GIRLS talk (the Lena Dunham thread)

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

"in this super-sexy postracial age" (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 18:09 (1 year ago) Permalink

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

Lamp, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 18:10 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (1 year ago) Permalink

Blair Underwood did Cynthia Nixon on SatC.

Raymond Dubious Davies (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:05 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (1 year ago) Permalink

blair underwood's playing stanley kowalski on broadway rn

these pretzels are makeing me horney (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:07 (1 year ago) Permalink

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

mh, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:09 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (1 year ago) Permalink

I still miss Living Single. xp

Respectfully, Tyrese Gibson (Nicole), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:20 (1 year 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 (1 year ago) Permalink

sorry, The Misadventures of AWKWARD Black Girl

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:23 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah, max linked that article up there.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:29 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (1 year ago) Permalink

role models iirc

"in this super-sexy postracial age" (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:49 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (1 year ago) Permalink

xp yeah, reboot

"in this super-sexy postracial age" (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:02 (1 year 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 (1 year ago) Permalink

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

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:20 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (1 year ago) Permalink

dynasty did it too.

scott seward, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:25 (1 year ago) Permalink

feel like fancy lady shows started with reagan. at least rosanne held down the fort. until she went insane under the pressure of being the last sane woman alive.

scott seward, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:26 (1 year ago) Permalink

she didn't go insane. that was all a dream.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:27 (1 year ago) Permalink

the government had to drive rosanne insane for reminding people what they had fought for in the 70's.

scott seward, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:27 (1 year ago) Permalink

Sex and the city single handedly popularized cosmos, yes. In fact, it's probably cocktail canon because of it.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:38 (1 year ago) Permalink

wait, cupcakes were a satc thing?? goddamn it, I have been blaming hipsters

mh, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

i knew a lot of girls who did the 'sex and the city' nyc bus tour when i moved there for college and magnolia bakery/ugg boots/manolo blahniks were most def a big thing then

y'tulip, y'pea-brained earwig (donna rouge), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:52 (1 year ago) Permalink

it's being cited as an inspiration for a show about vapid, stupid narcissists as well as the generation they're meant to reflect,

see, this kind of 'criticism' makes me pretty angry because neither of these shows (sex & the city, GIRLS) is fully about that - the shows are about women's lives, however dramatized - and in fact both shows (GIRLS moreso) criticizes, to some degree vapid, stupid narcissists. i mean, imo, most shows on tv are about vapid, stupid narcissists and said shows have no critical content whatsoever!

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:53 (1 year ago) Permalink

they go way overboard on the icing on their cupcakes, not sure how anyone could make even a semi-regular thing out of eating them

y'tulip, y'pea-brained earwig (donna rouge), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:54 (1 year ago) Permalink

I only know one girl who cops to having watched SATC at all.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:54 (1 year ago) Permalink

and in fact both shows (GIRLS moreso) criticizes, to some degree vapid, stupid narcissists

well...

iatee, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:55 (1 year ago) Permalink

rrrobyn otm.

I don't know why people want to watch some paragon of humanity be awesome all the time. Girls is very specifically critical of its characters, and certainly Hannah (who views herself different from how the show views her, notably with the room service/tip stealing).

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:56 (1 year ago) Permalink

why this also makes me angry is that it feels like a full-on dismissal of both shows as nothing more than vapid and stupid, when in fact they are two of the only shows i've seen on tv in which women talk to women in frank ways about things other than men (at least sometimes)
xps

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:56 (1 year ago) Permalink

SATC is certainly less self-aware, which I think is its big problem.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:56 (1 year ago) Permalink

Charlotte's failed marriage and fertility issues were like the exact opposite of vapid and stupid

ditto Miranda's trust issues with Steve

hell, Samantha had an escalating series of meltdowns when she discovered she had cancer

Carrie was the only one whose character arc was most reliably vapid and undeservedly self-involved, and the further she went down that rabbit hole, the more the show punished her for it

I thought the big trick SATC managed to pull off before it ventured onto the big screen was alternating deftly between caricature and empathy; IMO detractors seem to only have noticed the former and completely gloss over the latter

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:58 (1 year ago) Permalink

people have character flaws in sitcoms for laughs or for one-episode plots, whereas in HBO series characters may actually have flaws because they're a better reflection of real people?

like no one calls out charlie sheen's character on his sitcom other than as a plot device, whereas in real life people question his sanity and bizarre objectification of women and substance abuse.

mh, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 21:00 (1 year ago) Permalink


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