Girls vs. Sex and the City
I’m a devoted fan of most shows produced by premium networks like HBO and Showtime. What’s not to love about shows that take place on Sunday nights and shine entertaining light on the hours that stand between me and my work week?
When Sex and the City was first on-air, I wasn’t a loyal fan. The thought of sex and relationships being written into a storyline — more heavily than was being done on Friends or other such shows — made me red in the face.
During its final season, I finally saw what so many 20-to-30-somethings had seen; while it was completely un-relatable in a realistic way for a girl in her mid-teens, I saw pieces of each character in my personality. Perhaps, at the end of the day, I was more of a Carrie — but weren’t we all?
Let’s bring it back to the idea of reality. In reality, as a 20-something Michigander-turned-New Yorker, I would never spend one month’s rent on a pair of Louboutin pumps — I can’t really walk in pumps — or take cabs everywhere that the subway also reaches (not anymore, anyways).
That’s where Girls comes in. While way wittier than any of my thoughts or conversations, there’s a certain charm to Lena Dunham‘s creation that is incredibly relatable. I’m far from a Brooklyn dweller — no disrespect, but I’m an Astoria girl — and while my Warby Parker frames may dictate otherwise, I’m not at all a hipster. That all said, Girls represents the real embellished non-glamour of New York life for the young and over-educated. We live by the words we hear broadcast on NPR, or what we read in the New Yorker. We make nonsensical cultural references overheard from one person we knew who studied psychology — or better yet, philosophy — at NYU or Columbia, and have friends who call themselves writers but work as glorified coffee-runners from 9 to 5. Or more realistic yet, they just work in coffee shops.
Lives dictated by insecurity and thirst for success, Dunham captures a very realistic — albeit better articulated and performed — dynamic of the non-native New Yorker in her twenties, and not all of whom are part of the New York literary scene (disclaimer: I work in book publicity).
My only gripe with Dunham is her portrayal of East Lansing, the city from which her character Hannah relocated. It’s far less folksy, and much more academia-meets-grunge. Other than that, I feel that just like today’s 30-somethings related realistically to Sex and the City back in the day, I relate to aspects of each of the main characters on Girls.