It’s pretty easy to hate Lena Dunham’s breakout show, Girls. Some have said the show depicts a lazy, self-indulgent generation who have no clue how to act as functioning members of society. Lena herself has been slandered by the media for coming across as entitled and failing to write a wider array of ethnicities into the show. It is as if critics can’t separate Lena’s character, Hannah, from herself. That in itself is a testament to why the show has garnered so much acclaim; it’s real, almost painfully so at times. Each week’s episode is akin to watching the cast take a 30-minute crash course on life, love and friendship, which often become indistinguishable and lead to disastrous results.
There’s much that can be written about Girls, but considering the much-maligned “holiday” taking place today I think it apt to talk about what the characters can teach us about love.
1. Avoid pursuing anyone who mistakes you for a sex-toy
Hannah spends a good deal of time chasing after a sloppy carpenter/actor who doesn’t place any value in her (or so it seems). Adam and her are no Romeo and Juliet – they don’t “make love,” they fuck. In his presence she loses any semblance of self-respect and passively submits to degrading sex positions. But we later realize that Adam is scared to commit to someone who is solely interested in what he can do in bed and not his inner-workings. Moral of the story: those who respect themselves demand it from others.
2. Don’t piss on her leg and tell her it’s raining
Adam literally urinates on Hannah as a joke in the shower…never do that, guys.
3. Be kind, but don’t put your significant other on a pedestal
In stark contrast to Adam is his antithesis Charlie, the painfully devoted boyfriend. But since Charlie’s girlfriend Marnie is played by the stunning Allison Williams he can almost be pardoned for this blunder. His prolonged reverential treatment of Marnie has lulled their relationship to the point where “his touch feels like a weird uncle.” His love evidently comes from a sincere place, but no one enjoys being smothered. A collective groan was surely uttered when he pleaded for her not to abandon him again just as she was going down on him. Lesson? Don’t be that guy. Just keep it real and don’t let your romanticized vision of a person send your expectations soaring, only to have them come crashing down when confronted by reality.
4. Honesty is endearing
Shoshanna quickly won everyone’s hearts with her frankness and naïve quips that acted as comedic relief and revealed a refreshing innocence (literally – she’s a virgin). After an incident involving mistakenly-smoked crack, Shoshana initiates a relationship with Ray, the surly guy who would eventually deflower her. It’s important to occasionally step out of your comfort zone – though perhaps not always through a narcotics-fuelled bender.
5. Read a book (or just entertain other hobbies)
Zosia Mamet (Shoshanna) recently expressed on Conan just how bleak the dating scene is: “I’m kind of a weirdo, but 90 per cent of the time when I go on dates, I find myself thinking that I could be reading my book.” If you find yourself on a ceaseless string of disappointing dates, take a breather and just focus on yourself. Having a sense of direction is something we all aspire to, and seeing it in someone else can be alluring. As grotesquely Nicholas Sparks-like as this may sound, love may find you when you least expect it – such as when you’re watching the new episode of Girls at a friend’s house. Disclaimer: Love? Shit, I don’t know anything about love.