Commonplace 4: Girls

“Why can’t someone just tell me exactly what to do in a way that makes it seem like it’s my idea?” -Lena Dunham, “Girls”

I feel conflicted towards the majority of the shows and movies I watch. I tend to have an admittedly pretentious rhetoric that I use towards entertainment, whether that’s to blame on my liberal arts education or my generation, I’m not sure. I have very few favorite shows or movies, and “Girls” is a show I’m in constant conflict with as both a writer and a woman. Dunham uses risky, brash and often offensive situations on the show – and I constantly wonder if they’re meant to make a statement or for shock value. I’ve always begrudgingly watched the show season to season, for reasons I haven’t been able to quite articulate. Then, I watched the first episode of the show’s final season this week. And I was enlightened as to why I’ve continued to watch. The show’s dislikable protagonist, Hannah, played by Lena Dunham, is a millennial and a writer. She is infamously entitled, opinionated and lazy – traits that make her easy to dislike, but also interesting and complex. When watching this week’s episode, this quote in particular stuck out to me. Mainly because this exact sentiment goes through my head constantly. As much as I dislike Dunham’s character on the show, the rhetoric she uses to speak to my generation is so pointed and unique. She finds an honest, raw humor to reach her audience – and it’s quotes and moments like these on the show that keeps me engaged and watching. Her timing and ability to relate to individuals of my generation, despite being rude and dislikable, is effective and works.

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