Full disclosure: Having spent the better part of the past month watching television critic after television critic tweet their infatuation with GIRLS, there’s no denying that our expectations prior to screening the first three episodes of HBO’s newest comedy series may have been just slightly off the charts. That said, there’s also no denying that we now find ourselves out on the proverbial limb as quite possibly the only television critic-blogger-type to have not fallen head over heels in love with this show.
Penned by twenty-something director/writer/actor Lena Dunham and produced by Judd Apatow (FREAKS AND GEEKS, Knocked Up), GIRLS chronicles the continuing misadventures of four young woman trying to make it in New York City. Joining Dunham’s Hannah — a wannabe writer with big dreams of becoming the voice of
her a generation — is her bestie/roomie Marnie (Allison Williams), their hippie friend Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and wide-eyed newcomer Shoshana (Zosia Mamet). Not joining Dunham’s Hannah is a funny or likeable friend with whom we want to spend any discernible amount of time with.
And therein lies the crux of the problem.
Unlike the immensely likeable cable casts that preceded them (including but not limited to SHAMELESS’ Gallagher family, Vincent Chase’s ENTOURAGE and the gold-standard that was SEX AND THE CITY’s now iconic foursome of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha), these self-absorbed and responsibility-averse girls, whose idea of a good time by the way is a trip to an abortion clinic, aren’t the least bit appealing.
Yes, Dunham deserves credit for her remarkably fresh voice and utterly fearless performance that quite literally has the the young star laying it all out there for everyone to see. Unfortunately — with the notable exception of the show’s fantastic opening scene that hilariously introduces our heroine moments before she’s about to be financially cut off by her parents (Says Mom, “We can’t keep bankrolling our groovy lifestyle”), Dunham’s distinctive perspective is not nearly enough of a reason for us to recommend getting to know these girls. GRADE: C
GIRLS airs Sundays at 10:30PM on HBO (and HBO in Canada)