Friday, August 2, 2013

Girls Season 1 (Review)

Friday, August 2, 2013 9:53 AM with 18 comments


Girls Season 1

I watched the first season of Girls when it first came out on DVD several months ago and loved it. I recently checked out the first season from the library to revisit it in anticipation of the second season being released on August 13 and ended up binge watching all 10 episodes on Sunday instead of reading like I planned. Whoops!

I absolutely love this show. Girls follows four early-20-somethings trying to make it in NYC. These girls are smart and ditzy, sheltered and worldly, funny and irritating, and just so real and fun to watch. It's hard not to be impressed with Lena Dunham, who plays the lead role of Hannah. At the ripe age of 24, Lena Dunham wrote, directed, and starred in the film Tiny Furniture in 2010. I wasn't crazy about the movie, but I certainly admire that kind of talent and drive. Dunham writes and directs Girls, as well, and the absolutely hilarious Judd Apatow (40 Year-Old Virgin/Knocked Up) is in the helm as executive producer.

I've always been a fan of books, shows, and movies that focus on the girl right out of college. I think I have a romantized view of that time period because I personally never really went through a lot of these issues. I met my hubby in college, and although we didn't marry for several years, I still had that support. Yes, we went through some major poor periods and we've definitely had career changes and uncertainity about the future, but I've had him next to me the entire time. I wouldn't change that for anything, but I sometimes wonder about the life I would have led if I didn't find him until a bit later in life. If my early 20s would have been more about my girlfriends. That isn't to say I couldn't relate to some of their issues. I did live off campus with female roommates before I met him. I dated assholes I couldn't stop thinking about. I fought with my best friend. I think any woman over the age of 18 will relate to at least some of the issues portrayed on screen.

Hannah (Dunham) is a spoiled young woman from Michigan who is working on her book of essays while "working" as an intern. In the first episode her parents drop a bombshell while visiting the city: They will no longer be bankrolling her life. Starting immediately. This first season shows Hannah struggling to find a job that will pay the bills while still staying true to her art. She is sleeping with a boy named Adam who she likes more than he likes her. He won't answer her texts, but will always be up for a booty call if she drops by. In one episode he texts her a dick-pick only to text her immediately after: Sry that wasn't for you. What does she do? Immediately texts him a topless pic. You want to yell at her: Hannah, get some self-respect! But their relationship does go through some changes as the season rolls on.

I have to applaud Dunham for her fearlessness on the show. She strips down often throughout the season even though her body is far from perfect. It's the body of a real woman. She isn't ashamed of her stomach and arms and chest. I love that she embraces who she is and think that it is awesome that she isn't starving herself down to fit the Hollywood mold.



Hannah lives with the drop-dead-gorgeous, Marnie (Allison Williams). The two are, slightly mismatched, best friends. Marnie works in an art gallery and is trying to come to terms with the fact that she is no longer in love with her college boyfriend, Charlie (Christopher Abbott), who worships her. She cringes at the thought of having sex with him. He wants to gaze into her eyes when they do.  As the viewer, you can also understand her hesitancy in ending her relationship. The two have been together for years. He is comfortable and good to her. He isn't doing anything wrong. She's just bored.

The friendship between Hannah and Marnie is the highlight of the show. The two girls love and support each other, but they also fight and believe the other is the selfish one. My favorite scene from the show is when Marnie comes home to Hannah dances alone in her room to Robyn's "Dancing On My Own" (a current song obsession of mine). Marnie watches in the doorway for a few moments before shedding her jacket and joining in. It is this perfect moment of friendship that makes me long for my best friend who lives hundreds of miles from me.



Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is the wild one. She's from England and oozes sexuality wherever she goes. Entitled and lazy, she knows the effect she has on the men (and women) around her. She speaks slowly, lets her long, blonde hair flow loose, and keeps her eyes at half-mast. When she is hired as a nanny, you are not at all surprised when the husband of the couple she baby-sits for begins to make a move. Hannah admires Jessa. Marnie finds her frustrating and wishes Hannah didn't admire her quite so much.

Finally, the smallest role is that of Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet). Shoshanna is Jessa's cousin and she is thrilled to share her apartment with her infinitely cooler relative. Shoshanna is ashamed to still be a virgin at 24 and is afraid that she will never lose it. She speaks quickly and is unsure of herself. In one hilarious episode she accidentally smokes crack thinking it is pot and runs through the city while being chased by her "crack spirit guide." I love Shoshanna's character and hope to see more of her in the next season.



