bad as the "don't freak out but I think I'm the voice of my generation" argument. And what a thoughtful girl to steal $20 from the maid.

This show make Carrie Bradshaw & the other SATC girls seem a lot more likable in comparison.
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#17

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 9:06 AM

I don't blame Hannah's parents

I didn't blame them either, and Hannah's bratty, entitled reaction made me want to clock her. It was like when 30-year-old Monica had a tantrum that her parents wouldn't pay for her wedding on Friends. I loved when she all snottily said "I'm your only child, it's not like I'm draining your finances" and her mom shot back that she didn't know anything about their finances. It's one thing for parents to help their adult children over a rough spot, but to just assume they'll subsidize you forever while you write your memoir (and I agree, Hannah seems to be very average, so I don't know what the market would be for her memoir) is ridiculous. (Although unpaid internships that are really an excuse for employers to have free entry-level staff are complete, total, and utter bullshit. Run tell that.)

And the guy (Hannah's bf? fuck buddy?)

He's clearly her fuck buddy and Hannah wants more. Calling with an excuse to see him, saying she'd texted him and he hadn't responded and her friend saying he never responded, not-at-all subtly hinting that she wanted him to go along to the dinner ... all the signs are there. Been there, done that.

*Why does every show (especially a coming-of-age one) have to be in NYC? There are other big cities out there! Or, it can even take place in the suburbs or a small town!

NYC or LA. And I think it's because NYC and LA are where people go to "make it," or to "chase their dreams." I'm from a big city (Philly), and while it's a great city with a lot to do and some big industries (healthcare/pharma, law, education), people don't move there for its own sake. People go to school there and stay, or are raised there and stay/come back, or come for a specific job. (People DO get excited when they realize how much cheaper it is than every other major eastern seaboard city.) And I think many other big/mid-sized cities are that way. But people go to NYC and LA just to go.

I did like that they all live in small, crappy apartments - shows and movies that feature NYC always get that wrong.
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#18

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 9:24 AM

It's not uncommon for young college graduates to live in NY with finances partly or wholly subsidized by parents, isn't it?

They may or may not continue with money issues, though a lot of shows based in NY gloss over the cost of living in the city.

As for why NY, HBO may be looking for a show to replicate the success of SATC. Not sure this show will glamorize NY though, any more than 2 Broke Girls probably does. The only time they did is when Hanna wakes up in her parents hotel and it seems to be near Central Park.

NYC isn't just a generic big city. It brings a bunch of cultural baggage that most viewers are familiar with. It's almost a character in itself in some shows and movies.
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#19

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 9:30 AM

This show make Carrie Bradshaw & the other SATC girls seem a lot more likable in comparison.


From what I read, they're not necessarily aiming for likability, but complexity.
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#20

hardy har

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 10:20 AM

I think the marketing push to make this show seem like it might speak to the experiences of a generation, or even a specific subset of a generation, might end up getting a lot of backlash.

Heh. I read something with Dunham where she wondered that as well. Her attitude was this girl just asked for an insane allowance and she was high, of course she's not the voice of a generation. Then, HBO put it in the promos.

From what I read, they're not necessarily aiming for likability, but complexity.

That was my understanding as well. A lot of the reviews I read said that on a surface level you could maybe compare it to SatC, but comedy and overall tone-wise it was much closer to Louie.

Anyway. I dug it, so I'm in.

Edited by hardy har, Apr 16, 2012 @ 10:21 AM.

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#21

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 10:47 AM

It's interesting because I can relate to the situations, but not the characters' attitudes toward their situations. However, I didn't get the impression that we, as the audience, are supposed to feel sympathetic towards their problems. They're only problems because the characters make them so, and at the moment, they are wasting a lot of time being self-centered.

But the show disappoints for me in the same way that How to Make it in America did. It lacks compelling characters, and the odd, quirky hipster girl/guy is really played out for me. It'd be much more interesting to me to see people who are struggling with their identities and trying to come to terms with adulthood if they didn't focus on:

a) Kids who aren't out to bandwagon on whatever the latest trend is so they can make as much money while doing the least amount of work;

and/or

b) Kids whose income is being supplemented by their parents and seem to look at the world in two ways: 1) I am a success because I have a college degree and am working in my ideal position straight out of college. or 2) I am a failure because I have a college degree, cannot get hired in my field, and my only other option is to work at McDonald's (even though that's painfully untrue).

Edited by Parachutes, Apr 16, 2012 @ 10:48 AM.

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#22

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 11:04 AM

Who was the couple that showed up to dinner

They were invited to the party by the boyfriend, apparently he and the guy are best friends.

I agree that Hannah shouldn't expect her parents to support her but the fact is they were and then they suddenly told her they weren't which was a crappy thing to do. They could've at least given her a heads up and some time to get her self situated before cutting her off. I think they realized that too which is why they ultimately left her a couple hundred dollars before leaving.

