HBO’s ‘Girls’: What The Real Girls Think

Today’s post comes to us from Camilla, a recent grad who weighed in on HBO's "Girls," a show that's caused much discussion and debate about how it depicts Millennials. Camilla, like us, has a love/hate relationship with the show because unlike many programs, it highlights the harsh realities that Gen Y faces. It doesn't represent all Millennials in its attempt to portray today's tough economy, but it shows young adults' struggles with unemployment, underemployment, and the everyday challenges they encounter, and their responses to them. Sure this is representative — or at least more than other programs — as Camilla explains, but she and her peers aren't sure it's a show they want to watch since it presents the low points of their lives.

HBO’s ‘Girls’: What The Real Girls Think

I think I’m the target audience for HBO’s “Girls.” At face value, it depicts the major life themes of my peers, who all just graduated from college, moved to the nearest metropolis (in my case, London, but close enough), and set about trying to figure out their lives — but mainly just how to pay their rent. No, most of us aren’t doing what we wish were doing, or earning much (or any) money for it. Yes, we might have “dated” someone without ever having gone on a date. And most of all, yes, we’re completely terrified about the economy — though still not as much as we’re terrified of STDs. All these themes ring true, but if I’ve gleaned anything from my friends’ reactions to “Girls,” the truth is not quite what our generation is looking for in our TV shows.

In the pilot episode, the star/writer/creator/whatever of the show, Lena Dunham, plays the protagonist, Hannah, a 24-year-old with an unpaid internship in New York, just about to be cut off financially from her college professor parents. The rest of the…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "My favorite place to shop online is Sephora, because I love high end makeup and I love reading about what's new and watching tutorials on how it works.” –Female, 26, MA

We’ve seen everyone from food startups to fast-food chains label their food “artisanal” to appeal to Millennials—and there is good reason. It turns out there is generation gap when it comes to consumers’ reaction to “artisanal” and “craft.”  Millennials are more likely than older consumers to say that the labels “handmade/handcrafted, “craft,” and “small batch” tell them a product is high quality, and also more likely to say that descriptors like “artisan/artisanal” have some influence on their purchases. (MediaPost)

To sell wine to Millennials, brands have had to drop the exclusivity and embrace a more unpretentious attitude. Sparkling wine brand Chandon is relying on Instagram to get their bubbly message across to young females, making it their top social platform, over Pinterest. Their colorful, summertime images, featuring captions like “Today calls for Rosé,” are a part of their effort to get sparkling wine “out of the holiday rut.” (Digiday)

Older generations who hear about anonymous apps like Whisper and YikYak have one main question: why? Question and answer site Ask.fm’s recent study asked them, and found that 40% of 13-18-year-olds said anonymity online allows them to talk about difficult topics—only 4% said they would talk about the same things if their name was being used. (IBT)

New parents will do just about anything to get their kid(s) to go to sleep, as one self-published book is proving. The picture book The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep made the Amazon bestseller list by claiming to put children straight to sleep. Sales skyrocketed quickly, going from selling just 324 copies on August 16th, to 29,000 at the end of last week. It’s rumored that Random House has bought the rights to the miracle book. (Publisher’s Weekly)

Restoration Hardware is going after the teens “who ha[ve] everything.” Their new high-end post-childhood line RH Teen includes chandeliers, and fine art photography, and the brand hopes to capture young consumers as they are finding their own identity and becoming independent as decorators of their space. Unlike some brands, who are co-creating their products and marketing with young consumers, Restoration chose to launch RH Teen without focus groups or studies. (WSJ)

According to Pew, a third of Millennials frequently use their phones in public for “no particular reason,” and 13% say they frequently use their mobile devices to avoid interacting with other people. (Queue the “anti-social Millennial” pieces.) But another study might shed some more light on their “for no reason” phone use: 60% believe their smartphones enhances their leisure time. The research hypothesizes that young consumers are using phones for moments of “micro-leisure” throughout the day. (Washington PostSocialTimes)

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