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  3. Last night’s episode of Girls was yet another round in what has become a competition to see who can be the show’s most sociopathically unlikable character, as the girls in Lena Dunham’s HBO dramedy grappled with the untimely passing of Hannah’s editor.

    Hannah, in predictable fashion, uses the death as an opportunity to get attention, while admitting the only real remorse she feels is for the unclear future of her e-book. Jessa and Shoshana share stories about their own experiences with death, with Shosh conceding that it was ultimately a good thing for her high school clique, and Jessa getting so involved in her own story that she forgot Shoshana’s altogether. Marnie continues in her tireless efforts to become the kind of girl “fancy people want to work with,” and then Hannah, Laird, and Caroline cart-wheel through a cemetery.

    In other words, it was the usual display of self-involved delusion and tragically poor communication that has become a hallmark of the series. After each episode since the conclusion of the brilliant first season, I’ve asked myself: Why do I continue watching this show? Is it because the whole series has become such a spectacle? Am I challenging myself to white-knuckle through one uncomfortable scene after the next? Is it because as a twenty-something writer living in New York I’d feel totally irrelevant not watching it?

    No, I realized, it’s because of the boys.

    — Monica Nickelsburg, in Why I only watch Girls for the guys

     


  4. Patrick, Agustin, and Dom have partners of various ethnicities, ages, and social groups. They discuss politics or social issues in passing, just like the rest of us. They don’t exist to teach us lessons or preach about gay rights, nor to incessantly navel-gaze about their problems. They’re just three regular guys who happen to like guys. In 2014, that’s (sadly) still remarkable.
     


  5. It’s because it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive, I think, and I totally get it. If you are not into me, that’s your problem.
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    Lena Dunham, answering a critic who “doesn’t get” why she’s “naked, at random times, for no reason” so often on Girls.

    Lena Dunham’s body reveals the naked truth about our distorted values

     

  6. Even as Girls disappoints by implicitly endorsing the utterly toxic relationships of Hannah/Adam and Marnie/Charlie, it does something even more disappointing by putting so much emphasis on romantic relationships at all. Remember when Girls was about more than boys? What this episode lacks — and, on reflection, this season has lacked — is an emphasis on the relationships between the central four women. The episode doesn’t come close to passing the Bechdel Test, because the women don’t talk to each other at all, and it’s frustrating to watch Girls push the characters’ romantic entanglements to the forefront while it pushes the rest of their lives aside.

    Hannah’s crippling O.C.D. made it impossible for her to finish the book that would represent the culmination of her personal and professional dreams — but that’s okay, because Adam is there to scoop her into his arms! Marnie and Charlie have reached their “endpoint,” even though neither of them mentions her budding singing career — but that’s okay, because Charlie’s making enough money for both of them! And Shoshanna… what does Shoshanna do again? College student? Maybe we should actually find out what she’s studying sometime.”

    Scott Meslow really, really hated last night’s Girls finale

     

  7. Ray is quickly becoming one of our favorite characters on Girls. Scott Meslow sat down with Alex Karpovsky, the man who plays Ray: 

    • How much do you want people to read the “real you” into the character?

      I want people to be engaged by the character. If that means they have to apply a lot of similarities between him and me, so be it — I don’t care, I’m not offended. He’s not a necessarily a likable person, and it’s okay if you don’t think I’m a likable person, as long as you are engaged by the character. 

    • This isn’t the first time you’ve played a character named after yourself — you also wrote and starred in a film about “Alex Karpovsky” called The Hole Story in 2005, and your character on HBO’s Girls was originally named “Karpovsky.”

      Right. Lena [Dunham] wrote the pilot and asked me to be in it. When she sent it to me, and it said “Karpovsky,” the only note I had was, “Can we change the name?”

    • Why do you think you end up playing “yourself” so often?

      Different directors would have different reasons, each of which you could probably analyze, [but] I think oftentimes stories need a character to agitate, or stir things up — unsubtle things, just to keep the story going forward. And for whatever reason, people think sometimes, in certain contexts, I can do that with a comedic wit. Maybe that’s why they cast me. But I don’tknow why. Maybe they have their own reasons. It’s not to be the romantic lead. Not to have a pretty face. [laughs]

    Read the full interview

     

  8. When Hannah leaves the brownstone — and, presumably, Joshua’s life — for good, she takes her trash out with her. Maybe there’s hope for her yet.”

    Last night’s episode of Girls was a weird one, but “also a brief (but major) step forward” for Hannah and the show, says Scott Meslow. Here’s his review.

     

  9. Random House is taking a big chance by making such a big bet on an author whose fan base is concentrated in the under-30 demographic,” which is “a group not known for its willingness to pay for content of any kind,” says Jeff Bercovici at Forbes on Lena Dunham’s $3.5 million book advance.

    Photo: Desiree Navarro/Getty Images

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  10. When Girls premiered in April, it was lauded as a "once in a decade" masterpiece. Critics called the HBO comedy, about barely employed twenty-somethings living in New York City, "revolutionary" and "groundbreaking" for its frank depiction of sexuality and coming of age, and dubbed writer-director-creator-star Lena Dunham the “voice of a generation.”

    Throughout its first season, the zeitgeist-capturing series sparked intense debate over racegender, and Dunham’s polarizing lead character, Hannah. The season one finale, which aired Sunday night, found Hannah questioning her relationship while her friend Jessa spontaneously marries.

    A full season later, does Girls live up to its pre-release praise?

     

  11. Who are the Millennials? Aside from being born in the 1980s and 1990s, they comprise a generation that continues to elude a neat definition. With the popularity of HBO’s Girls, in which Lena Dunham’s character thinks she’s the voice of this new generation (“Or at least a voice. Of a generation.”), Millennials have come under renewed focus in the media, among the literati, and in the boardrooms of marketers trying to pinpoint what this demographic wants.

    A few ways Millennials are being described: 

    1. They’re spendthrifts… 
    Studies show that Millennials are more likely than their elders to spend big, “especially on new technologies,” says Julie Halpert at The Fiscal Times. These studies say Millennials are addicted to instant gratification, and view new gadgets as needs, not wants. Millennials are also “the fastest-growing demographic of those who purchase luxury goods,” says Rachel Krause at The Frisky.

    2. …And they’re broke 
    A new survey shows that 25 percent of Millennials “reported not having enough money to cover their basic needs," a much higher percentage than older generations, says Corilyn Shropshire at Business Insider. Millennials have been hit hard by the recession, and are weighed down by ever-growing mountains of student debt. "The lack of financial savvy among Millennials could have a trickle-down effect with detrimental consequences for society," says Hadley Malcom at USA Today. 

    3. They’re natural entrepreneurs 
    Call it “Generation Sell” — Millennials are less inclined to join a commune or a movement, and would rather start a small business, says William Deresiewicz at The New York Times. Brought up in the “heroic age of dot-com entrepreneurship” that defined the 1990s, and distrustful of “large organizations, including government,” the Millennial views small business as “the idealized social form of our time.” 

    4. They’re socialists
    Looks like the “right-wing cries of ‘socialist takeover!’ may be based in more than paranoia,” says Nona Willis Aronowitz at Good. Polls show that 49 percent of Millennials “view socialism in a favorable light,” compared with 43 percent who view it unfavorably. Millennials are also the generation of Occupy Wall Street, the anti-corporate movement, and “it’s not hard to figure out why our generation isn’t so gung-ho about capitalism — it has disappointed and, in some cases, straight-up failed us.”

    Narcissistic, broke, and 6 other ways to describe the Millennial generation

    (Source: theweek.com)