Overall, I'm incredibly impressed with the show so far. I love all four of the girls and think Lena Dunham is doing a great job writing them as realistically as possible. These girls are far from perfect. They are awkward. They have awkward sex. They are selfish and funny and just so real. I love that none of the episodes try to wrap up a "problem of the week." It is just their messy lives. I cannot recommend this show enough if you haven't watched it yet.

Season 2 will be released on August 13, 2013
Lena Dunham's book of essays:  Not That Kind of Girl will be released on October 10, 2013



Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's Learned 

Have you watched the show Girls? What do you think?




18 comments:

  1. I love the show too. I've actually seen the second season and it was enjoyable, but it's definitely going in a different direction. I feel myself cringing a lot watching the show because so many awkward, truly embarrassing things happen, but that's also what makes it so fun to watch and relate to. Love Shoshanna! ~Pam

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    1. I've heard the second season is pretty different. I'm definitely excited to watch it. I love HBO shows in general--I just finished the first season of Newsroom and LOVE Game of Thrones and True Blood--but I like to binge watch seasons of HBO and Showtime shows (Dexter!). I love just love how realistic the show is. Even if it is cringe-worthy. Shoshanna's the best! Thanks for stopping by, Pam!

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  2. I haven't had the chance to catch this show-it might be perfect to watch/catch up when the kids go back to school. I'm behind on Game of Thrones too. Thanks for the series tip Natalie-going to check it out soon. :)

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    1. It's pretty easy to get through. There are only 10 episodes and it's a 30min show. I'm also a season behind because I wait for DVD. There is always something to watch that way though. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I have been very interested in this show but I don't have HBO so I havent watched it. Glad to hear that you are impressed :-)

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    1. I should break down and get HBO, but between Netflix and an awesome library system I get everything I want on DVD. It is a great show if you decide to look it up. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I've not seen Girls, but it's on my to watch list (which grows every day). I think it would be the kind of thing I like, thanks for the review.

    Sarah

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    1. My to-watch list grows daily, too. TV has definitely gotten more and more impressive over the years. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I haven't seen this show, but will definitely check it out when I get the chance. Thanks for spotlighting/reviewing it! :)

    Wendy @ Escape Into Fiction

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    1. It's pretty easy to get through since the show is a half hour format and there are only 10 episodes, so it's not a huge time commitment. Thanks for stopping by, Wendy!

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  6. I didn't want to watch Girls when I first heard about it because I thought Lena Dunham was kind of annoying and an asshole. Luckily for me, I was wrong about the show and at least half wrong about Dunham - I binge watched season one right before season 2 came out and it's definitely one of my new favorites.

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    1. I find Dunham pretty interesting. I don't know much about her early days (before Tiny Furniture), but she definitely has an entitled vibe that comes from having indulgent parents. I'm always impressed by people who do so much so young. I'm glad you decided to give it a chance. I can't wait to dive into season 2. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. I like this show, too! I like that they are often unlikable and do silly/annoying/selfish things because they all seem realistic :)

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    1. Right? I cringe my way through episodes, but I love how honest the show it. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Huh, never heard of this before. But it sounds right up my alley! It's pretty rare that I get to read a book or watch a show that revolves around life just after leaving college, which is about my age. I would really love to read/watch more like that though because I think I could totally relate to that, as well! The girls all sound distinct and great. Thanks so much for the recommendation!! I really want to watch this now.

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    1. It does seem like a neglected age. The girls really are so different and I really like all of them. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a try. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. I have such mixed feelings about this show. I either absolutely love or absolutely hate the episodes. Having lived in NYC for most of my early and mid-20s there are definitely things and people I can relate to, but it also drives me crazy how stupid the girls are all the time. But then there are episodes that I just love. And Adam, oh my god, I hated him so much at first, but he really grew on me.

    From your review I don't think you watched the 2nd season. I definitely liked the show more overall in the 2nd season, there were two weeks in a row, maybe episodes 4 and 5, that I thought were beyond brilliant. But then it kind of went downhill for me. But I am excited for season 3.

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    1. I've heard the second season isn't as good...or at least that there were some pretty big changes. I should have season 2 waiting for me when I get home via Netflix. I'm so excited to dive in. I know that the girls do the stupidest things, but I also find it so realistic. I love that they aren't perfect. That they are selfish and shallow. Agreed about Adam. I'm still not completely sold on Adam, but he did get better as the first season went on. Thanks for stopping by!

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Hello, there! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I read each and every one and will do my best to respond--usually on your blog instead of on mine. I will, however, always answer direct questions. Due to serious time restraints, this blog is now an award free zone, but I appreciate the thought!