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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“It[‘s] only about the music for me, nothing else dictates what I listen to, I either like it or I don't.”—Male, 28, WA

A new app is getting teens’ attention as it rises through the ranks of the new social apps to know, even surpassing Houseparty’s popularity—but the catch is it’s “piggyback[ing]” on Snapchat. Polly allows users to create anonymous surveys that they can send on Snapchat (there's that anonymity allure again), meaning many users may not have actually downloaded the Polly app, so they “could slip away if friends stop posting questions.” For now though, the app amassed 20 million users and 100 million answers last month, proving it’s one to keep an eye on. (TechCrunch)

Designers are taking to social media to “shame” the retailers ripping off their work. When Zoila Darton spotted a Forever 21 shirt eerily similar to the one she helped create to benefit Planned Parenthood, she posted a tweet to let the brand know their copycat didn’t go unnoticed—and quickly gained attention from fashion editors and others. This isn’t the first time pieces have been copied by Forever 21, but designers have a hard time taking legal recourse against the powerful company. Instead, social media posts are often their best bet. (NYTimes)

BeautyCon is continuing to take “Sephora and Coachella and smash it into one thing” to appeal to young consumers. At the latest L.A. event, 20,000 beauty fans came to meet their influencer idols and try out the latest makeup trends, surrounded by empowering slogans and messages—true to the brand’s idea that “beauty can be something beyond a concealer culture.” Of course, brands were there “to win over the new generation”—ChapStick Duo offered cotton candy while Rimmel London’s “slayground” gave attendees a chance to set down their makeup and enjoy a jungle gym and swing set.
(The New Yorker)

It turns out saving money might not be cord cutters’ top reason for switching to streaming. Instead, a recent Magid Associates survey found that “the attractions” of SVOD programming (aka their content) is their top reason for making the move, followed by the overall decline of TV-viewing among 18-24-year-olds. Cable companies are trying to reel The Post-TV Gen back in by offering lower-cost cable bundles (so-called “skinny bundles”), but stepping up their shows might be a better first step to reversing the “accelerating” trend of cutting the cord. (TheStreet)

Pokémon is reaching out to a new generation of trainers with its first app for preschool-aged kids. Pokémon Playhouse follows in the wake of the massively successful augmented reality app, Pokémon Go (which was so popular that we put together an entire infographic on it) but won’t be AR-based. Instead, Playhouse will tap into the collectibles trend by featuring favorite characters like Pikachu for kids to collect by completing activities. There will also be puzzles and more in the app’s “interactive park.” (Kidscreen)

“I'm literally listening to music any time it is socially acceptable.”—Female, 28, MN

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