By Curt Wagner
5:43 PM CDT, April 12, 2012
The new comedy "Girls" lands on HBO fully formed, a brave and daringly honest portrayal of four 20-something women struggling to make lives for themselves in New York. And I won't be watching any more of it.
The series, from "Tiny Furniture" director-writer-star Lena Dunham, is garnering deserved praise from all corners, but I find its characters annoying, selfish and entitled.
These are not girls with whom I want to spend time.
I can't dispute the fact that the well-acted and naturalistic "Girls" (9:30 p.m. Sunday, HBO; 2 stars), which is produced by Dunham, Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner, presents an original point of view and deftly captures life between adolescence and adulthood. It's just that I've survived those years and I don't wish to return.
We first see Hannah Horvath (Dunham), two years after graduating college, whining after her parents tell her they will no longer subsidize her life as a would-be writer in Brooklyn.
"I could be a drug addict! Do you realize how lucky you are?" she says before indignantly telling them she won't have time to hang out with them during their trip because "I am busy trying to become who I am!"
Hannah isn't the only millennial in her clique who is dissatisfied with reality. Her gorgeous but blunt roomie Marnie (Allison Williams) wants to break up with her cute boyfriend Charlie (Christopher Abbott) because he dotes on her too much. Her bohemian friend Jessa (Jemima Kirke) so fears commitment even to her friends that she keeps them at arm's length. And the insecure, virginal Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) dreams of living the life of the characters in "Sex and the City" as opposed to her own.
These gals are at times so self-absorbed it's difficult to feel much for them when things don't go their way. And things don't often go their way, but mostly because they sabotage themselves.
It's frustrating to watch even as their clumsiness subversively elicits uncomfortable laughter, such as when Hannah torpedoes a job interview by cracking a joke about rape. Hannah also allows her "boyfriend"--really sex buddy--Adam (Adam Driver) to belittle her at every opportunity.
"You're not that fat anymore," he says as he grabs her stomach roll.
I applaud Dunham's celebration of women who are not the Hollywood archetype of beauty, but no one should put up with the crap Adam dishes out to Hannah.
Like any great art, "Girls" examines the lives of a certain group with a clarity so razor sharp it leaves nothing uncovered. In other words, we see warts and all. If you've ever felt like a frustrated loser--and who hasn't?--you'll understand the experience. But will you want to be reminded of how it feels? Not me.
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