If you’re a regular reader of my blog (read: probs nonexistent) you’ll know that I love Lena Dunham’s semi-autobiographical TV drama/comedy/romance show, Girls (and wish more people would too). And once again, I’m having a bit of a Girls moment in life, wherein I return to the show and rewatch the entire thing (all six seasons, probably within about 4 days) simply because I can’t get enough of it. One might find this a rather mundane concept, rewatching something you’ve already seen, but for me, I absorb new details from every episode every time – much like when I was 11 years old and would watch Finding Nemo almost every day after school. And yes, surprisingly, I did have friends. Anyway…
I like interacting with TV in different ways. I love watching shit shows like The Hills and knowing that it’s literally sucking what brain cells I may have left by the minute. I love Arrested Development because its humour is so fucking weird and clever. I love Grey’s Anatomy because it’s not afraid to upset the viewer. I love Ugly Betty because while it’s totally unrealistic, I can weirdly relate to it. I love Friends, because, well, I’m a normal human being. And so on. But I love Girls on a much more intellectual level because while watching, I’m constantly analysing the shit out of it – something which I do in life constantly anyway (oh hi chronic overthinker).
So rather than broadly fangirling over the show in a very generalised way, I thought I’d just get stuck into the main characters and spew whatever thoughts I might have picked up while watching. However, since it’s such a niche show, it probably makes more sense to summarise the characters in the show before heading straight into the deep end. So without further ado:
Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham)
The protagonist of the show – and ironically, probably one of the most unlikeable characters at times. Hannah aspires to be a writer and works at Ray’s café to get by and lives in a dingy apartment at Green Point, NY. She’s a polarised character, being both totally self-involved yet the most thoughtful of characters at the same time. Probably the best at the art of not giving a shit, which is sometimes quite problematic for her life and her career.
Marnie Michaels (Alison Williams)
Marnie is Hannah’s best friend and they went to ‘college’ (or what you and I’ll call uni) together. She’s an aspiring curator – or some kind of artsy career person – who eventually turns to making indie/folk music. Incredibly uptight and sensible, she gets away with a lot because of her traditional beauty. Nevertheless, though she might seem like a judgemental arsehole at times, she probably does know best.
Shoshanna Shopiro (Zosia Mamet)
Shoshanna is the closest thing to a living cartoon character. Though she might seem naïve, being the youngest out of the group (and having only just graduated), she’s incredibly intelligent, independent and won’t put up with anyone’s shit.
Jessa Johannson (Jemima Kirke)
Jessa epitomises the definition of bohemia mixed together with a stash of crack cocaine. Having been in and out of rehab – and to various countries in between – she returns to New York clad in floor-length gowns and stylish hats to build some kind of stable life; by draining the life out of her friends with her toxic energy. But deep down beneath her bitter surface, Jessa is deeply emotional and cares about those around her, just not herself, at all – which causes her to keep making shitty decisions despite her history.
Adam Sackler (Adam Driver)
Adam is the guy we’re introduced to as the mysterious assumed sociopath with whom Hannah falls in love. We later see Adam’s sensitive side as the show progresses and that he is in fact a massively multi-layered character; virtually a hermit, painfully conflicted, extremely private, little to no patience for anything and would quite happily survive on his own forever – if he weren’t addicted to materialising his dark, violent sexual fantasises, that is.
Ray Ploshansky (Alex Karpovsky)
Ray, bless him, seems to be the one who is constantly stalked by bad luck. The oldest – and most intellectual – out of all of them, he is perpetually angry at everything and everyone. He is secretly sensitive, but his constant defensive guard means he rarely finds happiness with anyone – and so, said cycle continues of him just continuing to be angry at everything and everyone.
Elijah Krantz (Andrew Rannels)
Hannah’s ex-boyfriend from ‘college’, who reveals himself to be gay early on in the development of the show. Incredibly sassy and outspoken, he genuinely cares, almost to a possessive extent, about the people around him. But will judge anyone before he’s even met them.
So, that’s enough for now.
In the posts to follow, I’ll get into some deeper character analysis and my personal favourite moments from the show. Girls is admittedly very niche, even a cult-y show, which will probably be more for those who are interested in TV that really reveals raw and authentic truth of young-person struggles, rather than a strictly plot-driven show. Nevertheless, this doesn’t minimise the show’s quality, only its audience appeal. In short, if you’re sick of shit TV and want to watch something meaningful I’d really recommend Girls.