I must admit that the third season of Girls has been the first time in the show's life that Hannah and friends are actually starting to mature as human beings. Last night's episode, though, "Dead Inside," devalued that character development entirely, reaffirming my belief that Girls is in no way an accurate portrayal of anyone's reality. I already feel alienated from and unable to relate to Girls on a cultural level as there are not any women of color in the main cast, but last night's episode made me feel so distant from the show emotionally, as well.
Quick recap if you missed it: Hannah's editor dies, and she feels nothing. Lena Dunham, I feel like you were really lazy with this one on the writing. Youth and decay is a subject that plagues nearly everyone young —mid-twenties are the perfect time to start considering your own mortality as we all wade through the muck of our post-undergraduate purposelessness. Girls seems to be confusing "authenticity" with "being a shitty person," and that came out last night on "Dead Inside."
I will concede that everyone grieves differently, and just because Lena's Hannah doesn't freak the hell out when her editor David passes doesn't mean she is categorically emotionally dead. My good friends and I constantly struggle with whether or not we are feeling things "properly" or feeling them enough; sometimes we feel more concerned with our own personal problems than with being compassionate. But there is that awareness of compassion itself, which I think is missing from Girls.
When the show began, its "thing" was exemplifying how young people are flawed and fallible and hurtful to one another, not always intentionally, but unfortunately often. Remember when Charlie reads Hannah's diary? That was a Real Moment in which he felt betrayed; Hannah felt badly for her action but also wanted to keep it as material for her essays. It was interesting how Hannah and her friends struggled with trying to make art and meaning while maintaining friendships.
But now, after "Dead Inside," I feel like Girls has taken that "Look at us, we're young and shitty" attitude way too far. And it's insulting. Being the same age as Lena Dunham's girls, I am happy to say that the women I keep close ARE concerned with others, and are empathetic, and interesting, and selfless on certain levels.
Yes, we can be selfish and shitty, too, but the difference is that we are discussing those faults of ours, and trying to lift each other up and be better. I am tired of Girls' complacency with its characters as bad people. Part of maturing is recognizing your flaws and taking actions to improve, and if Girls doesn't take it there soon, its relevance is going to fade.