Sad News: Lena Dunham and I Probably Couldn’t Be Friends


The second season premiere of Girls was last night. I haven’t seen it yet, because like all those people The New York Times wrote about last year, I watch the show on HBO GO, not live on TV. But this premiere has the media buzzing again.

They’re talking about the lack of diversity, Lena Dunham’s audacious nudity, and the completely insane depiction of twenty-something sexuality. Yes, Girls certainly gives us plenty to talk about. I just want to chat about why I don’t think I could be friends with Lena Dunham.

Let me start by saying I admire what she’s done professionally — maybe even jealous. She’s obviously smart, funny, and savvy. She cleaned up at the Golden Globe awards last night. But I hate every character she creates. If I ever met Hannah Horvath in person… the mind boggles… I can’t even imagine what venom would spew forth after a drink or two.

Of course, that’s sort of the point, right? Dunham wrote the character to be hard-to-like — though I assume she wants us to ultimately decide to root for her anyway. And so far, I just can’t…

There’s a cultural divide here, between those of us who have worked since we were 16 (sometimes two jobs) and are still paying our student loans, and those of us who had an allowance and a college fund. It’s Williamsburg vs. the rest of us!

I’ve heard Lena Dunham say that the four main female characters are based on different parts of herself. Shoshanna is the only one who doesn’t drive me insane, and that’s mostly because she’s just so hilariously clueless. Even Marnie, the relatively normal one, is insidiously self-absorbed. And I can’t help but wonder when the focused, talented side will appear.

Maybe I’m old. Maybe I just don’t understand the whippersnappers. Maybe the obliviousness of youth just gets on my thirty-something nerves. But when I think back to my 25-year-old self I know I would have loathed the girls of Girls just as much as I do now. I probably would have mulled it over as I drove from one job to the next…

I know I’m just as bad as the other whiners who want Girls to be all things to all people. It’s a show about a very specific group of navel-gazing hipsters. It’s silly of me to want there to be an independent adult among the cast on a show about aimless, lazy whiners. But if Dunham is “writing what she knows” then it’s pretty clear we can’t be friends. (Also, I’m not nearly as comfortable with casual nudity as she is and I’d have to ask her to please stop bathing while I was in the room.)

But I will totally be going to see her at The Connecticut Forum this spring, because despite the way her characters make me feel old and crotchety, I get it. I  get why Girls is important, just like I know why On the Road was important, even though I agree with Truman Capote about that particular beat classic. And let’s be honest, I’m totally watching the premiere tonight.

2 thoughts on “Sad News: Lena Dunham and I Probably Couldn’t Be Friends

  1. cravesadventure says:

    I know this 30-something year old did not like this show! I was just trying to keep my head above water and deal with almost losing my mother when I was 20-something. Great Post – Happy Monday:)

  2. Marlene says:

    How long did it take you to create Wooden Blinds
    “Sad News: Lena Dunham and I Probably Couldnt Be Friends | Writer on
    the Prowl”? It has got a good deal of really good material.
    Many thanks -Clint

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