WHY GIRLS IS REMARKABLE

February 20, 2013

girls_hulk__span

HEY ALL!

ENOUGH ABOUT THE CRITICAL RESPONSE TO THE SHOW, IT’S TIME TO TALK ABOUT WHAT MAKES GIRLS SO REMARKABLE JUST A SEASON AND A HALF INTO ITS RUN. AND WHAT DO YOU KNOW? IT’S A CONVENIENT EXCUSE TO TALK ABOUT WHAT HOW “NARRATIVE ART” FUNCTIONS IN CINEMA!

http://badassdigest.com/2013/02/20/film-crit-hulk-smash-why-girls-is-remarkable/

About these ads

29 Responses to “WHY GIRLS IS REMARKABLE”

  1. Panache said

    I have seen nothing of “Girls” so bail now. However, a tangent interests me.

    I adore “Happy-Go-Lucky” (and Leigh generally), but its developments are not inversions; they are reversions. It represents a return to the status quo. In early romantic comedies, the audience knows who’s going home with whom. Sure, Ellie and King have a fling, but Peter comes on like a motherfucker. Sure, Mike is cute and befuddled, but CK is unfuckwittable™ (by Faraci). Sure, Ken is handsome and Lois is glamorous, but Nickie and Terry gonna do the damn. The outcome is obvious; the interest lies in the complications.

    At the time of “The Graduate”, Woody Allen, and later John Hughes (yeah, it’s a weird grouping), the beta male is on the rise. This cycle represents the inversion. No one looks at a Meryl Streep or a Diane Keaton in the 70s and says, “Oh, she should totally do it with that nebbish.” Though Woody Allen clearly exceeds his physical traits, he feeds his sexy to the audience very gently, and even then, a whole section disbelieves it. (A shame; they’re missing out.) As great as they are, these betas doom us to the eventual slacker uprising. (It has GOT to be fucking ending, right? I mean, right?)

    “Happy-Go-Lucky” is the antidote in the form of the original medication. Poppy is the functional MPDG; she gets burned then she gets on with life. She takes her licks and keeps on ticking. It’s actually very much like the classic model (Kate) albeit unlike the MPDG from the 60s (Audrey, Shirley) to the present (every gorgeous woman settling for her schlubby besty).

  2. Sara said

    Hi FCH, This is another incredible and insightful blog post. I too am a Girls fan and am trying to find my own ways of expressing its awesomeness. I wonder how you feel about the race issue in the show. Lots of my intelligent and socially conscious friends refuse to even pay attention to the show because it is marketed as a progressive, feminist show yet it only portrays the white privileged perspective of feminism and New York. Do you feel like Dunham has a responsibility to portray other perspectives or even employ a diverse cast?

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      WHILE GETTING A MORE DIVERSE, NUANCED TREATMENT OF RACE IS CRITICAL TO THE FUNCTION OF TELEVISION ON THE WHOLE, HULK CAN ONLY THINK OF TERRIBLE REASONS ON WHY SOMEONE WOULD SOLELY LAY IT AT THE FEET OF A SPECIFIC SHOW LIKE THIS.

      IT’S WEIRD. SOME PEOPLE TOOK THE SANDY PLOT-LINE AS SOME SORT OF FLIPPANT FUCK YOU TO PEOPLE WHO WERE CONCERNED ABOUT THE LACK OF RACE IN THE SHOW, AND TO HULK IT COULDN’T HAVE BEEN MORE OBVIOUS. THEY WERE ABJECTLY SAYING THE SHOW IS SIMPLY ABOUT DIFFERENT THINGS.

      • JhanduBam said

        Hey Hulkie,

        Did you enjoy getting PWNED by me in our argument about Argo?

        Sincerely,
        The guy who PWNED you.

      • FILMCRITHULK said

        HULK DIDN’T CARE BECAUSE YOU APPARENTLY THINK CONVERSATION IS ABOUT “PWNING” PEOPLE INSTEAD OF TALKING TO THEM AND COMING TO GREATER UNDERSTANDING. HULK DIDN’T RESPOND BECAUSE YOU WERE BEING A JERK. IF YOU HAVE A VALID ARGUMENT, MAKE THE VALID ARGUMENT. BECAUSE YOU BEHAVIOR SPEAKS MORE TO YOUR INTENT THEN YOUR ACTUAL ARGUMENT. REMEMBER: THIS IS A CONVERSATION.

