Welcome to Format Free Fridays, the one day a week when I break the format of answering your questions and I dispense that which we rarely welcome in life: Unsolicited information.
This week I’m talking about my newest obsession: Girls. Not girls in the traditional sense – HBO’s new series, Girls. Oh come on. I’m a lesbian. Everyone knows I’m obsessed with girls. Back to the point…
HBO’s Girls follows the lives of Hannah Horvath and her group of 20-something, post-college friends who live in Brooklyn and are struggling to make ends meet. The show makes me alternate between screaming “No!!!!” as these well-meaning characters make rookie mistake after mistake which they will thankfully no longer make in their 30’s, and laughing my ass off.
Not being a show critic, I’m not sure how to articulate what it is that makes Girls as compelling and as important as it is except to say that the brutal honesty from which the stories are told is both horrifying and refreshing. To say that I experience uncomfortable moments during the 30 minute show is an understatement and an oddity, particularly given that my specialty as a shrink is working with young adults in New York City. I think I’m blown away by the lack of glitter and shine.
Girls does not ascribe to the Gossip Girls portrayal of youth possessing power, living their lives in Louboutins and in apartments that aren’t even remotely plausible for people of their age. Ironically, the harshest critics of the show appear to be 20-somethings who cannot bear the bold integrity from which the stories are told. Whether it’s the nude scenes of Hannah (a non-anorexic and very average-sized American woman), the idea that privileged white girls could fuck married men, accidentally smoke crack or look to their parents for endless monetary support, I feel as though a breath of fresh air blows through my window every Sunday night. Maybe it’s because I’m reminded of how awful my 20’s were.
Maybe I’m obsessed with Girls because I hear very similar stories, 3 or 4 times a day, as many of my clients are living similar lives. It’s essential that people find examples of themselves in media, and before Girls, those examples set their generation up for disappointment of epic proportions as the fantastic lifestyles portrayed were completely out of sync with reality. That said, here’s to hoping my clients' parents don’t cut them off as Hannah’s did, or I’ll be looking for new digs in Brooklyn myself.