“GIRLS!” What’s Going On Here?

Apr 25

GirlsThe least sexy sex I’ve ever seen – anywhere — appears on Girls, the much-acclaimed new show on HBO. The acclaim is deserved: it’s original, funny, sad, witty, on-point, and well written, directed, and acted. The sex, however, is dismal.

Hannah, the lead character, is engaged in a joyless relationship with a guy you’d like to leap through the television and smack. He treats her like dirt and doesn’t even satisfy her needs. “That was good. I almost came” is not exactly a glowing endorsement for sexual fulfillment, and that’s about as good as it gets for Hannah.

If Christian Grey, the handsome, 26-year-old billionaire sadist in Fifty Shades of Grey (don’t ask me how I know about this) calls intercourse without the whips and chains “vanilla sex,” then these encounters of Hannah’s are “sugar free and tasteless.”

Okay, so the sex isn’t great. But the least the guy could do is show the woman a little respect. And that of course, is partly her fault. She doesn’t demand it because she doesn’t expect it. And herein, my lovelies, lays the problem.

Wait a minute.

Am I taking “Girls” too seriously?

Is this supposed to be parody?

Maybe so. And yet, from my lofty perch as a woman of a certain age, it looks to me that young women have lost their power over men. They have forgotten the basic rule of nature:

The egg just sits there and accepts or rejects the sperm,  
who must fight for the right to get in.

Okay, nobody’s talking knights jousting for the hand of the fair maiden, or even “gentleman callers” armed with candy and flowers, but wouldn’t a little effort be nice?

One of Hannah’s three roommates has a boyfriend who’s kinda too nice, and tries too hard. He gets on her nerves. A lot. But she’s been with him for years. Maybe because she knows, down deep, that if she found someone not as nice, he’d be really not as nice. Like, say, Hannah’s sorta boyfriend.

The Intern Thing

Things on the work front are no better. When Hannah’s parents cut off their financial support and she informs her boss that she can no longer afford to work for free as an intern, he says that he’ll really miss her.

This really, you should pardon the expression, sucks.

The whole intern situation is an insult. Talk about greed! Companies can pay executives obscene salaries, and bonuses, but can’t pay a young person with a college degree anything at all? Not even minimum wage? Harumph.

On the show, the company Hannah interned with is an “independent publisher” and maybe they are hard pressed for money. But still. I guess that Lena Dunham — who at an impossibly young 24 created the show and is its lead actor, having interned herself at a place called Soft Skull Press — should know about these things.

I love the show — the first two episodes anyway — because it brought this situation home to me. I also love the Hannah And Her Parents face-off, because everybody involved is wrong on some level. The parents should not have cut off the money just like that. Hannah should not expect them to keep supporting her. And her boss? The less said about him the better.

But what’s a parent to do?

What’s a girl like Hannah to do?

Between bosses who blow you off when you ask for a “raise” —from absolutely nothing to a little something— and boyfriends with very limited benefits, the options are not great.

satcmovieI plan to watch the next episode of “Girls,” though — bad sex, bad boyfriends, bad bosses and all. It’s funny. And maybe things will look up for Hannah. One lives, as we say, in hope.

But right now,  I’m going to tune into HBO On Demand and watch as many episodes as I can of Sex In The City —which Girls has been compared to but is nothing like, except that it centers around four friends. The sex in Sex, often wild and abandoned, sometimes romantic, and occasionally problematic, may not be all that realistic, but it is never dismal. Sex sells. But will Girls? 

Stay tuned. . .

 

 

 

 

 

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