I have recently realised, me who hardly ever watch any series, that I’m totally hooked to Girls, the series created by Lena Dunham. I know, it was first released in 2012, so I’m a bit late, as with so many things in my life.
Girls is a comedy about a group of girls in their early 20s trying to find a life of their own in NYC. Any similarities with Sex and the city are pure coincidence. I couldn’t help but ask myself why on earth a 40-year-old woman, rather busy with life, find these series any interesting? I will not deny that I may suffer of Peter Pan’s syndrome, nevertheless I don’t think I’m a helpless case. No, really, I love these series, as any other person of any age might as well, because they are very different. We can finally enjoy a tragicomedy which celebrates diversity and flaws, but for real, not being some kind of politically correct manoeuvre designed by a bunch of American producers in order to give us the impression that being cool can also be moral.
I miss my youth, of course, as many of us do, so watching these series I can bring some of those delighted foolish moments of my own life back. What is most remarkable of these series is that for once the main character (Lena Dunham herself) is a chubby girl who is not ashamed of her body. She even dares to show her tiny breasts on an American cable TV while she takes a cheeky selfie for her fuck-friend. She can wear a miniskirt with a short top displaying her belly without looking awkward. It hasn’t been an easy path, as she explains to Adam, her sort of boyfriend, she had always problems to accept her body, but here it is. And it is shocking because we aren’t used to see this level of self-confidence on TV. If only in some comedies in which case the aim is always to make fun of the poor fatty main character’s friend who dears to wear anything sexy.
Hannah (Lena’s character) is sexy because she is witty, she is a smart girl who has decided not to worry anymore about the shape of her body. She wants a life of her own and has the ideas as clear as a twenty-something-girl can manage. She is determined to concentrate her energy on more important things like being a successful writer or a good friend, rather than to starve herself to death in order to have a skinny figure.
But it is not only about accepting physical flaws, but accepting any flaws. She is sometimes selfish, mean, obsessed, weak. But she is also creative, funny and unique. She is just a human being.
Her friends, specially two of them, are very attractive, they possess that comfortable beauty of Instagrammers. What is different about them is that they don’t contempt themselves with being just a pretty face, they have a big mouth and say what they think. They just want to have fun, thanks Cyndi Lauper, and to experiment as many new things as possible before finding their own path into adulthood. Their conversations in the toilet while one of them is pissing are hilarious and very real. All our lives watching men on the screen sharing anecdotes, even with strangers, while using public lavatories, and why not us when in real life we all have done it! They can talk about bladder infections or about how annoying is when the internal part of your thighs burn due to the friction when walking in the heat of the summer.
Hannah wants to be a writer and she struggles with the dilemma of being truthful to her real passion while at the same time making enough money to pay the rent now that her parents have stopped supporting her financially. Here I find myself living my own dream with her, I can watch a 25 minutes’ episode on how my life could have been if I wouldn’t have surrendered so quickly. I always wanted to be a writer but I never had the guts to go 100 percent for it. I chose the easy way and did jobs I didn’t feel related to at all just to have enough money not to depend on my father.
I feel some kind of happiness watching Hannah-Lena making her path as a writer but I also often feel nostalgia and a bitter aftertaste, for what I could have done and didn’t in order to follow my vocation.
Girls is full of fresh energy, spicy humour and that sweet bitterness of youth, when we all feel lost in our own way because we want to become somebody one day.
Featured Picture: Mark Schafer / HBO