mardi 3 septembre 2013
I have been watching episodes of Girls, a series airing on HBO about 20-something girls in New York. It's edgy and raw, but the second season has been annoying me a bit - actually, a lot. In the first season, it was easy to think that all these sweet, privileged, middle-class white kids were a little lost and needed some time to adjust both to New York and to adult life. But, at this point, it simply appears that they're self-involved, whiny and tediously self-destructive.
Anything good happens to them? They discount the experience as trivial.
Screwed up people enter their lives? They welcome them with open arms.
The main character, Hannah, is a would-be writer. You'd think that she'd be able to reflect on her life through her writing, and yet, she demonstrates very little self-awareness. The world devours her without her taking any responsibility, having any control or the least bit of clairvoyance. What makes it irritating is that, I, as the viewer, am convinced that she could be happy, that she could succeed, if she stopped being so annoyingly self-conscious for one second. Because, really, Hannah is not a victim. She could stop the bullshit in her life, if she chose to (but then, there would be no show).
I do wonder, as a 20-something myself... are these people supposed to be my peers? I'll fully admit that I'm privileged and that there are many things that I take for granted. But watching these people abandon themselves in deceit is disturbing. Does the show imply that all these characters will "turn out okay" by the time they're 30? Strangely, I don't think that being a dramatic egotist in your 20s bodes well for the rest of your life. We've got to stop collectively treating this decade as a giant self-destructive/ let-me-be-an-asshole time frame where people can feel legitimate in being selfish. Although I fully support experimentation and making mistakes, it seems like these characters believe it's their duty to do all these screwed-up actions, just to feel like they're living an alternative lifestyle. But there's nothing revolutionary about snorting cocaine or having sex with a bunch of men, for that matter. And is it really necessary to do these things to feel like you have valuable life experience?
Maybe I'm getting older and - I don't know... more sour? bitter? Not "hip" anymore? But I don't have a lot of patience for those girls' antics, not because of my moral beliefs over something specific (the casual sex, for instance, doesn't offend me) but because of the utter lack of generosity between the characters. Ok, so you're "learning how to live" and that's fine. But where's your sense of solidarity? You're all in this together and you're all hurting. It might be beneficial - just throwing an idea out there - for all of you to help each other out!
I'm aware that I'm yelling at characters from a sitcom. And this sitcom is possibly trying to say something more profound by depicting the behavior of these said characters. But I'm still at the annoyed stage, where I throw my pillow at the screen and I yell profanities because most of these kids on that show are being so silly and stupid, and it hurts to watch.
So Girls is getting a reaction from me. I'm the show's target audience and I'm hooked. But I'm also really frustrated. I don't like seeing my generation portrayed that way, but I know that some of it is true. But I also know that there are so many people my age doing very interesting, truly innovative, fulfilling things. They're often insecure, uncertain, they make mistakes but they're trying to go beyond the cliché and lay the foundation for their lives.
Maybe these girls (and guys) are, too. I'll have to keep on watching, finish season 2 and tell you what I think about season 3...