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: “It's free to walk to work and I get some exercise in.”—Female, 26, NY

Niche beauty brands have blurred gender lines at their core—can large cosmetics companies play catch up without seeming “disingenuous”? Milk Makeup and Fluide have built their brands on being inclusive, but larger brands sometimes strike consumers as hopping on the band wagon when they try to do the same—especially since they created so many of the gender norms they’re now rallying against. The best way for them to get in on the trend? Start by making their hiring process more inclusive both “behind the lens” and in front of it. (Fast Company)

Starbucks thinks the “health and wellness” trend is to blame for declining Frappuccino sales. Despite marketing efforts like the Unicorn Frappuccino, syrupy drink sales are down 3% from last year. However, rivals like McDonald’s and Dunkin' Donuts could be stealing sugary beverage sales from the coffee giant, meaning young consumers’ penchant for healthification isn't necessarily the culprit. In fact, McDonalds recently debuted two new frozen drinks that earning praising on Twitter. (NYPFox News)

Apple is getting into kids’ content, teaming up with Sesame Workshop for a slate of original shows. Live-action, animated, and puppet-based series will be included in the programming, but Sesame Street itself is not part of the deal. There are no details yet on where Apple will release the shows, meaning they could either shop them to another platform or debut them on their own streaming platform. Considering that Apple has several original program deals in the works, they could be looking to bulk up their own bid in the streaming wars. (Kidscreen)

Twitter and Tumblr posts are getting a new lease on life—as screenshots on Instagram. While young users of Twitter and Tumblr have declined, Ypulse’s Social Media Trackerfound that over half of 13-35-year-olds use Instagram daily. Instagram is the preferred place to post memes, despite many accounts creating their content elsewhere. Why do they switch platforms to post? Instagram’s Discover tab allows faster browsing than Twitter, while Instagram images are displayed in full rather than being cut off, like they are on Twitter. (The Verge)

Eggo sales are down in between seasons of Stranger Things. Yes, the sci-fi series has that much influence on the frozen waffle’s revenue. One Eggo executive explains that they “quickly leveraged the [resulting] consumer engagement” from the show, and it paid off: sales jumped 14% in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 9.4% for the first four months of 2018. However, fewer people are binging the Gen Z & Millennial favorite these days, so Kellogg’s frozen pancakes, waffles, and French toast sales have slowed to just 1.3% year-over-year. (CNN)

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