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80 of 94 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-ray
HBO's "Girls" seems to be one of those love-it or hate-it propositions and I'm not quite sure why. Its creator and star, Lena Dunham, burst onto the scene with the micro-budgeted indie "Tiny Furniture" in 2010. Embraced enthusiastically by critics, the young talent was branded a new voice in contemporary comedy. But as the picture became more widely seen (it is available in a 2-disc Criterion edition), the backlash began. "Girls" has some of the same situations, concerns, stars, pacing and humor as the feature film and all of the supposed negatives that applied to "Tiny Furniture" have followed Dunham to "Girls." The show is still a huge critical success, it just seems to lack universal appeal. The most common complaint, I suppose, is that it creates a very insular world populated with pretty self-involved characters. It's a fair point, to be sure. But for everyone who says that Dunham doesn't "speak for their generation," I say that she never intended to. She speaks about her world, her life, and the things that she knows. It may not be identifiable to everyone, but it is eminently real and utterly believable! The world created in "Girls" exists and Dunham has skewered it perfectly creating a fresh comedy that is simultaneously absurd and truthful. This is a generation that has yet to find its purpose.

"Girls" is centered around four young women trying to navigate the pitfalls on the way to responsibility and adulthood. The characters ably showcase a combination of post-collegiate ennui and over-educated (and pseudo-intellectual) entitlement. Set in a fashionable New York City young, artistic and urban environment--the show's sardonic tone and cultural critique really speak to this specific subset of individuals. But the quirky storylines, which can be quite funny, also achieves a quiet poignancy when you least expect it. Dunham plays the principle character, an aspiring writer who struggles with menial employment to be able to afford the rent. The others in the quartet are the lovely Allison Williams (as Dunham's more responsible roommate), the brash Jemima Kirke (as a more exotic friend returning home), and the tightly wound Zosia Mamet as the innocent. For those looking for "Sex and the City" comparisons, each of the characters does fit squarely into the Carrie/Miranda/Samantha/Charlotte configuration. I'm not trying to draw any unnecessary comparisons as this is edgier, more modern, more youthful, and has a completely different vibe.

Anyone needing big plotlines or stories, "Girls" really succeeds as a more character driven piece. The women are looking, in some variation or another, for love and success. But also, in many ways, they might not recognize these things should they present themselves. Truthfully, I didn't love every subplot within Season One's ten half hour episodes. I never particularly warmed to Kirke who is supposed to be someone the others look up to. I didn't always see the appeal and it certainly didn't help that she was saddled with some of the year's most unfortunate stories (poor James LeGros features prominently in a particular misfire). But the others really impressed. As an actress, Dunham is unafraid to showcase (and expose) a very personal, and oftentimes unpleasant, side to her persona. The show is frank, sexual, and presents a very unglamorous look at provocative subjects.

"Girls" may be about the women, but many of the men also have a chance to shine. It's good to see Peter Scolari (Newhart, Bosom Buddies) back as Dunham's father. Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids) and great character actor Richard Masur have funny cameos. Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon) is terrific as a man from Dunham's college days. Christopher Abbott is perfect as Williams' adoring boyfriend, oftentimes accompanied by his witty and sarcastic best friend (Alex Karpovsky, doing the same shtick as he does in Tiny Furniture). But, for my money, it is Adam Driver who (quite unexpectedly) emerges as a real star in this piece. Starting the season as Dunham's casual sex partner, Driver is hysterically aloof--sending mixed signals at every turn. As the season progresses, however, this performance becomes increasingly nuanced and surprising. At the end of the day, I might not remember all of the antics these girls got up to--but I will remember the progressive relationship of Dunham and Driver. These two score as TV's least probable couple and both are absolutely incredible. "Girls" is definitely a show worth checking out. Try it with an open mind, you might be pleasantly surprised. KGHarris, 7/12.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
I'm in love with this show!! Coming from a 25 yr old girl who moved from a tiny town to the big city a few years ago after graduating from college, this show is EXTREMELY accurate and relatable. Unlike Sex & the City (which I should note is still one of my absolute favorites) the girls in this show are not glamorized and its not made to look like its easy to start out a life in NYC. Its exactly the kind of humor I love (which I understand isn't for everyone considering some of the previous reviews) and it has just enough drama. If you're easily offended or are just not a fan of crude humor, this probably isn't the show for you. But for everyone else-- ENJOY because there is no other show like this on TV right now!!
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2013
Format: DVD
I'm a 27 years old (28 in 3 weeks) African-American male. I'm obviously not the target demographic of the show. However, for some reason, I like these girly shows (and before you ask, I'm straight). I was a fan of Gossip Girl until it became stupid towards the end. Initially, I wasn't planning on watching this series, but I saw about a million advertisements for Girls in the NYC Subway. I finally decided to succumb to peer pressure. I bought the season 1 DVD from Target and watched the entire season in 3 days.

I can definitely see why some people dislike this show, but most of the episodes are entertaining. Watching this show requires some suspension of disbelief. The protagonist of the series is Hannah, a self-conscious and slightly overweight (but definitely not fat) girl in her mid-20's. Although she is book smart, she is completely dense. She once made a joke about date rape during a job interview. She quit another job she had after her ~60 year old boss refused to have sex with her. She reminds me of a female version of George Constanza. Hannah's frenemy is Marnie (sp?), an attractive but insecure girl. Hannah and Marnie have their cat fights and usually make up in the next episode.

