Reconciling Lena Dunham’s GIRLS, for Both Critics and Fans

By Andrew Golledge,

After a nearly interminable amount of hype leading up to the premiere of HBO’s new sitcom, Girls, including various pieces in New Yorker, Time Out, Rolling Stone and endless blogs, we have finally seen its much heralded arrival come and go. Other episodes have followed and there is a rough consensus: it is a well-written, well-acted television show that dares to show young women as something less than glamorous fashion models who never use the bathroom.  What we’re left with now is not so much a TV show as a debate over its inherent cultural value, one predicated not on its content, but rather on its premise.

Set in New York City, the show follows four wealthy, white women in their early twenties as they navigate living, loving, etc. And based on just this short description, two camps of appreciation have emerged: First, the show is the next step forward in how the “fairer” sex is shown; it is a detailed portrayal of realistically characterized urbanite women behaving in realistic ways towards themselves, their friends, their families and their lovers. Second, the show is a regressive narrative, exclusively showcasing privileged whiteness in the world’s most diverse city, and is essentially another cog in a media-machine that continues to white-wash an increasingly multicultural society. Continue reading “Reconciling Lena Dunham’s GIRLS, for Both Critics and Fans”

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