From the baths and abortions with each other to the morally questionable inter-dating to the tentative reconnecting, GIRLS will always hold a special place in my heart. Even though it’s fictional, GIRLS somehow reveals more about life than life itself.
Probably one of the most controversial aspects of GIRLS that I very much appreciated is that it’s unapologetically all about women who are desperately flawed and egocentric and weird and awkward and inelegant and even *gasp* unlikeable. A far cry from most of the 2D cardboard cutouts strutting around on television, GIRLS features casts of characters that while yes, their characterizations are highly variable, and yes, sometimes they can be very truthful in their representation of American women, more often than not they’re a spectacle to behold, falling all over themselves in a hot mess not many can behold without looking away to wince. Disney taught me that girls were bossy and funny and always right, but GIRLS taught me that girls could be weird and unfunny and flat-out wrong.
Then of course, there’s the sex. To say it’s just awkward is to simplify it — a lot of imperfect, not-very-sexy moments occur when characters are getting down and dirty, and Dunham seems to look at you pointedly with this fact. While in all the other scenes on TV characters seem like they’re having the best, most extraordinary sex of their lives, Dunham’s characters seem like they’re as uncomfortable as those of us watching them. And I love it! It was the only show that I can name off the top of my head that pulls the sheets off of sex and reveals that it (really!) can be done by everyday people and beautiful people alike.
And their numerous lessons on relationships (I could honestly link a thousand different articles on “What GIRLS Taught Me About Love”) are honestly unbeatable. Dunham answered the questions of friends with benefits, opposites attract, and nice guys, all while a thousand different Tumblr gif sets and think pieces were hastily created hailing Lena Dunham as truly “the voice of our generation.”
Oh, and that person whose career trajectory you’re so jealous of? Yeah, you might think otherwise, but they can be jealous of you, too. Tally’s breakdown and the revelation that while on paper, her life’s flawless, in real life, she’s led a life half lived, opened my eyes to the idea that while yes, the hustle is important, you also need to live your life, too.
GIRLS was an incredible show. The many awards Dunham’s collected for it is a clear indication of that. Sure, it had its flaws, but at the end of the day its life lessons are invaluable.
About The Author
Stephenie is a budding coder and compulsive writer. She writes a variety of articles on code, writing, books, learning, and even grief. You can find her and her works at stepheniekang.com.