Leave “Girls” alone

Looking at the title, you might think this is that feminist manifesto you’ve been waiting for me to write. Well, I hate to disappoint you but it ain’t that. This is about the new HBO show “Girls”. The show recently came under fire for lacking diversity and comments made by one of the writers following the accusation.
Here’s one of the articles about it: http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/04/lesly_arfin_lead_writer_of_hbos_girls_referred_to_defecating_as_taking_obama_to_the_white_house.html
Let me start of by saying I’m not defending this show cause I think it’s great. Honestly, I’m kinda undecided on it. It’s got good and bad qualities but I feel like, if it goes down the right path, it could get interesting. I’m sticking up for this show cause people are fucking ridiculous.

The show “Girls” is about a group of 24ish year old young ladies living in NYC. It’s basically just showing the struggles people (but more specifically women) of that age have in the real world when college is done and their parents take off the leash. Another aspect, that needs to be bought up, is that these are girls who are from upper middle class families who moved to NYC to make a living. Girls who had a leg up before they even graduated college. That’s important , in respect to the criticism the show has been getting. While it’s a fictional show, it’s clear that the demographic this show is speaking on is pretty much the entire population of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Artsy, rich kids from other towns who come to NYC to either make it or to just be in the middle of something bigger than their shitty home town.

I’m about a decade older than this generation but I’m around it enough to know something…It’s white. It’s white like “sex in the city” world is white. It’s white like “game of thrones” world is white. It’s white like “2 and half men” is white”. I’m not saying the occasional non-whites don’t make guest appearances, but to be mad at this show for lacking racial diversity is like being mad at the your dinner for not fixing your car.

I know a huge part of the criticism is that “They’re in ny! One of the most diverse cities in the world!” But let me break some bad news to you…Yes, NYC is an incredibly diverse city. But that doesn’t mean everyone walks around , arms linked in some united colors of benetton lovefest. For the kids in williamsburg (particularly the type of girls portrayed in this show) it’s a pretty white world. Sure, all sorts of other races are around them every day but that doesn’t mean they socialize with them. And it’s not cause they don’t want to or cause they’re secretly afraid of puerto ricans…it’s cause they come from a predominantly white, post college social circle that most likely originated in some east coast liberal arts college. I’m actually impressed that the show stuck to the reality of it, instead of just throwing in a random black friend just to make every one happy (I call this the “T-dog effect” based on the character on The Walking Dead). In the end, what’s the point? To make the viewer feel better about their racially diverse tv watching habits? The bottom line is not every show needs to be this racial cornucopia just to please other white peoples racial needs. I’m pretty sure “Girls” has as much a following in the black and hispanic communities as “Enlightened” or “Party Down” does/did. No one was attacking them or numerous other shows for the same reason. And that brings me to the whole “people are ridiculous” point. I’m also pretty sure this all started cause some stupid fucking blogger was bored and felt like knit picking reasons to hate the show “Girls”. Of all the reasons to dislike this show, diversity should be way down on the list. Right behind “Not enough gory action” and “needs more victorian style clothing”. But, in 2012, one random dickhead can say something like “This show lacks diversity” and , because the internet is the internet, it becomes “A thing”. Well, I’m here to say, it’s not a thing.

I remember this ex-girlfriend I had who told me she didn’t like the movie “squid and the whale” cause it was too predictable. Now, it’s kind of an obscure movie (kinda) but that shit always rubbed me the wrong way cause it simply didn’t apply to that movie as a criticism. It wasn’t a cliffhanger or a horror movie. It was a story about a fucked up family. There were no spoilers. That’s the same thing to me as people being mad at the lack of Diversity in “Girls”. It simply doesn’t apply.

It seems like riling people up is just too easy nowadays. Everyone constantly wants to be “outraged” by something but no one picks their battles. This is a case of that and anyone disagreeing needs to calm down and find something actually worth your vitriol and focus on that.
I dont’ care if you hate the show itself. Hell, in two episodes, I might hate it too. But hate things for the right reason. Cause they suck. Not cause of some made up issue that fits some weird agenda that has no relation to the show in the first place.

