Girls is an Abhorrent TV Show

Girls is a TV show which debuted in April 2012, and became critically acclaimed for its raw nature, ‘refreshing tone’ and original, if dry humour, as it explored a group of young girls in their twenties, trying to make something of their lives in New York city and making a tremendous amount of mistakes along the way.

I came across the show in 2015 and honestly, I was shocked into watching it. It was different from other TV shows, it was addicting in a way for me because it not only explored experiences but delved into the raw feelings and emotions people work so hard to keep hidden, but which add dimension to motives. I didn’t find the jokes humorous at all, but I generally don’t find mirth in dark comedy. The first two seasons expressed this very well. There were some genuinely excellent plot points, and the characters, although abhorrent, had redeeming ‘human’ qualities.

Well, once I’d watched the first season I was hooked of course, so I carried on watching all the way through to season 6. It was like watching a train wreck. I finished each episode feeling more and more depressed as the seasons progressed. The show, which started off as a mocking satire, became downright meaningless. I was watching for the sake of watching, not caring if these self-sabotaging characters sabotaged their way to hell.

I really don’t see how this show is innovative, sure, it challenges the norms of TV and our expectations from the programs we watch, but the only way it does this is by grossly exaggerating the deepest, sickest human notions ever. Everybody is disgusting. People rape each other. Best friends sleep with each others’ lovers, and they do it the in the dingiest, darkest settings imaginable, and it almost ALWAYS boils down to sex. It is as if to say that the most nefarious of human intentions is always, inherently sexual.

I feel like the show reeks of STDs and unwashed humans. A lot of characters are just so explicit about matters regular people would just keep to themselves to create even a semblance of dignity. The small, supposedly humorous mentions of the creepy openness between Elijah (Hannah’s ex-boyfriend and gay roommate) and Hannah is not funny, it is disgusting. Why does a show have to be so sexually explicit and feature nude women and men to be appealing? Why does it have to make its characters make the same old mistakes at every turn, and never learn anything from them, except perhaps to be even more disgusting and revolting and self absorbed? Are people in the real world really like this? Or is this show an exposé on the darkest aspects of daily humanity just bled out in the open for the world to see? This show strips characters of all dignity they might have, whilst allowing them to think they still maintain it. It’s like a dirty form of dramatic irony. I don’t want to see people having sex, thinking they are doing it in private. People having sex is ugly, and I don’t think it’s something others need to watch. I don’t want to see people masturbating. If you wanna do that, do it in private. It literally adds NOTHING to the plot, and if a point needs to be made, surely there are a billion more creative ways to do so?

I just think the creators of the show had nothing to offer except shock factor.

I don’t know why I carried on watching. I felt honestly like I had to flush my soul to get rid of all the black filth my eyes were seared with. I don’t think this show is innovative, I think the writer of the show took some of her own life experiences, dramatised them with some shocking nudity, sex scenes and ‘raw’ revelations about characters suggesting outlandish and ALWAYS sexually deviant things to other characters, whilst disguising this laziness under the pretext of feminism and freedom of expression. I admired the way the writers flouted their flaws, but each of the four main characters gave up on every endeavour they attempted.

The cinematography of the show is mediocre at best. None of the characters are redeemable, nor am I able to empathise with them because they all just seem to be little devils biting at one another and trying their best to hurt each other.

An example of how ridiculously this ‘feminism’ and sexual harassment is portrayed can be seen in one of the episodes in season 6, when Hannah visits a writer she wrote a bad review about. The writer invites her into his room, she lies down on his bed, and he pulls his penis out. Just flops it out like nobody’s business.

I am sure this has happened to people in the past. But I honestly felt like Hannah put herself in a dodgy situation where this, clearly, to anybody, could be a likely outcome. Why would a woman lie down on a strange man’s bed without even knowing the man? I’m sorry, but any sane woman not intoxicated would not do that – everybody knows you shouldn’t lie down on strange mens’ beds if you don’t want to be sexually harassed. And for all the people saying ‘a woman should be able to lie on a man’s bed without being harassed’ – YEAH, IN AN IDEAL WORLD SHE SHOULD. But this is the REAL world, and people rape each other, so in the name of self preservation one would avoid situations where such attacks will be likely! It is unrealistic.

Hannah is a blob of body she takes pleasure in exposing, and whenever I look at her I think she is riddled with unhealthy ailments. What was the point of showing her naked with her legs spread basking in the sunshine? Literally, how did that add anything to the plot? She is completely self absorbed and selfish and her parents are a goddamn mess. In fact, all their parents are goddamn messes. I don’t think in real life that ALL PARENTS are messes. She gives up on everything she ever tries to do and blames everybody else for her failures, disguising it as concern for her friends; which, coincidentally, is what all the others characters do as well.

