It’s official, everybody. Literally the last person on the planet who hadn’t written a thinkpiece about HBO’s Girls has finally shared their thoughts. I give you 19-time NBA All-Star (holy shit! Seriously?) and official United States cultural ambassador Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s take on Girls.
“This season that white ghetto was breached by a black character who is introduced as some jungle fever lover, with just enough screen time to have sex and mutter a couple of lines about wanting more of a relationship. A black dildo would have sufficed and cost less.”
Kareem is clearly a well-read and cerebral dude and despite the fact that his face will show up every time you Google “Black dildo Kareem,” he offers a relatively not-insane overview of Girls shortcomings.
But unfortunately, Kareem didn’t get the memo: hating Girls is so 2000 and late (we’re still using that phrase, right?). Kareem might know a lot about skyhooking and black dildoes but I know even more about post-ironic self-aggrandizing East Coast hipster bullshit culture. And that culture dictates that exactly one year is enough time to hate something before finally coming around to see its merits.
So it’s with that in mind, that I come to you with a heavy heart to admit that I let myself fit into that model of year-long hatred before inevitable acceptance. To be fair, I never actually hated Girls. I dutifully watched every episode of its first season and felt something close to enjoyment. But anytime it was brought up it conversation, I felt this bizarre pathological hipster need to tear it apart.
Part of it was certainly jealousy. Lena Dunham is a young writer slowly taking over the world and reshaping it in her lovely pixie-cut image and I’m the guy who just googled “Black dildo Kareem.”
Note: Seriously, HBO, just give me a show. I’ll show my boobs twice as much as Dunham. I swear it’s like you’re not even reading my Game of Thrones reviews.
But the other part, stylistically speaking, about the show that bugged me – is that if often felt like two shows mashed into one in its first season. Hannah’s plotlines felt like they came from the Louie school of bizarre auteur nonsense. Hannah is self conscious about her creepy boss not sexually harassing her enough! Hannah experiences the awkwardness of receiving a text not meant for her! Hannah falls in love with Parker Posey in a bookshop…oh wait, that WAS Louie. The other half of the show, featuring Marnie, Jessa and Shosanna had the same tone and flow of Sex and the City: the Bushwick Years. Sure it was a hyper-stylized version of young people living in the Big City but it hewed far closer to reality than Hannah’s Being John Malkovich-esque brain spasms.
But here’s the point: even in my darkest days of Girls disparaging, I would never argue that either of those versions of the show were bad. It just trigged my classic sitcom sensibility that they didn’t intersect more frequently. Now season two has rolled around and…my complaints remain largely the same. Girls didn’t change overnight into the finely tuned, tonally consistent sitcom machine I wanted but I find myself caring less and less.
Sure, Hannah is still off doing her own thing for the most part, but at least she’s bringing along buddies in the guise of Andrew Rannells (my new gay BFF), Donald Glover (my once and always black BFF) and Jon Glaser (my…heroin addict BFF?). And Marnie and the other girls’ storylines remain disconnected but have progressively gotten better.
But Dunham has such a clear confident vision for the show, that I don’t care if it gets a bit messy or inconsistent at times. I give in, Girls, you win. Now let’s snort coke off a toilet seat and dance together.