HBO’s Girls: How Does it Hold Up Today?

In lockdown, I found myself scrolling through the different TV and movie options provided by different streaming services like Crave and Netflix. One day, I came across the show Girls, written and starred in by Lena Dunham. Pressing play and sitting back, I thought to myself  “Hey, why not give it a try. What do I have to lose?”

After a week and a half of binging it in any spare time I had between my classes and assignments, I finished the entire six-season saga. Did I really like it though? From seeing how quickly I finished it, you may think that I did. However, it’s like the Facebook status that some people choose to signify their relationships… it’s complicated.

The Good

The actors are trying. Like, REALLY trying. There wasn’t one cast member in this show that I feel was lacking or any weaker than the others. These would have been incredibly hard characters to portray, as they are all incredibly unlikable except for a very slim number of moments where they do show moments of self-awareness and make the right decision.

Additionally, I do enjoy the way that New York is shown. The characters all live in apartments that seem somewhat logical when you consider what their professions are.

All of the women featured in the show have realistic body types, and it is clear that there are no editing or photoshop tools involved when we see any of them naked.

Something to note is the friendship between Ray and Shoshanna. While I didn’t like them that much as a couple, I did enjoy their friendship that develops more in the later seasons of the show.

Well, that’s it.

The Bad

…Literally everything else.

Throughout the entire show, I couldn’t figure out if I liked or disliked each of the characters. This may have been the point, but it made it hard to watch, and I came away from the show without an idea of who I actually liked.

Furthermore, all of the characters are extremely annoying and self-centered. The main group of girls (Hannah, Jessa, Marnie and Shoshanna) don’t seem to like each other all that much, and by the end of the show, they’ve pretty much broken all ties with each other (with the exclusion of Hannah and Marnie who are still friends).

All of the men featured on the show are pretty disgusting with the exclusion of Ray and Adam (but they still do bad things as well).

Overall, Girls often feels close to something resembling self-insert fanfiction written by Lena Dunham (as many reviewers of the show have said). It’s an interesting trip into the minds of incredibly self-involved twenty-something-year-olds living in New York City.

If you’re looking for a new show to watch, Girls may be worth a shot if you like watching shows that are partly enjoyable and partly just fun to hate-watch. As with most controversial television shows, this one is not for everyone. However, considering it had a six-season run, it did have a place in the hearts of some people. Who knows? You may enjoy it yourself and prove my opinions wrong after seeing it through your own eyes!