Dr. Dunham, or how “Girls” became one of the most stressful shows on TV

The cast of “Girls” casually spending some time together. Photo from Mashable.

Remember when “Girls” was the best show on television and people wouldn’t shut up about it? How about when Miley Cyrus was normal? Things change.

When “Girls” first premiered in spring of 2012, the world was ecstatic. Writer/director/actress Lena Dunham had somehow crafted a sitcom so true to life it hurt. Her tale of four 20-something female friends struggling to live their dreams in New York was filled with sex, drugs and lady problems that oddly related to all of its viewers. Winning the Golden Globe for best comedy series and best actress in a leading role (Dunham) in 2013, it was on track to be the next (better) “Sex and the City.” The characters were all terrible people, yet viewers kept coming back for more.

Season three premiered last month, and we had high expectations coming in. Season two had some of the best episodes yet, including developing some highly entertaining supporting male characters. The new season was poised to be the best yet.

So why does it suck so badly?

A couple stormtroopers practice their Lena Dunham impression. Photo from Reddit.

It’s simple. The characters are terrible human beings. It was kind of charming at first as you watched them unravel, making one irrational decision after another. It was the person in your friend group you keep around but everybody secretly loves to hate. But now, that’s just getting old.

Lena Dunham’s Hannah is so selfish that she makes you want to throw a glass bottle through your TV. Her best friend Marnie (Allison Williams) has been on-and-off with her boyfriend for the past three seasons and is STILL in the process of “finding herself,” yet hasn’t realized the world doesn’t revolve around her. Jessa (Jemima Kirke), whose sweet, foreign madness was addicting at first, is now a full-blown phony. It’s almost ugly to see how she refuses to grow up and face reality. Shoshanna’s (Zosia Mamet) perky charm is so mind-numbing that you can’t wait for her to shut up. Fan-favorite Adam (Adam Driver), Hannah’s boyfriend, is now so stuck up and mean that you want to take his rock-hard abs and hit him over the head with them. The show’s only redeeming character is Ray (Alex Karpovsky), a side character who has sadly been confined to his coffee shop and occasional scene.

So how can Lena Dunham save her show?

She certainly has her work cut out for her. If this season doesn’t see a major change, expect many viewers to turn their attention elsewhere. Just give us someone to care about rather than despise. Love is much stronger than hate. What made the show work so well at first was how shockingly true to life it was. Go back to those roots and show these characters growing out of their misery into something redeeming.

Looking back, all great television shows have a “dark” period. “Community” had season four. “The Walking Dead” has every episode after the pilot. The show still has some good in it, and it’s worth fighting for. But will Dunham reward her fans for sticking around? Only time will tell.

Do you watch “Girls?” What do you think of the new season? Tweet us @SpeakeasyMag and let us know what you think!

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3 thoughts on “Dr. Dunham, or how “Girls” became one of the most stressful shows on TV

  1. It’s my experience that being in misery is default normal for most people’s entire decade of age 20-30. I’m sorry you want these characters to get happier yesterday. I can see how that would make watching more stressful. To me the writing is improving and the show’s more cohesive. I don’t mind the varieties of selfishness at all.

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