        BE BETTER THAN THAT.

        BECAUSE YOU ARE.

      • JhanduBam said

        Hey Hulkie,

        Stop being bitter just because I called you out on your BS. It isn’t good for your health.

        You say things without anything substantial to back it up. Or you say things and then contradict it immediately afterwards. If you want proof feel free to re-read my response on the “HULK BRINGING YOU EBOOKS AND UPDATES!” page, I point out several cases where you do so.

        Now I wouldn’t be such a mean prick if you either just admitted your BS, or refuted my arguments. But you’re not, you’re just kinda dodging and whining like a sullen little kid. So I think I’m gonna treat you like a whining, sullen, little kid.

        Best Wishes,
        The guy who PWNED you

      • FILMCRITHULK said

        OKAY JANDUBAM, HULK’S GOING TO BRING THIS TO A PRIVATE LEVEL IF THAT’S COOL.

      • JhanduBam said

        Oh yea, that’s very cool.

        With Regards,
        The guy who PWNED you

        PS, It’s JhanduBam, not JanduBam. This isn’t a verbal conversation where you can easily mistake the spelling. It’s all on text. Try to read properly next time, dear.

      • JhanduBam said

        Still awaiting your big comeback… What’s the matter? Don’t tell me you’re dodging again.

        Tsk. Tsk.

      • JhanduBam said

        Where’s your response?

        Don’t tell me the big bad Hulk ran away from a challenge?

      • FILMCRITHULK said

        HULK EMAILED YOU. PRIVATELY. LIKE HULK SAID HULK WOULD DO. AND YOU HAVEN’T RESPONDED.

      • JhanduBam said

        Hulkie,

        I forgot the password to the e-mail ages ago… I now use this e-mail for junk. Send it out here in public, tough guy.

        Sincerely,
        The Guy Who PWNED You

      • Panache said

        Jesus, kid, go troll elsewhere.

      • JhanduBam said

        @Panache

        Oh, nice. I didn’t know that calling someone out on their BS was trolling now.

        But I suppose we’ll change around meanings of words and their connotations to whatever suits you best.

        Yeah, I’m being a bit of a prick about it. But I have raised valid points (as in contradictions and baseless claims) which Hulkie has failed to refute.

        If you haven’t got anything to contribute to the argument here, shut up and stay put. And no, brown-nosing doesn’t count as a proper contribution to the argument.

      • JhanduBam said

        @Hulkie

        You’ve got yourself a nice set of fans who are willing to duke it out with me to protect whatever it is they are trying to protect.

        But, that isn’t going to change these facts that I am going to repost here since you seem to have forgotten about them:

        About Argo you claimed a bunch of things to that other naive little fellow (who is willing to swallow anything that’s iced up in fancy wordings). But, I noticed that these were largely baseless claims as you have admitted to not even having seen the film.

        “… adult-oriented, SMART, r-rated, NON-GENRE…”

        “… IN ORDER TO KEEP A CERTAIN LEVEL OF TENSION AND PROPULSION, you have to skim characterization…. sometimes you have to sacrifice one area to EXCEL at another”

        you don’t know if it’s smart, you haven’t seen it. you don’t know if it excels at anything, you haven’t seen it. you don’t know if it doesn’t squarely fit into a specific genre, you haven’t seen it.

        “ENGAGEMENT IN A HYPOTHETICAL IDEA” (nice try)
        i.e. talking out of your ***, based on flimsy evidence.

        Hence, “you claim to know a lot about the film without ever even having seen it…”

        By the way, I actually loved the film. But you seriously are just BS-ing.

        And you do it often too.

        You claim to not hate any films (as learnt from Tarantino), yet you clearly express disdain for Bay’s Transformers. I hate Bay’s Transformers too, but I’m not the one claiming to ‘enjoy everything for what it is’. You expressed a certain level of disdain for Green Lantern and The Amazing Spider-Man too.

        You criticize the three-act structure. Then you promote this five-act structure that is essentially the full version of the three-act structure.

