GIRLS talk (the Lena Dunham thread)

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that is definitely true, but to be fair i think some of the criticism of Girls on this front has come from people like me who were more invested in it than in 2 broke girls or 2 and a half men or whatever else is on tv. holding it to a higher standard because we like it. not that that's fair; i essentially agree with her and with the dude who reported on the the arfin lady's missteps who said the same thing.

horseshoe, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

holding it to a higher standard because we like it.

reminds me of when people debated the representation of women in Knocked Up, as if most comedies have women do more than prove the heterosexuality of the male leads.

da croupier, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

i understand that, but there's something slightly...off...about a show that seems to be much more interesting in its representation of young women/sex/anxieties that is created by (and largely written and directed and starring) not only a woman, but an incredibly young woman in this context, and then to say "well, you're much better than everything else about these things you're doing, but you haven't done race properly so FUCK OFF". Not that I"m saying you, horseshoe, are saying those things or being that dismissive of it, but a hell of a lot of people online are.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

is maureen ryan reeeaaalllly astonished that the hbo show about 20somethings livin and lovin in greenpoint is the one that is having the most stuff written about it

max, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

Girls is less fantastical than other all-white sitcoms - when you start with press about Dunham writing her experiences and give it a look that approaches the real world (instead of How I Met Your Mother's enormous apartment that was leased to a low-level architect and law student to start with), that's going to garner more "why doesn't it really look/feel like the real world then" criticisms.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

also because it appeals to the kind of demographic who bitches about stuff online

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

self-hatred is counterproductive imo

horseshoe, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

anyway if arfin hadnt done that tweet i doubt wed be talking about it at this level frankly

max, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

http://t.co/qLCmGNBr

max, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah just when i thought i was over it and reflecting that my feelings about the lack of characters of color were more a result of putting a huge amount of pressure on this one good-seeming show created by a woman, the arfin tweet story broke and then i had to think about gavin mcinnes which is always infuriating, so.

horseshoe, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

holding it to a higher standard because we like it.

I am so, so guilty of this to the point where I've been called an unceasingly critical person, since I tend to analyze and criticize the flaws of things before anything else. If I don't like something or have a stake in it, I usually don't talk about it at all!

mh, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

anyway if arfin hadnt done that tweet i doubt wed be talking about it at this level frankly

Agreed, she is pretty vile though and her continued involvement in the show makes me want to write it off.

Respectfully, Tyrese Gibson (Nicole), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think my point is that we should hold everything to a high standard, not just the things we like/have a stake in. Cultural criticism is arguably at where it is today (too often boring, repetitive, non-intellectual) because we don't have much quality intelligent cultural output to talk intelligently about. Hence jumping on this show. Likely a demographic issue too re this show.
xps

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

honestly, that tweet is the main reason I decided not to watch this show

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 18:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

i don't think this was exactly max's point in his gawker post but he made me wonder whether Girls is getting more criticism bc there are higher (undeserved?) expectations about millennials' ability to talk/write honestly about race

Mordy, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 18:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

if anything i think american culture is moving in retrograde in this regard /debbie downer

horseshoe, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 18:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

"a vexing intersection of eroticism and geography."
oh jon

"in this super-sexy postracial age" (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 18:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

haha i clicked on that, started reading it and just felt bad about myself

Lamp, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 18:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

There are definitely higher expectations at work here, namely that the HBO show (code: independent) starring hip young people (code: enlightened) in NYC (code: multicultural) would bypass the usual network demands that the casts be all white, etc. But of course it goes deeper than that (see: the Atlantic piece). One of my best, oldest friends, who is black and working in TV in Hollywood, has always told me he's more or less at peace with how white every show, and every writer's table, is. There's a reason they call the dude Twofer on 30 Rock.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 18:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

Girls is getting more criticism bc there are higher (undeserved?) expectations about millennials' ability to talk/write honestly about race

...and maybe that it is shot largely/somewhat on location and hence more "real."

One of the better sitcom eps on race was on Larry Sanders where the staff was split in their views of the O.J. trial.

World Congress of Itch (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 18:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

I like this show. I think it accurately depicts how incredibly fucking stupid people are at this age.

Darin, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 18:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

did sex & the city ever have a black character? i can't remember any. were black extras even allowed in outside shots?

too bad most shows can't be as multiculti as xena. been watching a ton of xena. not to mention employing half of australia for a decade.

scott seward, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

Blair Underwood did Cynthia Nixon on SatC.