If this were a story about people navigating their twenties, it would be less about the sex and more about the character development. We all know people have sex, we don’t need it shoved in our faces every other scene. I don’t even know how these people make money, how do they pay the extortionate NY rent rates, when all they do is backstab one another and sit around with their legs wide open (literally). All their conversations are melodramatic and self absorbed, and they always find a way to revert the conversations back to themselves. I really don’t see how that is innovative in any way. Each season follows the same format and eventually it just became a string of sex scenes and selfish actions which none of the characters ever learnt anything from because they were all just too busy attacking each other and being absorbed within their own depressing selves.

The show only serves to show young people that it is okay to accept the lowest forms of achievement and to not have any passion for anything. To wallow, to flop around like a fish and to have no human dignity or self respect. The characters deserved to be slapped silly.

Bill Persky of Time magazine makes a refreshing point when he says “You would think that a young female talent like Lena Dunham would be showing her generation a way up, rather than reinforcing the idea that it’s cool to be down.” (Time, 2013).

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Millennials are Obsessed with Themselves.

There is something wrong with millennials.

I think a lot of them have their heads stuck up somewhere very unpleasant.

I think a lot of them are very self centred. There is a rampant culture going around, and while it might be positive for a lot of people, it can have its negativities.

I call this the culture of selfies. I am noticing it more and more everyday. Young people holding their phones up and turning their faces this way and that to get the best angle for a photograph of themselves.

Imagine for a moment that we didn’t have mobile phones or cameras – the equivalent to that would be to carry a small mirror in one’s pockets and habitually check one’s reflection during the day, pausing when one thinks one looks their best to ask a passing painter to draw their likeness in that moment. Sheer vanity, is what it is.

A lot of people would say how harmless it all is. Which, to an extent, is true. However this ‘selfie culture’ transcends mere picture taking. It has an ominous depth which is slowly poisoning society and turning children into narcissistic beings.

People are starting to have the attitude of ‘me me me me’. This is usually a normal human phenomenon; when teenagers reach a certain age they do tend to think the world revolves around them. However, in the normal state of affairs, they are soon knocked into reality when nobody panders to their selfish whims and they learn to get a hold of their emotions. What is ominous in this generation, is the fact that teenagers have an audience to project this narcissism. You can be anybody online. They get their support from other like minded people across the globe, and turn into bigger assholes than they already were.

Take my younger sister for example. She lives in a lovely home, and our parents take exceptional interest in her hopes and aspirations. She has real life friends, but for a certain period in her life (ages 16-19) she made lots of internet friends too. Other kids, her age, in Europe and America. I watched as her attitude slowly began to change. She was generally nice to get along with, but could sometimes be difficult and stubborn. When she made internet friends her attitude towards my parents started becoming hostile. She began to bring up problems that did not exist, and she started swearing at them.

Phrases like, ‘You don’t care about me’ and ‘You trap me here in this home’ and ‘You were never good parents and look how I’ve become’ started peppering daily shouting matches. These phrases were echoes of conversations she had with her ‘internet friends’ and related to me previously and some of which I was privy to myself. Other young people banding together to turn a simple complaint about a parent into a dangerous rant about how abusive all parents are and how they absolutely do not understand this generation. Some kids might actually have been abused – but my sister, who had always had the utmost respect for my parents, was treating them like dirt.

It reached a point where she told my father he was abusive before swearing at him and shouting that she wished he wasn’t her father. I tried to speak to her but she hissed scathingly at me, telling me that I was a hypocrite and just on their side. Later on, my father went to her room where she sat sulking. She stood up, and there were tears in her eyes, and she hugged my father and whispered that she was sorry.

I thought my father must have been heartbroken to be called abusive by his youngest daughter. They had always been so close, my sister and my father. She would hang on to him the minute he returned from work, and fall asleep beside him as a child. I knew she regretted what she said the moment it came out of her mouth, but the fact that she said it, and thought she had the right to speak that way to a parent who has only ever worked his back off for us and sacrificed happiness and a full life to make sure we were comfortable – was so unlike her.

This attitude that everything is about ‘me, myself and I’ also gives way to the extreme personalisation of one’s thought process. Countless videos are being uploaded daily where young people analyse themselves extensively, talking about themselves for hours and hours, looking at themselves talk to themselves and reacting to videos of themselves. They analyse every aspect of their being and make it public so the world can see them do that. To a degree, that is narcissistic. This self importance and indulgence in one’s self is normal behaviour, in the privacy of one’s diary or among friends – even turned into an art form or projected onto literary characters. But to be given a platform where one can spend hours everyday talking about themselves can be damaging.

