Review Roundup: Are You Ready, Girls?

By Serena Larkin on Apr 13, 2012 to Girls

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the reviews are coming out fast and furious for HBO’s new comedy, Girls, which premieres Sunday night at 10:30 PM US Eastern. And color me intrigued, as I haven’t quite been drawn into the show with the available previews just yet but what some people have to say on the Internets has me eyes open a little wider today.

Most of the reviewer reaction is rather positive so far. Here’s a sampling:

Ultimately, Girls is achingly original, the sort of television show that comes around but once in a decade, embodying a singular vision and pitch-perfectly capturing a voice. Whether it represents, as Hannah suggests of her in-progress novel, the voice of a generation remains to be seen, but it’s a voice that’s not afraid to be unique, to shout at the top of its lungs that it has arrived, and to remind us all of what it means to be young. Jace Lacob, The Daily Beast.

“Girls” is all of those things, and yet it feels new. It’s not a mashup of various concepts we’ve seen a hundred times, nor is it an updated “Sex and the City” (an inevitable comparison, which “Girls” addresses head-on). It’s the distillation of a distinctive, incisive and brutally funny point of view and most importantly, it’s its own thing. “Girls” is a fresh and wonderfully realized show that feels like nothing else on TV.Maureen Ryan, Huffington Post.

But part of the point of “Girls” is that the sex, and the guys with whom the sex happens, are not the point. Instead, as titularly advertised, “Girls” is about girls, and the fact that they do make connections – emotional, intimate, irritating, satisfying, pleasurable, lasting. Just not, so far anyway, with men. The show, among many other things, is crucial and corrective testament to the ways in which women’s friendships with each other have flourished and changed during the same period in which their liberties and status have increased.Rebecca Traister, Salon.

Girls offers up a proposition that’s still audacious given our calcified ideas about gender, body image, and age: that a girl with stomach fat and an STD, who is “unfit for any and all paying jobs” and has epically disastrous taste in men, could turn out to be the voice of her generation. Alyssa Rosenberg, The Atlantic.

One reason that “Girls” is unsettling is that it is an acerbic, deadpan reminder that human nature doesn’t change. There was a lot of sex in the ’60s, but not much sexual revolution. For all the talk of equality, sexual liberation and independence, the love lives of these young women are not much more satisfying than those of their grandmothers. Their professional expectations are, if anything, even lower.

And that is the baseline joke of “Girls.”

“Sex and the City” served up romantic failure wrapped in the trappings of success. “Girls” offers romantic failure wrapped in the trappings of failure. Alessandra Stanley, New York Times.

On the other hand, at least one reviewer has given their thumbs down:

But for all the hopes and good press, the inaugural episodes of Girls amount to little more than inertia disguised as quirkiness, stock narrative masquerading as art, and peskiness paraded as high comedy.Asawin Suebsaeng, Mother Jones.

Ouch.

Well, all in all it sounds funny and thoughtful enough to be an entertaining half hour, albeit each review so far has made plain Girls may not be for everyone, and I do have to wonder just how successful it will be with certain demographics and particularly my own, the range of twenty something women it portrays.

I must admit I feel skeptical it will be all that popular with ‘us.’ For one, I doubt we find watching the exposure of our pathetic early life failures all that pleasurable, and for two, I’m just not very sure those in my age range are all that interested in social commentary in general as I think some if not most would rather watch escapist TV, – to be honest I know I am more excited for the premiere of Legend of Korra on Nickelodeon (which I’ve already seen). But I also think we’d consume anything so long as it is good and can keep the attention of our own humdrum doldrums, though above all we probably can’t resist the temptation to compare Girls to ourselves and that may be the ultimate selling point.

So how do you feel about HBO’s new comedy? Are you planning on tuning in Sunday night?

If I like it, I should have something written up next week. We shall see.

Serena writes for Sookieverseblog and kissed by fire, a Game of Thrones & ASOIAF blog. You can also find her on Twitter @kissed_by_fire .










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