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January 24, 2013

Oh Man I Gotta Start Waching Lena Dunham's Girls

Riveting stuff.

Responding last year to viewers who denounced the lack of racial diversity on HBO's Girls, its creator and star, Lena Dunham, told NPR, "I take that criticism very seriously... As much as I can say [writing four white main characters] was an accident, it was only later as the criticism came out, I thought, 'I hear this and I want to respond to it." She did just that in Sunday night's episode, choosing not only to cast African-American Community star Donald Glover as her character Hannah Horvath's new boyfriend, but also to address the issue of race as it manifests itself in their relationship.

Tell me more.

Glover's Sandy made his first appearance in the Season 2 premiere. A handsome, easygoing, responsible law student who doesn't go in for the awkward sex and excruciating mind games of Hannah's most recent ex, Adam, he has only one flaw (or what passes for a flaw among 20-somethings in Brooklyn): He's a Republican. His political orientation barely comes up in the premiere, but Hannah's roommate, Elijah, thrusts it to the fore in Sunday's episode, picking a fight with Sandy in the bathroom over his presumed opposition to same-sex marriage. Before the credits roll, Hannah is using his soft-spoken conservatism as an excuse to break up with him—although, in true Girls fashion, what's really bothering her is his dislike of a personal essay she's given to him to read.

Do they have a word for "too exciting"? Besides "too exciting," I mean. Because, I need that word to explain what I'm feeling right now.

It's in the midst of their final argument that Hannah and Sandy find themselves yelling at each other about race. "I also would love to know how you feel about the fact that two out of three people on death row are black men," she says.

This is amazing.

"Wow, Hannah. I didn't know that. Thank you for enlightening me that things are tougher for minorities," he shoots back.

It gets better. They soon deal with the issue of "exoticizing."

Soon, he's mocking her for exoticizing him—"'Oh, I'm a white girl and I moved to New York and I'm having a great time and I got a fixed gear bike and I'm gonna date a black guy and we're gonna go to a dangerous part of town,'" he scoffs. "And then they can't deal with who I am"—and she's feebly turning around the accusation on him. "The joke's on you, because you know what? I never thought about the fact that you were black once," Hannah says when it's clear the breakup is really happening, despite the fact that she's the one who introduced race into the conversation. "That's insane." Sandy tells her. "You should, because that's what I am." By the time he asks Hannah to leave, both have admitted they don't feel good about what they've said to each other. The viewer at home, witnessing such shrewdly observed yet ultimately unresolved racial and political tension, is bound to feel just as rattled.

I feel rattled just reading it! I felt the rattles all the way down in my man-box.

Holy crap. Holy crap. I can't believe I haven't been watching.

Just one question: If I put this program on, is there any danger of my television exploding? Like, are we sure that all tv's are able to handle this much power and excitement?

Is it only newer tvs that can handle the show? Do I need a special converter?

If I watch on an 3D TV, will it literally kill me?

I need answers to these questions. And I need to watch HBO's Girls.

It's not entertainment.

It's HBO.

[Update JohnE.] As if you needed any more reasons to drop everything and start watching this show, there's this too:

I didn't really understand how often Lena Dunham was nude on screen, or how often she did sex-scenes. If you take that in with the sex scene between her parents, what you have is one of the most democratic--and everyhuman--depictions of sex to ever exist in pop culture. The more I thought about this, the more important it became to me.
DVR -> Season Pass -> Save Until I Delete


digg this
posted by Ace at 07:40 PM

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