Let me just say straight off that this is not a review of the HBO series Girls. A lot has already been written about it and plenty of people have outlined why they love it or hate it. Now, I neither hate nor love the show but I feel compelled to watch it - it's difficult to explain why but I'm going to try. I understand why my husband doesn't like it and why he thinks that the characters are obnoxious. I understand when he says that they are a bunch of spoilt, entitled brats. Because, the truth is, they are.
Why then, do I find myself watching it? Well, to start with, it is well written, and the acting is superb. The background score blends in with the storylines. But no, none of this is why I watch Girls.
The real appeal is that it reminds me of my 20s.
Wait, hear me out. We may not have been as selfish, loathsome and self-centred as the girls in the show. But we were a little selfish, we were a little self-absorbed. We sat in cafes, with our new found financial freedom and talked about philosophy and life, about how lame everyone else was, about how our thoughts and opinions were so steeped in wisdom. We rebelled, we ranted and raved, we talked about how we would never compromise. Watching this show made me look back at those times and laugh at our foolishness. Back then, we truly did not have any idea about real life, or what shit it can drag us through, or what true courage and strength mean.
Girls reminds me of the time when life was crazy, scary, painful, exciting and awesome.
Girls also tackles female friendships in a more nuanced way than Friends or Sex and the City. Sure, there were sweet moments, moments when we stood by each other, moments when we just had to look at each other to know what the other was thinking about. But, there were also moments when we were petty, bitchy, moments when we hated each other's guts. Things got weird, things got muddled and things got messy. At times, drama happened. Other times, silent tears were shed. Hearts got broken. Relationships got fractured. Because friendships between girls in the real world is all of that and more.
Ah, now for love and romance. How can you go through your 20s without them? Love, back then, had all the elements -- butterflies in the stomach, giddy foolishness, naïve expectations, starry eyed hopes and some mischievous flirting. Oh it had its share of jealousy and insecurities, crisscrossed feelings, bad timing, douchebaggery and a whole lot of immaturity. Relationships in Girls are like that.
Girls is not just about romance or friendships. It shows the struggles of every 20-something who is seeking to identify what it is that she wants, what it is that she is passionate about. After all, wasn't it in our 20s that we tried more things than in any other phase of our life? Wasn't it the time when we thought that we could take on the world and change it? Wasn't it the time during which we took the most risks? We succeeded at some, failed at plenty and didn't bother with the rest. We partied, we studied, we got drunk, we got promoted, we got high, we got wooed, we got rejected, we moved across to the other side of the world.
And that is why Girls has me coming back to it again and again. It reminds me of the time when life was crazy, scary, painful, exciting and awesome. It was the decade of warm friendships, silly crushes, unplanned road trips, crazy sleepovers, night-long conversations, teary goodbyes and unforgettable memories.