I’d also like to add that the writer in question, Lesley Arfin, is someone I’ve known for for a while now. We’re not close friends or anything but I know her well enough to say that the two things she wrote that are angering “people” (I use quotations cause I truly don’t believe any real person is actually mad at these things) were obvious jokes. One was a joke tweet to show just how ridiculous it is to hate on Girls due to it’s lack of diversity. Should she have been a little more careful with her words? sure. But the fact remains, it was a joke and it did get across her point. honestly, I tweet far more offensive things on a daily basis. The other thing was a joke about taking a shit. “Taking the obama’s to the white house ” is just an update on “Taking the cosby kids to the pool”. Is it funny? not really. It’s really more corny than distasteful if you ask me…but it’s also not the end of the world. Whatever happened to having thick skin? The pussification of this country has gotten out of control. We live in a reactionary world where people seem to want to be upset about things more than I truly believe they’re even capable of being in real life. Jokes , people…they’re not serious. That’s why they’re called jokes.

24 thoughts on “Leave “Girls” alone

  1. I don’t like the show because it doesn’t make me laugh not because of the lack of diversity. Plus I find most of the characters annoying.

    • Fair enough. I didn’t laugh much either. I will say this though, I really like the idea of them having a show from the perspective of that kind of girl. A super plain jane, kinda fat girl who gets treated like shit by every guy she fucks. That’s a such a real sort of person who never gets much shine. It’s say she’s the majority in many ways.

      • I see were your coming from. I agree that there aren’t enough show’s that show the life of a plain girl. Every chick isn’t a super model. I don’t know if you have seen the sex scene at the beginning of episode 2 but it was a bit over the top. I get what they were trying to do but it just made me want to turn the TV off.

    • I love “squid and the whale”. it’s easily my favorite movie he (Noah baumbach) made.
      I’m down with Wes anderson but I prefer his earlier work to his newer stuff. Definitely a talented guy though.
      And these’s no way I’m giving a top five movie list ever.

  2. 1st off, LMAO at “pussification”, but such a good word because its so true. We can’t get mad at a show for being segregated when even in New York, the most culturally diverse place in the world, we still self-segregate ourselves by neighborhood and race. We do it to ourselves. i’ve never watched the show because I don’t have HBO but I have heard of this controversy and wanted to look more into it. Thanks Block, it’s true. People need to smoke more put dicks up their ass less…. unless they’re a gay man of course lol

  3. Because of this post I watched the first five minutes of this show, and for that I hate you a little. The fat girl talking with her parents reminded me of this girl I met at one of your parties.

  4. Yes, kids wiping cum on library book shelves is very predictable…maybe the girl has just seen “Happiness” to many times.

    I actually kind of hated Greenburg, but by the end I was a fan.

  5. I think the problem more is that it’s just yet another show that captures one particular part of NYC. The white, upper middle class part that’s been covered a whole fucking lot already. Yes, I know that SATC (I say the acronym because I’m cool like that) is very different than Girls, but still, there are already so many shows and movies that cover the basic tenets of this world (well-off white people in NY who don’t seem to know any non-white people)—any Woody Allen movie, Friends, Sex and the City, etc, etc. I’m a white dude from Tribeca who went to Columbia and my NY is nothing like that, and neither is yours. Even white hipsters in Williamsburg hang out with hella Asians (true story). Anyway, this little tiny part of NY is totally overrepresented, while the more realistic one the rest of us inhabit is nowhere to be seen. I think part of the offense is because it seems the creators of the show are smart and original enough to know better. The creator of How to Make It in America, which is maybe the show that captures this better (I’ve never seen it), is a preppy white Jewish kid from the Upper West Side who went to Hunter with me.

    As for Arfin’s Obama joke, it was fucking hilarious. But the Precious joke wasn’t, because,and Ima connect politick-ditto here, the total underrepresentation of minorities in pop culture is a real, decades-long problem, not some non-issue that some whiny blogger made up. A black character on TV shouldn’t be T-Dog (fuck that guy), but that doesn’t mean they have to be non-existent.


