I know this is a cliche topic; after all, it’s hard to miss the fact that Lena Dunham’s new show, Girls, premiered last night and is still available on HBO for future streaming. I’ve seen Tiny Furniture–
In case you haven’t heard, Tiny Furniture is about a college graduate who moves back into her family’s swanky New York apartment, only to find that things aren’t the way they always were (if you want a vague, Netflix-esque description. Speaking of which, it’s on Netflix for instant stream, which I highly recommend.) And it was great. It’s realistic, and I know, it sounds so cliche (I feel like I should just get it tattooed on my wrist or something, I use it a little excessively but more feel it than anything else) but I felt like I knew the people in the film. Like her sister could have been my sister (even though I have a younger brother who smells like shit, but that’s besides the point) or her mother could have been one of my hipster friend’s mothers. All the white drawers and the red wine and the way that Lena Dunham acts are the most authentic things I’ve seen since my father’s toe hair.
I didn’t see Girls when it aired, unfortunately, as I had other things to do (i.e., my homework and watching Mad Men, which by the way, was satisfying. It was the first time in a while that Don hadn’t done anything particularly idiotic and I was pleasantly surprised by that.) I watched it on HBO tonight and it was great. The way sex was approached (because even for twenty somethings it’s just not done right) was really refreshing. Obviously it’s complicated but I guess it shouldn’t have to be. Hannah, the character Lena Dunham plays is flawed but is also still a great character and is absolutely hilarious, whether it be unintentional or not. While the dialogue and characters were fabulous, there is one thing that I don’t think she addressed well–diversity.
Listen, I know. It’s a great show. And I’m young, I don’t have any right to go critiquing people’s work, but it sucks to be a racial minority and to either be not represented or worse, misrepresented, in the media over and over again. I understand that the actresses all happening to be white probably isn’t intentional–after all, the acting is really authentic but I mean, just 1 person who isn’t white? Just one? I sound negative, but white people often act like if they acknowledge racial prejudices, that makes them better people. While it is certainly good and beneficial to recognize injustice, it doesn’t make people deserve a cookie. Change shouldn’t hand people cookies either–what I’m trying to say is, I’ve read people acknowledging this fact but not bothering to go further into it. And I just mean in general, it needs to be dealt with and I sort of wish that was included in this show. I read an article on Jezebel recently about it and as much as I liked the show, I totally agree. Also, I can relate to it. I’m white, privileged, and at least partially heterosexual–that’s not to say that people of color can’t relate to the show, but because of my being like Dunham and the rest of the cast, I am more blind to the exclusion of people of color and so are other white privileged viewers. I think that this is a problem . I think that although the show is a funny, interesting, and refreshing idea, it’s just not realistic. In addition to that, I defend my love and adoration of Tiny Furniture because it’s about her life and in her life, there probably aren’t many people who are black or Asian or other races. That film was about her and her family played the main characters. It’s a different matter when you have a show that’s supposed to be representative of women in their twenties, when in reality, it’s not for a lot of the population.
I’m not bashing the show, because other shows have done the same fucking thing over and over again, and time and time again. Being from Los Angeles, the issue is like the San Andreas Fault: we think about it now and then, and when we do, we freak out, so we ignore it until it becomes a big problem. It’s 2012. This just shouldn’t be an issue any more. Either white people praise themselves for doing something progressive (ew) or they just don’t do anything progressive (double ew). There is a third option–that option is known as educating yourself on people who aren’t as privileged as you are and realizing that shows like this aren’t necessarily “bad”; they’re just not progressive. And they act like they are sometimes. And they’re not.
In other news, I don’t have HBO. I suppose I could ask for it as some sort of birthday present, but hopefully it’ll be available on Netflix or Hulu at some point. I’d love to have HBO, but I already go to an expensive school and try to eat well, so that’s already a lot of money.
Here’s the URL for the full viewing of the 1st episode
Here’s a great article everyone should read about the politics of such shows