I also agree that the characters aren't supposed to necessarily be likeable, just people, and I like shows like that. I was reminded of Seinfeld another show about a group of people I didn't like and the comedy was in their going through their everday lives and sometimes the things they talked about were important and sometimes it wasn't.

Edited by bulldawgtownie, Apr 16, 2012 @ 11:48 AM.

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#23

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 11:12 AM

The mother was the hardass, who wanted a lake house. But Hanna is suppose to be spoiled. Look at the way she was scarfing down the pasta and was going to order room service on her parents' hotel bill. Guess she's going to have to show some independence over the course of the show to become more sympathetic.

The casting of the father cracks me up a bit. Peter Scolari is doing some ED commercials on the radio out here. Guess Tom Hanks didn't help out his old Bosom Buddy -- I think Hanks produces some HBO shows, not just Band of Brothers.
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#24

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 11:19 AM

But the show disappoints for me in the same way that How to Make it in America did. It lacks compelling characters, and the odd, quirky hipster girl/guy is really played out for me. It'd be much more interesting to me to see people who are struggling with their identities and trying to come to terms with adulthood if they didn't focus on:

a) Kids who aren't out to bandwagon on whatever the latest trend is so they can make as much money while doing the least amount of work;

and/or

b) Kids whose income is being supplemented by their parents and seem to look at the world in two ways: 1) I am a success because I have a college degree and am working in my ideal position straight out of college. or 2) I am a failure because I have a college degree, cannot get hired in my field, and my only other option is to work at McDonald's (even though that's painfully untrue).


Too bad they don't have c: My "ethnic" (be it Italian, Chinese, Jewish, Greek or whatever) parents somewhat accept my "groovy lifestyle" and support me, but are constantly begging me to move back home in the suburbs instead of living in the "big scary city." (I know this well).
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#25

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 11:44 AM

I liked it. I'm way out of the age bracket but it feels different from most female portrayals. So, I'll keep watching it for a while.
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#26

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 12:12 PM

Watched the pilot and waffled between morbid curiousity and finding it obnoxious and irritating (for all of the problems others have already listed - I don't need to rehash it less eloquently).

I really liked Zosia Mamet on "Mad Men" and was surprised at how weak she was in this but then again, it was only the pilot. The character seems very forced and very meta - perhaps included to offset any SATC comparisons (which this show clearly isn't).

I'm finding the Lena Dunham character incredibly difficult to watch (I think she's a bad actress but then again, I'm not a fan of the mumblecore/whatever that style is that she comes from); I think she's terribly unattractive and I don't mean that physically - I mean her character is awful. Reminds me of the lead from Grey's Anatomy who I found irritating and couldn't watch as the show was from her POV. I wish Dunham wasn't so narcissistic to cast herself as the lead but this show is CLEARLY a vanity project.

I bypassed all of the hype, I'm lucky to say, and just started reading the ridiculously overpraised reviews (and conversely, the overly critical ones). It's simply not good enough to hate THAT much but I am finding the show unlikeable (and I do love me some Curb Your Enthusiasm).

I'll give it another episode or two but talk about much ado about nothing. This show doesn't deserve either the praise or the ire it incited. I won't be surprised if it's canceled after this season, if it continues to be as dour as the pilot was.

However, I LOVED seeing Brooklyn/NYC and streets that I was familiar with. So there's that. :)

ETA:
I should add that while I don't like Dunham's acting/character, I AM impressed by how much she has accomplished at a very young age. Just read that she's 25 and wow, to have done all of this by 25, good for her.

Edited by LoganTheHuge, Apr 16, 2012 @ 12:16 PM.

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#27

bulldawgtownie

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 12:16 PM

Can the title of this thread be amended to include, "or at least a voice of a generation"?
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#28

kiseki

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 12:41 PM

I liked the pilot a lot (I liked Tiny Furniture too) but I didn't find it nearly funny enough. There were a couple chuckle moments that made me smile but I didn't laugh once.

I also found the characters relatable even though I'm still in college and a POC. Struggle, aimlessness, and short-sightedness are not exclusively "white people problems". Also I am ashamed to admit I have used the "I could be a drug addict" line on my parents.

Edited by kiseki, Apr 16, 2012 @ 12:44 PM.

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#29

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 1:02 PM

I recommend reading the review on TWOP's homepage, it helped give me some more insight into the show that I hadn't thought about and thankfully includes the names of the characters.
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#30

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 1:14 PM

I wasn't terribly impressed with the pilot. I didn't find anything funny and also felt no sympathy whatsoever for the lead character. And that's another thing, I came away without knowing the name of a single character. I don't think that's ever happened to me before.
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