It’s finally here, the show all Sex and the City-obsessed girls have been waiting for: Girls. Writer-director-star Lena Dunham has been busy screening her creation at SXSW and universities for the past few months, building up the hype for a comedy about 20-something girls living their dreams in New York City, one mistake at a time. Early reviews for the show have been raving, praising it for it’s realistic tone and uniqueness. Did last night’s premiere of Girls live up to the hype? Find out in our review below.
- Director: Lena Dunham
- Writer: Lena Dunham
- Cast: Lena Dunham, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Allison Williams
Episode Title: “Pilot“
Hannah (Lena Dunham), a 24-year-old aspiring writer living in New York City, is financially cut off by her parents over dinner. Afterwards, she gets fired from her unpaid internship at a publishing house, and seeks comfort in Adam (Adam Driver), an eccentric actor she sometimes sleeps with. Meanwhile, Hannah’s best friend and roommate, Marnie (Allison Williams), hosts a dinner party for their free-spirit British friend Jessa (Jemima Kirke), who’s returned from France to move in with Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet), her younger, Sex and the City-obsessed cousin.
- Opening Scene: Dunham made a wise decision when she chose to start her first episode with a scene that places Hanna opposite her parents. This scene sets up the whole show, letting us know that up until this moment things were pretty easy for Hanna (financially, at least), but that starting now life is going to change. Before Hanna sat down to this spaghetti-dinner with her professor parents, she was mooching off of them for food, rent, the family cell-phone plan, etc., but now she’s getting the ‘final push’ into real adulthood. At the dinner table, we get a sense of Hanna as she makes a case for herself; she’s an aspiring essayist who is currently working as an unpaid intern two years after she graduated from college. She’s entitled, spoiled and borderline-unlikable, but also very relatable.
- Close To Reality: Girls has been called a younger version of Sex and the City, but here’s the truth – it isn’t, it really isn’t. As someone who has seen the HBO classic several times, I can tell you that the only thing these two shows have in common is ‘four girls living in New York City’. The End. In Girls, the sex is bad, the money is scarce and parents are present. This is just the first episode, but the tone feels very honest and true-to-life. If Girls is anything like Dunham’s film Tiny Furniture (and from what I’ve heard/read, it is) then we’re going to get a real dose of reality here, which sits very well with me.
- High On Opium Tea: One of the pivotal moments in the “Pilot” is when Hanna gets high on opium tea. From the moment she takes a sip and spits it back out, to when she’s hallucinating on the floor of her parent’s hotel room, it’s clever, hilarious and poignant.
- Dialogue (Writing): Dunham is a gifted young writer. She knows how to create good conversations between her characters, and in the process teach us about them. Each character has a distinguishable voice; in the space of half and house we learn that Marnie is the responsible one; Jessa is the crazy, free-spirited one (who also gives terrible, but hilarious advice); and Shoshanna is the sweet, All-American one.
- Somewhat Unlikable Characters: All of the characters, with the exception of Shoshanna (we didn’t see enough of her), are borderline-unlikable, but only if you can’t relate to them, otherwise they’re actually pretty endearing. They are entitled and self-absorbed, but also funny and smart and palpable.
- Narrow Demographic: Personally, I really enjoyed the show, but I fit the demographic (20-something girl living in a – not the – big city). It’ll be premature to say that the show won’t relate to women older or younger than 20-something in the future, but that could very well be the case, and if that is the case, then Girls will suffer ratings-wise.
Girls is honest. It not just some show about white girl problems or entitled brats, but rather a show about white girls who have problems and are entitled. These girls will resonate with other girls of today’s generation and give them someone on TV to relate to. There are a lot of shows about girls right now (The New Girl, 2 Broke Girls, Gossip Girl, etc.), but none feel as honest and poignant as the first episode of Girls.
Girls airs at 10:30 p.m. on HBO.