A lot of parents say things like, ‘in my day we met real people’ or ‘we spent our childhood outdoors’ or ‘we could have a real conversation without checking our cell phones’ – perhaps they say this because our culture has become one in which people are so closed into themselves now. There is not much of a community, in lots of areas. People spend time together, scrolling through their phones and talking to people miles away, or liking instagram photos of the person sitting right next to them.

I was with a girl last week, for example, and she kept taking her phone out and arranging her hair and face before posing before her front facing camera. She tried so many positions, during our conversation, and honestly if I didn’t know what she was doing I would have thought she was deranged. When she couldn’t find one that suited her, her mood changed and became dark. She tutted and sighed and commented on how ugly she looked. I felt so sad for her. I told her to just enjoy the day and forget about how she looked, for once! I tried to make her laugh and distract her, we visited a park and went crazy on the swings, and she eventually cheered up again.

Looking down at your phone might feel like looking through a window into the whole world. A world which likes your photos and elevates your self worth based on superficiality. The internet it so vast and filled with a clamour of global noises. But what if it has reached a point where we are so obsessed with our phones that we miss the very real world spinning right before our eyes? We miss very real people passing right in front of our noses? What if we spoke to the person sitting next to us on the train, rather than that girl on twitter who lives sixteen thousand miles away?

The internet has a myriad of positivities, however it does provide a platform for people to air their woes. Sometimes this could be dangerous, especially for young people. A lot of them stop thinking they are responsible for their actions, and envision that they are on a pedestal. When they are contested about this from the people they care about, they demonise those people in their little band of self righteousness on the internet – and are backed by their peers, who are equally as young and ignorant as they are.

I am certainly not saying that the generation in its entirety is like this, but give any woeful teen a platform and see what kind of a mess they make.

The internet had certainly provided a safe haven for those truly in need, to connect with others who have actually been abused or treated badly, to feel less alone in a situation where they might have been ostracised and bullied. And it is also true that vanity and vapidity were prevalent long before the internet spread its electronic tentacles into our homes.

However I still assert that despite all the good the internet has brought this society, it does not come without its negatives, and these might just be damaging to youth.

Here is a train of thought.

Today I discovered that I was a ‘Millennial”.

I have heard of these cohort categories. My eyes skimmed over them in articles and books, previously, but I had never understood what they meant.

Baby boomers, Generation X, Millennials, Generation Z.

What are these categories? Why am I in a category I know nothing about? I don’t particularly want to be put in a division. Why am I, and other people born in the era I was born in, defined by a set of observations?

I decided to do some research.

I found out that I have only just scraped the ‘Millennial’ category by a nose hair. If I had been born nine months later, I would have been a member of ‘Generation Z’, a generation people still don’t know much about as they are only just coming of age.

What are they like? Who knows. How have they been socialised? Some people have theories, but they won’t know for sure until those kids start becoming proper members of society and contributing more. It is thought that the members of this cohort will be more technically savvy than their Millennial forerunners, who, like me, grew up using dial up connection and still have VHS when they were very little. They will be highly diverse, and highly sophisticated.

I discovered some interesting things about Baby Boomers, and Generation X, the category my parents fall into.

I still don’t know why we are categorised like this, but it is interesting from a social perspective, seeing in words how the trends and politics of our eras have an effect on us as a  whole generation, that each generation will have something similar the unites them. It’s interesting because parents are always saying things like ‘when I was your age’, even though we are in a society that is extremely different.

For example, my mum had black and white telly, there was no ‘satellite’ (cable TV) and certainly no internet and computers. She didn’t get a mobile phone until she was forty. Social gatherings for her were very different from social gatherings for us. Now kids aged two know how to swipe phones and access the apps they enjoy. My seventy year old neighbour is putting off using her new smartphone (which she bought in defiance of her daughter who told her to get a simple keypad phone.. “I’m going to show her I can use these new phones!”) because she keeps touching the wrong things on the screen and it makes her frustrated. Three generations right there, of course they are going to speak different ‘lingo’ and have different lifestyles.

People are not only socialised by their families. They are very much shaped by their societies.

We are now in a society which is progressing technologically at an alarming rate. I can give you a small example using my iPhone 4s, which is no longer compatible with the new wifi router my mother has had installed in her house. My phone’s wifi connection cannot connect with the new wifi technology, even though my iPhone was released only 2.5 years ago. You see?! It’s crazy. What impact does this have on us now, and what impact will it have on our future children, born into this technology? I wasn’t born into the technology. When I was born, the internet was only just starting to tick its gears. Now it is zooming full steam, and it’s not one of those chuggy trains, it’s a sleek silver snake going at 200 miles an hour.

I don’t quite know exactly what my point is here. This was a bit of a ramble.

Which generation do you come from?

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