    • I feel you butI just feel like it’s a pretty out of left field thing to even care about in respect to this show. I would have NEVER thought about it had people not invented it as an issue.
      But , you’re right, this is certainly not the world I live in…but I sure as hell know people who do live in that world. It’s not like they’re doing it on purpose…it’s just how it is. I bet Lena Dunham’s close friends are all white girls from her college or high school. So, this show is based loosely on her experiences. Just throwing in a “black friend” for the sake of having a black friend is far more offensive to me than them just making the characters they wanted to make. I don’t see how it’s anyones duty to have to make everything diverse. Let people make what they wanna make.
      How to make it in america was the best version on young NY i’ve sen, but that show also sucked and got cancelled for a reason. Racial diversity and all.

      • I don’t really blame that chick as much (though she was actually raised around my way…i mean i bet she has SOME nonwhite friends) as I do the industry overall. there should be room for shows like hers and shows that represent the other side, or really different sides, since there are a million of em here in NY. Not every show should be diverse, but shit, it seems like even a few can’t. This the issue wasn’t just invented, it’s been around since the beginning of pop culture when they would have white singers redo songs by black singers. not saying this is nearly on any level like that, it’s just this show is receiving criticism partly because of that long history.

        Also, on another level, I’m worried this show might make affect NYC in a negative way like Sex and the City did, attracting even more cornballs here to live out their televised dreams. Although I’ll take trust-fund hipsters over yuppie douchebags anyway.

      • On the bright side, it doesn’t paint NYC as glamorously as SITC did, so we might be okay. Trust me, if hipsters wanna move to ny, no tv show is gonna make them move here quicker.
        Also, Obviously diversity has been an issue in movies and tv forever but why did this, of all shows, become a lightening rod for that issue? Why not any other hundreds of shows? I think that’s my main problem with it all.This show is about a certain group of women in NYC. Forcing diversity is corny and results in T-dog’s and wacky next door neighbors who end up just playing into stereotypes anyway.
        Oh, and people like you and I (and pretty much anyone we know or chill with) don’t factor into this kinda girls lifestyle as we are white dudes working in music that’s predominantly not white. we’re more the “how to make it in america” type of crackers. She’s a writer/filmmaker who went probably went to some good college (too lazy to wiki it). I’m sure there were tons of different races there but I’d bet my life that her close knit group of friends are all dumpy white broads. Though, I’d be willing to bet she’s got at least one very close gay black friend…

  6. rememeber kid cucci in that other show i hate… “about making it in new york”.
    That totally felt contrived… and i know its cudi but thats how it came out so fuck it and both these shows
    winter is coming…

  7. “‘Nigger’ is a great word. It just packs so much punch. The two g’s next to each other are like literal two G’s, broin’ out, tough as nails, them against the world. It gives me chills that a word can hold so much power, it really makes me feel like I chose the right profession.” – one of the white chicks that writes for the show.

  8. cherry picking for racism plays a huge part in proliferating racism. if the show captures one realistic clique in NYC. big deal. look at rap videos. do people get uptight when there’s no white dancers? isn’t it racist in itself to only pick out these issues when it applies to minority races? are people insinuating that they feel these minority races need help by pages like colorlines.com? isn’t that racist in itself??? ahhh. if people stop easter egg hunting for racism it might actually go away. the only time racism crosses my mind is when someone is running around yelling “look i found a racist!”

  9. I have no problem with white people having shows that reflect their own vanilla, privileged white whiny way of life. A Mexican American like me would have no place in that show except to shake my head at people like that and make a racial comment while they wait until I leave the scene to make a joke about landscapers. You’re right about “pussification”. I think what bothers most people about this show is that, so far, it’s a mediocre(at best) show written and acted by privileged white girls, and while yes…that is absolutely appropriate given the subject matter, it’s still a jab in the ribs to people that do better work but just don’t have the connections (family) to get a show or movie produced. It doesn’t help that the media waves it’s hands in the air demanding America’s attention to watch this great, hilarious, cutting edge show and then we get this…this? really? Then to respond to criticism with unfunny racial comments…I mean I get it, you and your friends* get a chuckle and fuck you to the people who take shit too seriously but it’s not endearing or making any kind of relevant point. That being said I have seen the first 2 episodes…meh they each had a moment or 2 but overall I was disappointed. If Woody Allen can make some of my favorite movies of all time with just a handful of upper-class white people I’m sure someone else can do better than this show with the same ingredients.

    *you as in Lesley Arfin

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