I’m an avid watcher of the show Girls, and I occasionally read Slate’s commentary on the show. I know some people hate the show, and I agree that the second season was uneven. In fact, there were times that it didn’t even feel like the same show it was in the first season.
But count me as a Girls fan. Sure, the show is visceral, uncomfortable, awkward, and even gross at times, but isn’t that the point? The show brilliantly depicts just how hard it is to be a (fairly) fresh college grad with no direction, limited funds, and too much self-esteem.
College, especially for privileged kids who don’t have to pay their own way, is a pretty cushy environment, an idealized world where anything can happen. To be spat out into the “real” world–to a less sheltered environment where trash has to be dumped and urinary tract infections happen and book contracts have to be fullfilled–is a shock that makes people do weird things (such as date a pretentious not-at-all-talented artist named Booth Jonathan and/or pee outside of a train station).
Girls feels pretty real to me, even if the events are exaggerated and sometimes don’t make a ton of sense (the OCD storyline seemed to come out of nowhere, as did the weird interlude with Patrick Wilson). True, the show is gritty and often gratuitous, but I think that’s what I like. After all, isn’t this what life is really like?
Hannah and her friends are privileged, which makes them easy to hate, but I feel sympathy for them. The world isn’t such a surprise when you’ve lived in it your whole life, but it has to be jarring to be go from being a special snowflake to just another hipster in Brooklyn. I think the only truly unlikeable people here are the parents!