Jessa is a hot British girl. She's an eccentric, pot-smoking party girl, like a raunchier Phoebe Buffay. Shoshanna (sp?) is the innocent virgin (SPOILER: she loses her virginity in the season finale).

What I didn't like about this series is that all of the male characters are douches. Adam, Hannah's borderline abusive boyfriend, is the dumb jock type. He rarely has a shirt on. He reminds me of Kelso from That 70's Show. Elijah is a recurring guest star. He's Hannah's ex-boyfriend who turned gay. He is the gay stereotype. Charlie is Marnie's boyfriend. They split up and 2 weeks later, he met someone else. Jessa got hit on by the father of the kids she babysits.

This show is a caricature of life in New York City. I don't think it's meant for people to take seriously. No one can be as dense as Hannah. Furthermore, in real life, I find it hard to believe that a guy like Adam would be attracted to an average looking girl like Hannah. The funniest episode of the series was when they went to the party in Bushwick. The show started off realistic- Hannah had to survive in the city after being cut off by her parents. Then, the show became less realistic as it progressed. SPOILER: in the season finale, Jessa marries a guy she knew for 2 weeks.

There isn't a single character who I like. I found myself laughing AT Hannah instead of cheering for her. Nevertheless, the show is funny. Many people have complained about the lack of minorities on the show. I don't have an issue with this. There are blacks and Asians on the show, but they appear mostly as extras. In New York City, there are all-white cliques, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're racist or exclude minorities. I'd rather the show reflect reality than to have a token black character (Donald Glover is going to appear in season 2).
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263 of 355 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
I'm 20, slightly younger than the "Girls" on this show, but close enough in age that plenty of their problems are relate-able for me. I was really excited for this show - it was like Sex and the City but with younger characters; characters who didn't have great jobs and were NOT yet in a place where they would be really looking for husbands or ready to have children.

Sadly, the first episode left kind of a bad taste in my mouth and so did the following ones until I let the series go about 3/4 the way into the season.

I think my main problem is the central character, Hannah. I really just couldn't bring myself to like her, which is odd because I think the actress who plays her (also the creator of the show!) Lena Dunham is lovely, and I'm taking a leap by assuming she based a lot of Hannah's personality off of herself.

You see, in the first episode she tries to convince her parents to keep financially supporting her by claiming she "feels that she is to voice of her generation...or something (yes, that was heavily paraphrased). I have nothing against aiming big, that's not it. It's just I feel that you can change the world and hold down a paying job at the same time. Also, with the job market still so rocky, wouldn't a better argument be "I just really don't know when I'm going to be able to find a paying job?"

Then later on she blows a huge job interview by making, and I am not kidding, a rape joke. Okay, I must admit that I am absolutely not the master of small talk or impressive job interviews but I feel that you would have to be ABSOLUTELY INCOMPETENT to make a rape joke (!) during a freaking JOB INTERVIEW, even with a friendly, like-minded interviewer. I doubt somebody in middle school would ever make that joke - much less a 25 year old woman. I realize it's just a TV show and it was put in there to make for a "fun" (and really, when are rape jokes ever appropriate?) awkward moment, but seriously?

There are other things that bothered me, for example the (LE GASP!) 22 year old virgin who the others are shocked to discover has not done the deed. Oh, by the way, this is while they are with Hannah who is getting an STD test (guess how it comes out you guyzzz!). Maybe it's just the bitter teen mother in me talking but is it really that odd to find a 22 year old virgin? Not that I believe there is ANYTHING wrong with premarital sex, but why be unflattering shocked when someone hasn't partaken in it yet? Especially when she is only a college student?

I do get that this is just a satire of young womanhood, and this fact has to be taken into thought. Being a girl myself I just don't believe this is how "girls" really are. Maybe it's a New York thing?

EDIT: Haha! Okay judging by the fact that somebody went through my profile and disliked everything I've ever reviewed within a half hour I'm going to assume that somebody REALLY likes this show. I really didn't mean to offend, I'm just being honest about not really liking the show!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This quirky, off beat comedy delivers. Adam the boyfriend has become one of the most interesting characters, I like his often weird, but honest and real. It's not sex in the city in any way. I did take me a couple of episodes to really buy in to the series but I do enjoy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
I have been wanting to see this show for years, and I am very disappointed. There is really no point to the show, no good storyline at all, and I find it very boring. I don't know how this show got so much praise. I don't find it realistic or relatable, and I'm 22. I wasted my money buying the episodes.

In my opinion, the show has too much swearing and it's actually distracting. Also, there are a lot of awkward sex scenes. And I know I sound uptight right now(I feel the need to point out I watch a lot of adult shows like OITNB, American Horror Story, etc.), but seriously it's like the show is trying too hard. I would never recommend Girls to anyone. I'm usually not too critical of shows, but this show is nothing like people say it is. Just a waste of time.

Bottom line: it's completely unrealistic and annoying.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Entirely too vulgar, for me, sorry!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
I stopped watching because I found the sex degrading to both the women and men.

Clean it up, you guys. You can do better.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
What a rotten example for young women. Are they to feel outcast because they don't have casual sex, sex sex and more sex, butt sex, etc. sex?
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2013
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I bought this as a result of all the hype surrounding this show, and was completely disappointed. I forced myself to finish it out, thinking surely it would get better/more interesting as the episodes went on, but no such luck. I am a huge fan of Lena Dunham & loved her film Tiny Furniture, so I thought this would be in the same vein. As much I love Lena, I've got no love for this show.
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