HBO’s ‘Girls’ — Why We Have A Love/Hate Relationship With The Show

If you haven’t heard about HBO’s new show, “Girls,” directed by and starring Lena Dunham, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past few weeks. It’s been years since we’ve seen so much virtual ink spilled overa television show, particularly one targeting women.

Wading among the “I LOVE this show” and “I have SO MANY problems with this show” reviews, we find ourselves somewhere in the middle. At times, it’s scary how much the show manages to reflect our lives (have they bugged our apartments?), but then minutes later has us saying, “Really?! No one’s that clueless!”

Ultimately what we’ve realized is that there’s such a reaction to this show because there’s nothing like it on TV, no other show that depicts relatable 20-something women. There are plenty of shows that offer dramatic fantasy and escapism — the networks have you covered when it comes to vampires and rich kids — but not so many that try to show regular women, with all of their problems and flaws, in their day-to-day lives.

But that is part of the difficulty with “Girls.” The show aims for realism, which can be a little uncomfortable for the viewer who either ends up reliving difficult memories — like the time they said the wrong thing in an interview or the myriad bad decisions they’ve made in relationships — or is pained watching characters make one poor choice after another. Maybe the reason there are so few shows that focus on 20-somethings is because growing up and figuring oneself out is such a messy process, full of frustration and mistakes that we’d rather forget than relive now that we’ve learned our lessons.

On the other hand, those same everyday banalities are what make “Girls” endearing — the show also lets us relive dancing around the room with friends blasting our favorite song and all those…

 
 
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Quote of the Day: “When looking for a significant other, it’s important to me that they are open minded and an independent thinker.” –Male, 15, CA

Constant internet access via smartphones helped created the issue of cyberbullying, but could it also help to end it? New app Stop!t was created by a concerned dad to make it quick, easy, and effective for kids to anonymously report any bullying incident they see on social media. Previous digital efforts to fight cyberbullying required multiple steps in order to file a report, but Stop!t will allow students to report bullying with a single click, even if the app isn’t open. The app has been tested in several schools, and seen positive results so far, with one school reporting an 80% reduction in cyberbullying incidents compared to the previous year. (Fast Company)

Snapchat has an important message for its young users: “keep your clothes on!” 53% of 13-17-year-olds use Snapchat, according to Ypulse’s most recent social media tracker survey, and the app has long battled a reputation as a sexting haven. New community guidelines recently posted by the app are serving as a gentle, but stern reminder for minors to “Keep it legal.” Team Snapchat is trying to pull in the reigns on inappropriate sharing, threats, bullying, and invasions of privacy, and violating the rules could result in content removal, suspension, or being banned from the app. (New York Daily NewsSnapchat)

Will marketing healthy foods using the same tactics as unhealthy products get young consumers to eat them? The Partnership for a Healthier American and Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign are going to find out. They’re launching an effort that rebrands fruits and vegetables as “FNV,” uses celebrities like Jessica Alba and Cam Newton as spokespeople, and relies heavily on social media to convince kids that healthy is cool. While undoubtedly a worthy cause, the campaign’s success is uncertain and has been described as “cringeworthy.” (brandchannel)

"C’mon get happy" seems to be the motto of big brands in 2015, as they focus on messages of positivity and joy to appeal to young consumers. One recent study says brands that “help Millennials achieve happiness” are the most likely to earn their loyalty. McDonald’s Pay With Lovin’, Coke’s #MakeItHappy, and Dove’s #SpeakBeautiful campaigns are recent examples of campaigns attempting to engage with positive messaging, but brands who want to follow suit should remember young consumers will see through any “hollow” attempts that tell them just buying a product will make them happier. (Adweek)

Young viewers maybe be drawn to digital video because they find online stars and content more “enjoyable and relevant to their lives” than traditional TV and Hollywood A-listers. A new study by Defy Media—who it should be noted produces content for YouTube—found that 62% of 13-24-year-olds say digital content makes them “feel good,” compared to 40% who said the same of TV; and 67% say they can relate to digital content, versus only 41% who relate to TV. YouTubers also hold a high power of purchase: 63% said they’d try a product recommended by a YouTube celebrity. (Variety)

The Daily Instant Poll gives you a quick snapshot of how Millennials are weighing in on the topics that are making headlines, but there's more to our mobile network of 2 million Millennials than what makes the newsletter. Ten of our most recent featured Instant Poll results are available to Ypulse.com Silver and Gold subscribers, allowing them to compare the responses of various demographics. (Ypulse)

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