I love love love this show. It’s what I’d call garibo ka SATC (SATC of the poor). I also love SATC. But the more the number of times I watch it, I start seeing flaws and find it very unreal, like it belongs to a world which for me can only exist in books. Girls on the other hand is very real. It’s of dirty apartments, shortage of money, a n eternal state of joblessness and confusion. I can identify with it a lot more. Maybe because in age, I am closer to the characters. SATC is about women who have formed completely. Their personalities cannot change anymore, or if they do, they’d change only marginally.While the characters in girls are still under formation.
I can almost feel the anxiety, the depression and the imaginary problems these girls face. I say imaginary because these problems are mostly in your head. Just like most of my problems are when I look at them in the context of a larger picture. Hannah is a classic misfit. She thinks she is different, and she is. But in several ways she is just the girl next door who is trying to be different. She is not ambitious in the generally understood sense of the term. She has different preferences, but she is also lazy which seems to be coming in the way of her success. She takes her parents money for granted and actually thinks that all she needs to do in return is to not become a drug addict. She has a douchebag of a guy named Adam in her life. She goes to him to have sex but they aren’t quite exclusive. She really likes him but he doesn’t seem to be interested in a relationship as such. I started off hating Adam but then as the season progresses the character grows on to you. You realise that he is just another lost soul who has no fucking idea of what he wants in life and just keeps going on anyway. He almost indulges in sadist sex with Hannah and you wonder why she still likes him. But I think this is just a way of showing that what you actually hate in real life can really turn you on in sex. Remember when Miranda says this in SATC. That she is turned on by this sexist, chauvinist guy whom she cannot stand otherwise?
The series reminds of SATC more than once. Could also be because one of the characters Shoshanna is a die hard SATC fan and looks at the world in terms of fitting each person int he SATC character mould. But also because the girls are really close friends, they share everything. Only this is more realistic in the sense that the girls can actually also be bitches with each other. Probably more to do with age. These girls are younger and still coming of age.
Jessa is one the girls and a bohemian freespirit. She is a world traveller and seems to have an insatiable thirst for adventure. She has a completely unconventional belief system and regales everyone around with her crazy stories. She is the person you most certainly have daydreamed of being at some point of your teenage years but always known you are not as bold to pull it off. She is the desirable alter-ego with her mad sex adventures, stories from her wild travels across Europe, her drug use mishaps and a palpable sexuality that is out there.
Marnie is Hannah’s best friend and the most grounded and practical girl in the group. She has been in a steady relationship. She is level headed and the only person who gives Hannah a valid advice when Hannah’s parents tell her at the start of the seasont hat they’d be taking off her financial support. Until that point Hanhah has been living a bohemian artsy life at the cost of her parents, completely oblivious to the fact that you need money to live. period. While Hannah is figuring out the next plan of action, Jessa advises her to tell her parent that she is an artist and would need their support. While Marnie advises Hannah to tell them that she will find a jon as that is more convincing. This to me is enough to show the difference between Marnie and the other two girls. Marnie is the prim and proper, driven, organised girl. However, she is feeling out of love with her boyfriend but cannot decide how to let him know that. The boyfriend is a decent, ordinary but a really nice guy. The kind who’d always say the right thing and generally do the right thing too. He is completely lacking in any wild streak whatsoever. What I liked about this is that despite being a rational girl, Marnie finds it difficult to keep going just because it seems to be the right thing to do. I can totally identify with her chaos. I went through a mini phase where I had become irritable because my boyfriend just never gave me a chance to complain or brood over how inconsiderate guys are. I felt that I couldn’t connect and I wanted something wild to exist. The only difference was that as a brutally honest person, I told this to my then bf now husband and got over it with his help.
Shoshanna is an ordinary classic-girl type character. She is a virgin and it’s a big burden she carries in a world where everyone else already has a robust repertoire of sexual experiences. She is the kind of person who I have had as a friend at any given point in my life: dreamy, almost annoying but still someone you want to be friends with for they are really genuine people.
What surprises me is that I can identify each character with a certain phase in my life. More than characters, the girls are like phases to me. I have been like each one of them at a certain point. Which I think is incredible about the show.
I all likelihood, I would have a different take when I am done with re-watching the whole series. I only began watching the first episode again. I am yet to watch season 3. But so far, I am super-impressed with the series. And what’s even more impressive that the show is written and directed by the 26 year old Lena Dunham who plays Hannah. Talk about being creative!