My boyfriend introduced me to this show and being that I do not have HBO at home, I only watch it with him. As a female, this show had a different effect on me as it did him. He loved it from the very first episode and laughed at pretty much every scene, whether degrading of a female or not. I, not so much.
It took me until a week ago to actually admit that I enjoyed the show. It was a process. I had to come to terms with the fact that everything that happened to these girls was realistic. All of their situations with boys and with sex and with insecurity and pure stupidity was all true, yet as I watched, I would cringe. I suppose I can compare it to being completely exposed. As if Judd Apatow and Lena Dunham had taken every young adult females most secretive journal and exposed it to the world. As a 21 year old female in New York City, I was very much in tune with the lives of these four girls. The relationship qualms that Hannah and Marnie go through are similar to what I, and many of my friends, have experienced in the past, yet don’t like to speak about. And just that, not speaking about it, is what made me so uncomfortable watching this show.
The way Adam treats Hannah up until last week’s episode was horribly degrading and I would yell at the television telling her how stupid she was as my boyfriend laughed away. When Marnie attempts to fix her relationship with Charlie, I was yelling at the screen once more because I knew it was hopeless. But the craziest (or maybe it isn’t so crazy) about this is that I too had a relationship with a guy like Adam. I acted just as Hannah did and was treated just like her and it wasn’t any fun. With me, it never turned into anything that lasted. But I have always found myself hoping and praying that no girl ever has to have a relationship like any of my failed ones. Aw sweet? I suppose, but it’s really just naive and unrealistic. Marnie’s relationship with Charlie was a direct parallel to my last long term relationship that lasted about a year and a half with little to no sex throughout. I was Marnie. Yet I still winced at everything that happened between her and Charlie because I didn’t want to see anyone deal with that pain and awkwardness like I did.
Do I dare even speak about Jessa? This will be a character I doubt I’ll ever like. I hate cheating more than anything in the world (ok no, I may hate war a little more) and the types of females that condone it really get under my skin. Jessa is the epitome of a carpe diem female. She doesn’t care whose life she ruins, so long as she gets her fun. She’s all about her pleasure and her happiness. She’ll easily have sex with a guy in a happy relationship simply because she wants to play with his mind. She gets off on this stuff. When she began talking to Jeff, the father of the two little girls she babysits, I was furious. Every time the scene would cut to their little situation,whatever it may be, I’d turn and look at my boyfriend and give him the nastiest look as if he was the creator of the show. I’m not going to say that men are easily susceptible to temptation because women are just as much (and my admitting this shows how I have grown with this show), but Jessa is the type of female you want to stay a continent away from your spouse or significant other. I mean c’mon girl, step away from the married man!
This has been a problem for me in other shows. In the NBC show, Smash, I got very angry with Debra Messing’s character when she cheated on her husband with the man she had an affair with years before. When her son saw them, it was revolting to me. I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that shortly after that scene, I stopped watching. But why? Why do I act as though this isn’t something that happens all the time? Temptation can make its way into some of the happiest relationships. I think I just fear that my future husband will be just like this. It happens so often in television, film, and the real world that I often times wonder if any union is truly faithful to one another for however many years. I hope so, but how could I know?
People keep so many secrets, some they take to the grave, and some are exposed in due time, but it’s the secrets that scare me. Girls exposes many secrets — those of degrading men, selfish women, sexless relationships, and many more. Although secrets never told are what scare me most, secrets exposed are almost just as frightening to me. I suppose it’s the fact that all these things happen to so many men and women that a show could be made out of it.
All in all, Girls has grown on me, and I’ve become very attached with the characters, even Jessa. I could see myself hanging out with them and having a grand old time. But I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable with the situations they go through, just because of my sensitive nature. Maybe I just need to grow up and realize that this is life. And life can throw some really shitty situations upon us that we just have to deal with.
Watch Girls on HBO, Sunday at 10:30 ET! (Tonight!!)