And in 2013, we hate, or at least love to hate, sad twentysomethings. Have you ever read anything negative about Girls*? If so, you know what I’m talking about. (If not, is this your first time on the Internet? Welcome. There are a lot of smart opinions about Girls here.) The crux of the hating is that youngish people who have grown up vaguely privileged and female shouldn’t make art about their problems when there are bigger problems out there. Now, Braff and the character he created are not female, but he’s something just as bad: not traditionally masculine. Garden State came out in a time of peak male sadness, when a band like My Chemical Romance could go platinum. Over the last half-decade or so, however, culture has turned its back on dudes that just want to feel something. Don Draper, Ron Swanson, the recent rise of hunks in TV and movies, the Old Spice guy: We fetishize men who are “men.” And it comes from all sides: thirtysomethings who look down upon their former wimpy naïveté, manly men who never understood why men were acting like women in the first place, and effeminate men who respond to this masculinity shift by denying that part of themselves. If Brown is correct and Garden State was a response to our insecurities toward President Bush’s shortsighted macho-ness, then in turn we decided to now hate it to cover our insecurities over having a contemplative president who wears well-fitting suits. Garden State represents a male whininess that the culture decided should once again be banned. And I get it — it’s a heavy movie. Hell, basically the plot is built around a grown man’s desire to cry. But we can’t all be Ron Swansons — some of us grow facial hair to cover the tracks of our tears. It might have gone out of style, but earnest, emotional, nerdy men exist and have problems and are often the types who write films. Just because Zach Braff doesn’t look and act like Chris Hemsworth does not mean he didn’t write a good movie.
When I was 10 years old, some moms in my fifth grade class organized an end of the year pool party for our entire class. It was one of the first times I can recall being sent into a tailspin of anxiety for weeks, because it meant I had to wear a bathing suit in front of my classmates. After many…
Seriously, read this.
This is why we’re friends.
Love that Robyn is the walk-on music for @lenadunham.
Ahhhh they’re playing Robyn as Lena Dunham walks to the stage. #GoldenGlobes— Emily (@emilyhughes) January 14, 2013
Nigh simultaneously. Your best friends are the people with whom you have shared values.
I love Lena Dunham and I don’t care what any of you say.
‘Girls,’ Season 2 Trailer.
In the wake of all the thinkpieces and controversy and media coverage of the first season, I forgot how much I genuinely enjoyed season 1. This trailer just reminded me.
1. THIS SHOW IS NOT FOR ME / I CAN’T RELATE
HULK REMEMBERS THE FIRST MOVIE HULK EVER RELATED TO. IT MIRRORED EXACTLY HOW LITTLE HULK GREW UP ON THIS MOISTURE FARM IN THE DESERT PLANET OF TATOOINE AND ALL OF SUDDEN THESE TWO DROIDS SHOWED UP AND CHANGED HULK’S LIFE FOREVER. YOU SEE [SARCASTIC JOKE GOES ON]. THE GENUINE POINT IS THAT IDENTIFICATION IN THESE SORTS OF DIRECT TERMS IS MEANINGLESS. WE DON’T RELATE TO OCCUPATIONS AND STATUS. WE RELATE TO EMOTIONS. WE EMPATHIZE WITH PEOPLE GETTING CRAPPED ON IN LIFE. AND REALLY? 20-SOMETHINGS FRESH OUT OF COLLEGE WITHOUT A JOB? THAT’S SOMETHING THAT’S NOT PRETTY UNIVERSAL? … OKAY.
2. YEAH, BUT THE SHOW IS ABOUT WHINY 20-SOMETHINGS WHO THINK NEW YORK IS THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE
YES. THAT’S WHAT IT’S ABOUT. BUT THE SHOW IS OFTEN LOOKING AT THEM WITH A CRITICAL EYE. BUT UNLIKE, SAY, A SHOW LIKE IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA WHICH MAKES THEIR SELFISHNESS OVERT AND THUS ONE BIG JOKE, THERE IS A GRAY LAYER TO THIS ONE. MEANING THE THEORETICAL PROBLEM OF GIRLS IS THAT IT ALSO HAS AN UNDERSTANDING EYE TOWARD ITS WORLD. IT’S NOT OUTRIGHT CONDEMNING BEHAVIORS YOU MAY FIND CONDEMNABLE. IT IS TRYING TO HUMANIZE THEM. TO HULK, THE EFFECT IS AN HONEST APPROACH TO PEOPLE WHO ARE TOTALLY WHINY, YOUNG NEW YORKERS, BUT WHO, AMAZINGLY ENOUGH, CAN STILL HAVE VERY REAL, TEXTURED, WELL-OBSERVED AND RATHER FUNNY LIVES.
I wish I could excerpt the whole thing - there’s a brilliant preface about I Am Love and how you can not like a piece of media but still learn from it and the criticism surrounding it, as well as a few more bullet points addressing other complaints people have lobbed at Girls (including the race thing).
Seriously, if you’re at all interested in pop culture & criticism, this is well worth your time.