warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

HBO's 'Girls' Offers Insightful Reflection On Modern Relationships

Nicole Emerich |
March 5, 2013 | 3:23 p.m. PST


Lena Dunham's "Girls" provides an insightful look into modern relationships. (Screenshot)
Lena Dunham's "Girls" provides an insightful look into modern relationships. (Screenshot)
There is no doubt in our young hearts that HBO’s sitcom "Girls" is currently reigning supreme, and that Lena Dunham is, without a doubt, our messiah.

To break it down, the show revolves around four college graduates living in New York City, engaging in countless sexual escapades and experiencing daily dramas that most young adult women face. Their problems range from trying to survive with no money and no stable job, to accidently smoking crack at a Brooklyn warehouse party.

Lena Dunham’s "Girls" offers a disturbingly accurate portrayal of the current obsession with maintaining an image. Or, at least maintaining a pretty cool pseudo-image. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with the young gentlemen of our era. Ms. Dunham has created world defined by narrowness that frighteningly mirrors our own, highlighting the modern girl’s overbearing craze to find a male suitor.

Since we were children, we have looked to the relationships in Disney films as true representations of what perfect relationships should be. I am sure millions of young ladies are living under the misconception that this is the real deal. I hate to burst this picturesque bubble, but the Little Mermaid lucked out. It is in fact impossible to get a guy to fall for you without uttering so much as one word on countless dates. Guys with foot fetishes are weird, and woodland creatures are not your friends. The squirrels scurrying about Trousdale will not be helping you discover your Prince Charming. I don’t care how fluffy and cuddly they appear.

Instead, we look to our wise and well-versed lady friends for assurance on whether this guy or another is psychotic in a sexy way or just psychotic in a crazy way. Questions like, “Is it weird that he refers to his room as the Bonezone?,” “Do you seriously think he has Turrets?” and “Is it normal that this guy is so obsessed with the Dave Matthews Band?” are just charming aspects of the modern dating world. And regardless of the question, the go-to advice is always, “Wait a few minutes before texting back though, you don’t want to seem too clingy.”

I was recently having a discussion with my dear mother about a recent episode from the HBO series, "Girls." She was a bit distressed about the “weird sex” that had taken place and the character’s nonchalant reaction to it. C’mon, like having sex while simultaneously describing a strange doll isn’t the norm nowadays. I happen to think the weird sex after getting locked in a tunnel filled with eerie television images is quite comical, but hey that’s just me. I’m into that shit.

I had to explain that this is the epitome of twenty-something-year-old girls these days. Suddenly it’s okay to put up with things that you would normally be disgusted by, because hey, at least you have a boyfriend and that girl in the corner over there doesn’t, so therefore you are superior. It seems like the bra burning days are long gone, and instead we are seeing a throwback to the 50s when girls attended college for the sole purpose of doing a little husband hunting.

It is somewhat strange that I didn't think twice about the strange sexual encounters that the young women of "Girls" find themselves in. Honestly, it all seemed relatively normal. It wasn't until I noticed my mom’s both questioning and slightly disturbed stares that I realized, hey, maybe modern girls are a bit deranged. But who's to say that this isn't just something that all twenty-something women encounter?

Regardless, there does seem to be a large amount of judgment protruding out of the older generations that's thoughtlessly being dumped on us young folk. Give us some slack. This haunting boy-craze is simply a phase...hopefully. One can only hope we won’t have to count the seconds between texts forever. Or helplessly decipher the apparent encoded hidden implications within each and every single subdued text message for the rest of our days.

As insanely funny as the sitcom "Girls" is, it sure knows how to delve into the issues of today, and it in fact offers the modern woman an insightful reflection. By presenting an unrestrained and almost hauntingly accurate mirror of the modern world, I believe "Girls" inspires, or, more likely, scares the shit out of its audience in order to show viewers that it is far better to be a somebody than somebody’s. If one thing is for certain, we should avoid junkies, men named Booth Jonathon and weird doll sex, because nothing good can come from it, guys.


Reach Contributor Nicole Emerich here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.