Few television shows have evoked such public ire as Lena Dunham‘s GIRLS. You either love the show or hate it. Or you love to hate it, or maybe hate to love it. But ultimately it incites a very visceral reaction, which is the hallmark of good theatre. Make us feel something. Anything. Even if it’s utter annoyance.
For the most part, I love the show. It’s fresh, well-written and unapologetic in its portrayal of four privileged twenty-somethings trying to make it in the fiery crucible that is New York City. Sure, the characters are insufferable — floundering and self-absorbed. But isn’t that the calling card of millennials? And why do we so willingly accept these traits in men (i.e. in Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld) but not women?
I love that Lena flips a massive bird to the haters every time she takes her clothes off and exposes her unairbrushed, tatted, not-a-size-2 body. Newsflash: most twenty-something women don’t look like the model-like mannequins pumped out of Hollywood, so props to Lena for claiming her sexuality and not letting critics (armchair or professional) dictate what’s fit for viewing consumption.
Then there’s the actual content. GIRLS tackles some pretty weighty and relevant topics: abortion, drug addiction, mood disorders, sexual orientation, sexual harassment, STDs, the job market, career aspirations and everything concerning relationships.
So what if the show devolves into navel-gazing more often than not? Isn’t that what being in your twenties is about? Discovering who you are and what you want your life to be? Besides, I like that it doesn’t glorify and glamorize the process of growing into adulthood because it’s fucking hard. Being in your twenties means fumbling and fucking up and forging your own path on this gnarly journey we call life.
As part of my application for the 2015 Disney/ABC Writing Fellowship, in addition to submitting an original spec pilot, I had to submit a spec script for an existing cable or broadcast series airing during the 2013-14 television season:
“This second sample should demonstrate your ability to adapt to an existing format while at the same time infusing your unique point of view and sensibility.”
Below is what I submitted. It takes a hearty jab at the show’s petulant narcissism while concluding with what I consider a major selling point of the series: Hannah’s relationship with Adam. I adore him. He’s by far my favorite character on the show and a big reason why I tuned in for all three seasons.
Please read the script here and share your comments, feedback and utter disgust or delight.