I have watched both full seasons of HBO’s Girls, and it was something that I didn’t like very much at all until the season 2 finale. The problem for me is that I hated Lena Dunham’s character Hannah and I read somewhere that she was loosely based on Lena Dunham herself, so I started to hate Lena Dunham – the creator, writer, starring actress, and director of the show. Which made me dislike the show, even though I kept watching all 20 episodes because reasons.
The one thing I have to say that I do like about the show is that it is a much more realistic representation of certain aspects of a young woman’s life, as per my experience, than some other shows out there. What I dislike, however, is the fact that it’s pretty obvious that Lena Dunham is the director when you see the types of guys that she’s getting with . . . I mean goddamn, Lena. May I also add, though, that I read a review about the series in hopes of finding someone out there who disliked it for the same reason as me, and they reminded me of something that hadn’t occurred to me. I hated Hannah so much, in part, because she’s such a whiny, entitled loser begging for her parents’ money. The review reminded me that Lena Dunham can make her character as much of a loser as she wants because Lena Dunham is actually as far from a loser as possible. She’s wildly successful, creative, witty, smart, and awesome. So that soothed my hatred a bit.
There were two scenes in the final episode of season 2 that rung so, so, so true with me, and it was nice to see someone broadcasting that to the world because I never felt like anyone else experienced these things. One was the scene when Hannah calls Jessa. If you know the show and you know me, you know who my Jessa is. And it was nice to know that someone else has a Jessa.
There was also a scene when Hannah just cut her own hair and was sweeping up the hair into a dust pan, and talking to Laird after he made the perfect bowl cut. She tells him about how when we’re little and we break a glass, our parents tell us to get out of the way and put shoes on so we don’t hurt ourselves and they can clean it up. She then complains about the fact that she no longer has anyone to clean up the glass for her.
It reminded me of something interesting. Last summer when I was watching my cousins, one of them broke a glass on their kitchen floor. I handed him his crocs and told him to get out of the way so he didn’t hurt himself, and I swept it up. I remember thinking of that same thing, and how I was now the person cleaning up the broken glass. I was moving up in the world.
There are a few differences between me and Hannah. Firstly, I liked the feeling of being the one to clean up the glass, literally and figuratively. Hannah is talking about the fact that she doesn’t have anyone to fall back on anymore, and her parents are not being very helpful. I actually enjoy that independence and the ability to figure out my own shit. It makes me feel like what I call a “real person.” The kind of person who makes her own pesto for dinner and does all of her own laundry and knows how to talk herself out of a jaywalking ticket and cleans her own bathroom. For some reason, I derive a huge amount of happiness and fulfillment from being that kind of person. I like cleaning up the glass.
Secondly, my parents taught me how to clean up the glass. Hannah seems really lost and like she has no idea what she’s doing most of the time, but I’d like to think I have this shit figured out as best as any 18-year-old can. Hannah’s parents seem really dumb and like they try to help Hannah in all of the wrong ways. They didn’t teach her to be self-sufficient, and then they get pissed when she feels entitled and is asking for money because she doesn’t know how to do things for herself. That’s on them. They’re the Dr. Frankenstein of this situation.
The third difference between me and Hannah is that my parents will still clean up the glass. I have a feeling that they will always be there for me always be able to help me with pretty much whatever I need. In Hannah’s case, she is asking for money to get herself out of a legal contract which she failed to uphold, but I would never ask my parents for that. She sucks and she failed and that’s on her…it’s completely unfair to expect your parents to bail you out of problems that you inflict upon yourself because of your own laziness. My parents would, however, always help me clean up the pieces when things really do get messy. This past semester I was feeling particularly shitty and my Minnesotan experience had taken a bit of an unfortunate turn, and I’m over it now but in the following few weeks I was really sad and I just wanted to be home. So, my parents flew me home for the weekend, and it meant the world to me. They didn’t even demand an explanation, they just wanted to do what they could to help me sweep up the glass.
This was just created as a means to help myself further procrastinate the completion of my paper. And now I write…