Good Reasons Why the TV Show Girls Should Continue
The limitations of TV show Girls by Lena Dunham have been highlighted by feminist critics, but this empowering show deserves a season 3.
The popularity for Lena Dunham’s show ‘Girls’ hasn’t wavered since it first aired across the pond. However the writer, director and star of the show has received a huge amount of criticism since the first season. Granted, there are several limitations to this television programme and these were picked up by feminist critics pretty sharpish. The main problem was (and still is) the lack of diversity. For a show about girls, we only ever get to see a specific ‘kind’ of girl; representations of the white, straight, cis, able bodied and financially privileged New York hipsters. So while ‘Girls’ is enjoyed by a huge audience, it’s likely that many female viewers cannot identify with the characters’ lifestyle and understandably do not get any enjoyment from the show at all.
By no means am I questioning the validity of criticisms like these, but if you consider the bigger picture, perhaps Lena Dunham has done a fine job at creating a sitcom about what she knows. It’s incredibly refreshing to even be able to see interpretations of female characters on our screens that aren’t trivialised, their appearance hyper-sexualised or roles painfully limited.
There are many positives to come out of ‘Girls’. Here are the main reasons why a third season is important.
Lena Dunham (writer, director, star) as Hannah in the TV show Girls.
The show is about girls (duh) with individual behaviours, quirks and problems. The four main characters aren’t shallow female stereotypes, they are presented as real people and that in itself is pretty progressive.
The portrayal of the male characters is actually worth a mention too. For a show about girls, the creators do a good job at depicting the male characters on a relatively deep level also. They may be in the minority (which is kind of the point) and they aren’t exactly pleasant most of the time, but they too are people, ones we are interested in and characters we care about as well as the female foursome.
I hope Lena Dunham keeps getting naked in Season 3. Something tells me she will. The actress came under fire for her frequent nudity as main character Hannah, throughout the two seasons (for no good reason). Apparently people get quite angry when faced with female nudity that doesn’t represent what society says is conventionally attractive. The more those people complain, the more I want Dunham to carry on baring flesh for the world to see. Those who feel uncomfortable or even offended by her frequent on-screen nudity deserve to feel that way anyway, am I right?
It may be a comedy first but ‘Girls’ is constantly treading into new territory and not all of the themes covered are particularly light-hearted. From the first season, characters communicated and supported each other over issues such as carnally transmitted badnesses, abortion, menopause and virginity and since the second season, the range of topics has only increased. Some of the later episodes are quite dark and actually made me feel quite uncomfortable.
Those are just a few of the show’s merits. There’s bound to be more, especially as a third season is on the cards. I hope that this one programme has set the bar for other writers to portray their own interpretations of womanhood. You never know, maybe some of the limitations with race and privilege will start to be tackled in future.