        You give a contrived psychoanalysis of Batman fans to explain why Batman’s so famous. But that analysis collapses into itself due to the fact that there are thousands of characters out there which fulfill that same criteria that “made Batman famous”, but they never attain anywhere near the level of popularity that Batman’s achieved. And you conveniently ignore the simpler, yet truer, explanation that Batman’s just had better stories written about him than almost any other superhero. Just compare Scott Snyder’s Batman to almost any other comic out there right now (the gap between Batman’s comic and most others in characterization, suspense, action, and even humor is so palpable, it isn’t even funny).

        And so on…

      • Panache said

        Call out anyone you’d like on his bullshit. Be as much of a prick as you’d like. Lord knows, I’m called one often enough.

        However, the line between rebuking someone and trolling him is perilously thin. The macho posturing and mocking signature line set you firmly on the wrong side of it.

        Furthermore, you cross-posted threads. Not one of your comments above relates to “Girls” or the comments for this article.

        Your thread displays a lack of decorum and poor Internet etiquette. Put together, they definitely qualify this exchange as trolling.

        I have relatively few objections to trolling, but I was dragged into this one because I receive updates to this thread. Please refrain from cluttering the inboxes of engaged commenters for an unrelated thread without offering any further, pertinent argumentation.

      • FILMCRITHULK said

        JHANDUBAM. IF THAT EMAIL IS NO GOOD, PLEASE EMAIL HULK AT FILMCRITHULK@GMAIL.COM. THIS ISN’T ABOUT HULK. YOU WOULD MUCH RATHER THIS CONVERSATION NOT BE PUBLIC.

      • JhanduBam said

        @Panache

        I am afraid you are wrong, buddy.

        “Trolling” is an act that is purely carried out to incite a negative response (For example, “F*** you Hulk. Your articles suck”), with no real intent to engage in a proper debate.

        That simply cannot be the case here as the root of this discussion is me pointing out discrepancies in Hulk’s past claims and demanding a justification. This relates to the legitimacy of anything and everything Hulk posts here. Hence, relevant to to any and every thread here (Hint Hint! Including this one). Hence, not trolling.

        Your level of irritation or whatever you consider to be internet etiquette is irrelevant. What is also irrelevant is your claim of being “dragged into this”.

        If you do not intend to partake in this particular exchange, then quite simply un-tick the check-box which is labeled “Notify me of follow-up comments via email”, which could not possibly be too hard for you. Especially considering that the said check-box is adjacent to the “Post Comment” button that you have been abusing for the past few hours with a fair bit of irreverence.

        So, in a delicious bit of irony here:
        “Please refrain from cluttering the inboxes of engaged commenters without offering any further, pertinent argumentation.”

        Either refute my claims (which are indeed pertinent to every thread Hulk posts), or stay put and shut up.

      • JhanduBam said

        @Hulkie

        Finally!

        Alright, Hulkie. Comply, I shall.

      • Panache said

        (Whoops. Apologies, Hulk. Double post.)

        @JhanduBam

        The provided definition better suits flaming. The persistence, veneer of rationality, and humorous intent edge this interaction toward trolling.

        Comment sections belong to the article in question. None of yours address the initial article. If you have issues with a previous article, it too has a comment section. If you have a larger issue with Hulk’s M.O., there is an About section. More to the point, Hulk attempted to contact you with the dated information which you provided. He then further facilitated direct contact with him.

        I follow this thread because I commented on the article. I will not miss others’ comments on account of yours. I do request that if we are not to be civil then at least let us carry on in the appropriate thread.

  3. Really interesting column.

    I really enjoy Girls, and thought when Marnie and Hannah were on the phone in episode 2.06, it felt like an inversion of a sitcom trope that felt real for the characters.

    With Shashona, the show’s clearly trying to be subversive, but I hadn’t thought of how far it goes until reading this.

  4. Scallat said

    I tried watching Girls in the first season but couldn’t get into exactly for the reasons you’re addressing here.

    For me watching television is primarily a social activity. I may watch the shows on my own but I get the majority of my enjoyment of them by sharing them with other people. After watching a new episode of something I’ll usually go straight onto the web to read reviews and get involved in comment threads. Even just reading them is important to my enjoyment of a show.

