There was way too much television on Sunday night, so I was finally able to watch the season premiere of HBO's Girls Monday and boy was it "OK." I have written before of my love/hate relationship with the show and it persists. I love the conceptualization behind it, I love a show about dysfunctional female friendships, I love that it is supposed to be rooted in reality, I love everything the show could and should be, I just don't like how it is executed all that much.
I have complained that it's completely unreal to me, I don't sympathize with or even really like any of the characters and I find Dunham's Hannah to be one of the most obnoxious television personalities I have ever witnessed, but I can't stop watching the show! This very reason gives me cause to question my own judgment of it; maybe it's subconsciously genius and my brain knows better than I - if that makes any sense. It is trying to be difficult and it is incredibly successful at that.
I was chatting with a friend the other day who brought the show up organically and said that she didn't make it past the second season and yet she obsessively reads everything about the show; I think there is something to that. There's more drama surrounding the media's perception of the show than there is on the actual program. A little more than one million people tuned into the Season Three premiere, which is up from 886,000 for the second season opener, but I think all of the hype has a lot to do with it. And when I say "hype," I mean Lena Dunham's naked body.
To give you an example of said "hype," on Friday a story hit the intertubes of yet another journalist wanting to focus on the show's obsession with nudity. During a Television Critics Association panel, writer Tim Molloy of the Wrap asked Dunham the same question she's been asked now multiple times: Why are you always naked?
Specifically, he asked:
"I don't get the purpose of all the nudity on the show. By you particularly. I feel like I'm walking into a trap where you say no one complains about the nudity on 'Game of Thrones,' but I get why they're doing it. They're doing it to be salacious. To titillate people. And your character is often naked at random times for no reason."
Dunham, producer Judd Apatow and executive producer Jenni Konner were outraged. How dare this guy ask a legitimate question about the creative direction of the show that there should be a well-thought out answer to?
The question was apparently taken by the Girls' crew as offensive, reading between the lines as, "on Game of Thrones, there's lots of sexy naked ladies, but you Ms. Dunham aren't sexy." That's how the question appeared to be received, as Molloy was called misogynistic, rude, and questioned by Apatow whether he would have the nerve to talk to his own daughters with that mouth.
As someone who, for whatever reason, can't stop reading about this show, I was confused by the outrage. I personally think that the extraneous nudity and sex on Game of Thrones is ridiculous, but I've read about why they do it (sexposition) and when asked, the producers of the show have said as much.
When asked by Molloy why she is always in her birthday suit, Dunham first said because it's reality and then got very offended and didn't want to talk about it anymore stating, "If you are not into me, that's your problem."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
That's not an answer.
Dunham saying that regular old nudity is based in reality is an interesting reason. As I stated, I love the concept of this show and how it is supposed to be rooted in reality, but it just isn't. I don't know about all of you ladies out there, but I have had many female roommates over the years and not one of them walked around naked. I never took baths with them and I never considered it OK to chat with them with the bathroom door opened while I was going No. 2. Maybe I have shared a stall while really intoxicated. It's not real life to prance around naked all the time, Victoria Secret model body or not, and so I too have wondered the same thing as Molloy. I have never had the opportunity to ask Dunham myself.
This is just one example of the swirl of controversy surrounding this show and the third season literally just started! Additionally, I have read about 30 articles debating whether Girls is finally becoming the sitcom it was always meant to be or whether it's selling out by becoming a sitcom it never should become. That and how Dunham needs a grown-up haircut. The media loves to talk about this show.
And I, for one, look forward to reading all about it.