Sunday, 17 February 2013

Lena Dunham and Patrick Wilson - why GIRLS is the most honest show on tv

This week Lena Dunham's provocative show (which incidentally is only labelled as such simply because people can't find another adjective to describe seeing a normal woman get her kit off on screen) was met with outrage when - wait for it - she dared to have her character pull Patrick Wilson! 'How dare she?' they huffed and puffed - when he was so clearly 'out of her league.' Even my Husband came home and insisted I turned the episode off - angered by this 'fantasy,' declaring 'it would never happen.'

I wanted to punch him out right there. I mean, are you KIDDING ME? Do folk (scratch that) - MEN, really believe that only size zero hairless models get the hot guy? This is insane. In my days of bad red hair - kind of ginger spice gone wrong with bleach - and pre-dental work, a healthy size 12 and more muffin that top, I scored some pretty hot guys. I was no oil painting - but oddly I thought I was. Also, are men really that stupid that they cannot grasp fellow blokes may be attracted to other attributes a woman might possess - such as wit, warmth, intelligence, boldness, charm, vivacity and great chat - or do they assume women have to be barbified before a sex god will give them the time of day?

The moment that shocked me was NOT Hannah getting laid - but the fact she was able to get the 42 year old perfect Doctor, to beg her to stay. One night stands are classified as such by the fact that before you have time to say 'I take my coffee black' they are calling you a cab. Yet here, he offered her steak, a cashmere jumper and a luxurious bed for the night.

If you missed the ep - a recap: Hannah is at her local coffee house, where she works - and in strides aforementioned Doc, annoyed that the cafe's trash keeps filling up his dumpster. After a minor row with the manager (Hannah's mate and boss), he leaves. Hannah follows him home and apologises - explaining that it was she who committed the bin faux pas. Then, out of nowhere, she kisses him. Now this DID shock me. NOT because he is hot and she is not a size 0. But because she was sober! Balls of STEEL lady! I don't think I've ever puckered up and thrown myself face first towards a man without having at least 6 martinis down my gullet. Doc responds and they shag. Then he offers to cook her steak and she ends up staying for the weekend...

Next shocker - again, nothing to do with looks here people - is that instead of him getting his rocks off - Hannah demands instead that HE make HER come. Bravo again! How often are we made to watch drivel where women are on their knees - literally and metaphorically - sucking up (excuse the pun) to a man's ego; OR lying back, staring at a ceiling, jiggling around as if they are in ecstacy? How many times have you wanted to throw your popcorn at the screen yelling 'NO ONE COMES IN THAT POSITION THAT I HAVE EVER MET. EVER.' So here we have the Doc obliging - and it feels raw, intimate, sexy and real. At last, at freakin' last.

But for the me, the moment that made my toes curl with a horrific sense of 'been there, got the wardrobe let alone the bloody T shirt' - is the scene at the end where Hannah opens herself up - vulnerably realising some home truths - and trying to make sense of it all; needing understanding, empathy and approval. (Mind you, this usually happened to me after the third bottle of red had been uncorked - so once again, bravo for the sober purging). Dunham doesn't make it easy to like Hannah - when the Doc tries to relate to her rantings offering up the fact he too had some sexual bounderaries crossed at a young age, she dismisses him immediately; she's too self involved, too caught up in her own angst. But have we all not been that girl at some point in our 20s? The one who is spunky and sassy and fun and wins the boy over - only to show our soft underbelly and have him run for the hills? Instead of his obvious disappointment in her - I felt a crushing disappointment in HIM.

Poignantly, after he has gone the next day, she wanders around his apartment - not hoking in his closets, which frankly I would have done - but instead, trying on his lifestyle for size. As she reads the paper and spreads jam on her toast, you get the sense that she tried on the golden slipper of comfortable living and was surprised to see it fitted darn nicely. Again, we've all been there, no? Living in some poxy flat above a kebab shop in Seven Sisters, sharing our kitchen with a plague of mice - dating older, wiser (?) men with fancy apartments and money to burn - and enjoying their luxuries more than they do... Fantasising about that life - without actually wanting the man himself in the equation...

GIRLS, for me, is so brilliant because it isn't afraid to show women returning to men with whom they have downright awful sex. For showing friendship is our family and all the trials and tribulations that comes with a flatshare. The quest of our 20s to find ourselves, and find another person to share it with. It's all pretty fucking exhausting. The fact that Dunham isn't afraid to expose her voluptuous flesh isn't the most shocking thing about girls - it is the antiquated, misogynist reactions to it.

BOYS - shame on you.


Wendy Fillmore said...

Bravo. :-)

Toby Bentley said...

Excellent blog. Very true, and no one bats an eyelid the other way around. Geeky men always get the hottie.

Courtney said...

Well, I've just moved this up in terms of series I need to watch, stat - I'm quite behind on current tv. Wonderful, thoughtful review that deserves attention.