    I don’t know why I’m like this but I know that this habit is actually more important to me than the shows themselves. I know this because the critical zeitgeist around Girls was enough to get me to stop watching the show. Although there was nothing about the show that I particularly disliked the relentless negativity and venom in the show’s digital shadow robbed me of the most important part of the experience of watching.

    It’s a shame because I especially enjoy TV shows that let me appreciate a perspective different from my own. It’s why I’m watching Bunheads (the only show more female centric than Girls) and Switched at Birth (A really mature and nuanced take on deaf culture hiding in what would otherwise be just a very good soap opera). Girls would’ve fit very nicely into that horizon broadening milieu.

  5. Panache said

    @JhanduBam

    The provided definition better suits flaming. The persistence, veneer of rationality, and humorous intent edge this interaction toward trolling.

    Comment sections belong to the article in question. None of yours address the initial article. If you have issues with a previous article, it too has a comment section. If you have a larger issue with Hulk’s M.O., there is an About section. More to the point, Hulk attempted to contact you with the dated information which you provided. He then further facilitated direct contact with him.

    I follow this thread because I commented on the article. I will not miss others’ comments on account of yours. I do request that if we are not to be civil then at least let us carry on in the appropriate thread.

    • JhanduBam said

      To paraphrase:

      “I don’t like what you’re saying waah, waah, waah”.

      Fail

      • Timmy said

        @Jhandu
        Stop trolling.

        @Panache
        You are part of the problem. Stop engaging him.

        @Hulk
        Never heard of this show. But after this, I think I ought to check it out.

      • Panache said

        @Timmy

        Your initial response matches mine. If you reread my subsequent responses, I do not respond to the flaming, just the reasoning.

        Just as I do not want to unsubscribe this thread, I do not want to disengage @JhanduBam. I just want to engage in useful dialogue.

  6. I wrote a comment about this article yesterday, but deleted it because I couldn’t fully articulate why it grated on me so. Apologies for the vitriol contained below, but it is genuinely how I felt at the time.

    FULL DISCLAIMER: I have seen only the first five minutes of Girls.

    I was going to watch it, but got interrupted. What I saw was enough to make me not want to go back. So I gave Tiny furniture a go. 20 minutes of that made me want to pull out my teeth to bite out my own eyes.

    Trying to articulate why was a challenge. However, I just found the best way to explain it is with something you wrote about Eat, Pray, Love:

    BUT THE CHARACTERIZATION OF THESE EVENTS IN THE TEXT JUST HORRID. HALF OF IT THROUGH THE FILTER OF HER OBVIOUS SOCIAL FEARS/ANXIETY/DEPRESSION BUT IT WRITTEN LIKE TRIVIAL UPPER-CLASS, SELF-INVOLVED BULLSHIT. IT SORT OF MAKE HULK ANGRY (AND IN CASE YOU NOT KNOW… YOU NOT LIKE HULK WHEN ANGRY). MAINLY, CAUSE THE ACTUAL ISSUES BEING “TACKLED” IN EAT, PRAY, LOVE PRETTY IMPORTANT.

    This is exactly how I feel about Girls.

    Perhaps I’m wrong and would love it if I gave it chance, but I can’t see that ever happening.

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      OH, IT’S ABSOLUTELY ABOUT THE SAME “STUFF” IF THAT MAKES SENSE, ONLY LENA DUNHAM IS 100% AWARE OF IT AND MAKES THE 24 YEAR OLD NARCISSISM “THE JOKE.” THE PROBLEM IS THE SHOW ALSO MAKES THAT JOKE HUMANE AND SOMETIMES DRAMATIC. BUT STILL, HULK IS POSITIVE SHE IS AWARE OF THE DISTILLATION.

      MEANWHILE, GILBERT THINKS SHE’S DISPENSING LIFE-CHANGING WISDOM THAT WILL FIX EVERYONE.

      THE DIFFERENCE IS BEYOND CRUCIAL.

      DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?

      • Yes it does.

        I might give it another go at some point, but from the little I saw the narcissism was grating and didn’t strike me as particularly funny. Then again, you can’t really judge something from the first five minutes or sometimes even the first season (Parks and Rec).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 838 other followers

%d bloggers like this: