So, why "Girls" are lauded as unique, original, ballsy, even revolutionary?
Is the writing that astonishingly good? Well, for me good writing means story and character development; the more layers, the better. And as hard as I tried, I have not seen any of that in "Tiny Furniture" or in "Girls." In fact, the most fitting description of the situational comedy that came off Lena Dunham's printer so far would be sketches, sticky notes transplanted from a mac-book onto the proverbial silver screen. I've seen 90-second student movies with more story substance. Yet, what else can we expect from someone who experiences "a joy of writing." Let me give you a quote from Thomas Mann: "A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." But, of course, the great Noble Prize laureate was talking about REAL WRITING.
Is it the recognizable dialogue plucked straight from today's conversations? The use of the momentary phraseology that is on everyone's lips today and completely forgotten tomorrow? But I thought Diablo Cody has already been improbably celebrated and rewarded with an Oscar for that.
Is it the fantastic directing skills? Seriously? Some of the shot choices make me dizzy. Acting? Ms. Dunham's acting is limited to changing her real-life masks (you know, cheerful buddy one minute, snooty bitch - another), but acting out a scripted emotion - so far it comes off wooden. The whole hire-who-you-know method didn't work too well for the rest of the cast either, except for maybe Jemima Kirke, who is a natural.
Is it because the creator is 26? Well, we've been blessed by young filmmakers before. The brilliant and defiant Harmony Korine was 22 when he wrote astonishingly raw "Kids," 24 when he wrote and directed "Gummo," and 26 when his heart-breaking "Julien Donkey-Boy" came out.
Is it because the creator of the show is naked a lot? Apparently Ms. Dunham thinks it's groundbreaking - she talked about it in many interviews. But let me tell you: every cultured kid from New York, regardless whether her/his parents are artists or financial execs, have been exposed to truly revolutionary artists who used their naked bodies as artistic media: Matthew Barney and Marina Abramovic come to mind first and foremost. These people already broke the ground and the young creators who've seen them have stepped over the naked barrier.
Is it sex? Oh, excuse me, the awkward sex? Common, the show is on the cable channel that brought us Real Sex series.
And who can seriously claim that it's edgy, when we have "Homeland" and "Nurse Jackie" on Showtime?
So, you see, there is nothing special or unique about it. It's just a carefully designed media campaign. But it works, it always does. It managed to create the hype, to convince viewers that Lena Dunham, through her personal experiences, represents the entire generation. 3.8 million people watched the first three episode.
In reality, Lena Dunham's personal experience and power of imagination are so limited that every time the situtation goes outside of her immediate surroundings, she needs a co-writer. But it doesn't matter. That three-episode viewing statistic was enough for HBO to renew the show for the second season even before the 4-th episode aired. As Hannah's boyfriend says in that crucial third episode, "We are only as blind as we want to be."