Raymond Dubious Davies (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

woah, you've been watching a ton of xena and employing half of australia? how do you have time for us?

da croupier, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

ohrightforgot blair underwood. he's boring enough to be white. sexy though. in a boring way.

scott seward, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

blair underwood's playing stanley kowalski on broadway rn

these pretzels are makeing me horney (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

non-white people can be boring, too. it's their right.

mh, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

have to say though: realistic/funny HBO show about four young black women keeping it real in nyc would be must see t.v. for me for sure. girls i will watch too anyway.

scott seward, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think the lack of people of colour is a good issue and complaint to lobby at this show, but I'm not going to get too worked up about it because I imagine doing all this work is a hell of task in its own right, and if Dunham didn't feel that diversity was at the top of her list (especially when white people writing for a role that wouldn't be race-neutral is a tricky task anyway). That tweet was horrible, but it also makes me think that this writing staff (as it is) isn't equipped to write a more diverse role and hopefully that'll be addressed in the second season (as Dunham has said, I think).

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

I still miss Living Single. xp

Respectfully, Tyrese Gibson (Nicole), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

one of the Girls articles linked to Adventures of an Awkward Black Girl on youtube - hilarious on a $5 budget
according to the creator, two networks expressed interest: one wanted to replace her with a light-skinned black actress w/ straight hair, the other with a white actress

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

sorry, The Misadventures of AWKWARD Black Girl

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

haha I was going to reference Living Single but it definitely walked the "magic realism" line despite having a bunch of characters shockingly similar to my wife's close college circle (although tbh my wife's friends were all a cross between Khadijah and Max to her Regine/Sinclaire)

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

there was a NYT column today about Girls' whiteness, I think.

SJP had a flirtation on S&TC with a sailor played by the gorgeous Daniel Sunjata.

World Congress of Itch (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah, max linked that article up there.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm hoping for more discourse on the SATC angle. This show references it at the beginning, and I know a number of women who found SATC to be hugely important in their developmental (teenage/early adulthood) years - as I imagine it was for Dunham herself and certainly for some of these characters. The significant problem for me with SATC, and I'm wondering about its impact and I'd like to see it explored, is its unbelievably crass consumerism. These were incredibly rich women, and I wonder what the effect that might have on expectations for women. Of course, maybe I'm only saying that because Michael Patrick King's view of Brooklyn and "poor people" on 2 Broke Girls is so pathetic and misguided.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

Not to mention his depiction of people of colour, which is about as progressive as an episode of Love Thy Neighbour (almost called it "Them Next Door", thanks The Day Today).

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

I know a number of women who found SATC to be hugely important in their developmental (teenage/early adulthood) years

I'm genuinely curious how.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

role models iirc

"in this super-sexy postracial age" (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

even people who hated everything about sex & the city watched every episode. it was hypnotizing. like oprah. fairy princess porn. i can relate. i love oprah & sex & the city too. and yet so much to hate if you really think about it...

scott seward, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

Aside from the appeal of having (arguably) a female perspective on sex, relationships, life, etc, as well as a funny, charming representation of a group of female friends, you had a legimitization of a number of approaches to being an independent female. It's incredibly problematic, of course, but about ten years ago there was a kind of push in the film/tv studies department i was studying in where women liked this "post-feminist" (ugh, i know i know) idea of being able to enjoy the "girly" things (shopping, fashion, etc) while not letting it define you. I think seeing this reflected on television made some women feel liberated about options and choices, where having multiple sexual partners and no interest in monogamy was perfect acceptable, as well as a more traditional view on romance.

I'm not saying that the show achieved that, or there wasn't a degree of misreading, or that the text wasn't highly problematic, but I think that's a very general (probably reductive) summation.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think a lot of those fans (well, the thinking, critical ones) were really thrown off by the second movie, which was so absurdly offensive, which in hindsight felt like an inevitability once they had to deal with a different culture.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

i unabashedly hate sex and the city and all it stands for. I dated a girl who was into it so i watched like three seasons under duress. not a good or a healthy-for-the-world show.

"in this super-sexy postracial age" (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

not a good or a healthy-for-the-world show.

I think it was a mixed bag, though probably more towards the side of bad than good.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

xp yeah, reboot

"in this super-sexy postracial age" (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

So weird. From my perspective it's sole legacy has been the ubiquity of the Cosmopolitan and fancy shoes. I would have though we'd moved well beyond the need for it's so called post feminism. But then, it's being cited as an inspiration for a show about vapid, stupid narcissists as well as the generation they're meant to reflect, so...shoes and drinks it is

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

Sorry for it's/its. I blame phone.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

There's a lot of that Cosmo/fancy shoes thing, and certainly I know a number of fans who only like that aspect. At the time (and the discussion has moved far beyond this now), it was a highly problematic text because there was always an aspect, I felt, of rationalising the enjoyment. It's a lot different now than in the late 90s landscape, but SATC was doing a lot of things that pretty much every other television show wasn't doing. Maybe it was one step forward, two steps back, but I think a lot of people latched onto that step forward.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

am i crazy or were cosmos not a thing until sex and the city made them so
i know cupcakes werent

"in this super-sexy postracial age" (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:24 (2 years ago) Permalink


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