“Born On Third. Think They Hit A Triple.” Why Nepotism Critics Are Right About “Girls”
4:13 pm, April 17th | by Laura Donovan
I’m a fan of HBO’s brand spankin’ new comedy “Girls,” but cannot wait for the hype to blow over, as it distorted my viewing experience and shoved the project down my throat long before the highly-anticipated show first aired and I could even formulate my own opinion on it. Another one of my pet issues with the program, which is written by “Tiny Furniture” creator Lena Dunham, is its nepotism, which is nicely conveyed in the image below, a joke poster for the show:
And it feels like it was only a matter of time until someone made this observation.
What I’ve learned from the tidal wave of reviews and musings on “Girls” is that the show resonates with twenty-somethings who long for their blissful, cupcake downing college days, are struggling to find jobs for which they wouldn’t have been qualified as teenagers, and let themselves be used by unimpressive creeps with equally mediocre circumstances. I know these situations all too well, and I must say watching them transpire onscreen is both comforting and horrifying. There is definite solidarity in “Girls,” which tells females that it’s okay to laugh about the cads and smarmy womanizers they wasted many nights sobbing about. It’s tough to resurrect these memories though, and perhaps attributing too much humor to them undermines how crushed we were when things took a turn for the worst.
“Girls” is easy to relate to, and you can call me the bitter daughter of Silicon Valley techies to your heart’s content, but I just cannot get past the fact that each of the main characters are products of famous families (for the uninitiated, Dunham’s mother is artist Laurie Simmons, Allison Williams is the daughter of NBC broadcaster Brian Williams, Jemima Kirke’s father is Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke, and Zosia Mamet is playwright David Mamet’s daughter). Hollywood is an “all about who you know” business, but I’ve been most inspired by its success stories of people who worked their way up through persistence and talent without the celeb parents boost, and just one of these types could have brought some balance to “Girls.” Dunham, who undoubtedly had trouble establishing some sort of stability upon leaving Oberlin College, attended a $30,000+ per year high school, an experience with which the average Jane is unfamiliar, so her penny pinching character Hannah doesn’t feel all that believable to me — and others have expressed a similar view. Given the message behind “Girls” — that now is a rough time professionally for young people — it would have been nice for the program to hire at least one non-entertainment field insider for its cast of main characters.