So I stayed home from work sick today. And in an effort to do something productive, I watched the pilot episode of “Girls.”
I wanted to like it. I did. This is a show about young women my age, who were born on the same floor of the socioeconomic skyscraper as me, trying to make their way in an economic climate and an expensive metropolitan area that feel very familiar. Sub in San Francisco for New York, and I’m very nearly there.
But I just can’t with this show. I can’t.
There are so many reasons why, and many of them have already been beautifully articulated elsewhere: the navel-gazing, the stilted writing, the breathtaking entitlement and reflexive brattiness of the main character, the fact that there are no non-privileged characters or people of color in this show’s version of New York City. But there’s something else, something that makes me squirm, that hasn’t really been discussed.
There’s been a whole lot of hullabaloo about this show being groundbreaking for showcasing a character who is “normal-looking” and not conventionally attractive. So why are all the other actresses on the show thin and feminine and TV-trope-familiar? Why is she the only one?