Girls... a blagger's guide
Have you ever been stuck around a dinner table left out of a conversation about a cool new show that you have no time to watch? Well, fear no more. Sophie Hall shows you how to blag it... without ever having seen it
As social media, legal streaming, and other crevasses of the internet begin to consume and envelop the way we watch things, different mediums of entertainment are having to raise the bar to get our attention. With movies pushing to bloated extremes to stretch our imaginations, such as ever enticing Piranha 3D sequels, or embossing “Quentin Tarantino” across films not directed by Quentin Tarantino, it’s fair to say we are gravitating more towards TV then we were before. Lovely. But whereas a film can be over in a matter of moments, a TV series is a 24 episode unspoken contract deal. Like Bruce Bogtrotter and the cake in Matilda, if you start it, you have to finish it. And for those of you with full time jobs, pets, wives, children, a Facebook page to refresh over and over, who really has the time? Especially with HBO vomiting out masterpiece after masterpiece without a second thought and our more free time-centric friends picking up box-sets like badges of honour. However, there is one way to not feel like the ghost at the dinner party when someone strikes up ‘that’ Game of Thrones episode when you've barely grazed Series 1. Sky+, you say? Not quite. We were thinking more – lying.
Show to Blag: Girls
You will most likely be familiar with the premise of Girls: “Like Sex and the City but through the confused minds of 20-something hipster ne’er do well New Yorkers”; and it mostly is. However, unlike Sex and the City, with it’s blasé male characters, materialistic idleness and strange throwaway racial stereotyping, (Carrie got through the entire of series 6 calling her boyfriend Alexandr Petrovsky, “The Russian”.) Girls is written and stars Lena Dunham, staunch political feminist, and even more shockingly, an un-Size 0 woman with tattoos and a sense of humour. But aside from that, yes, Girls is a bit like Sex and the City - albeit altogether more hip and now, with myriad comedy talents popping up, and produced by Judd Apatow. Whereas Carrie Bradshaw was gazing wistfully at her Apple Mac trying to figure out men, Lena Dunham’s main character gazes wistfully at her computer trying to orchestrate a pithy and whimsical tweet.
Who is your ‘favourite character’?
Well, there’s only four main ones, so it’s certainly not as difficult as having a favourite member of So Solid Crew. In a nutshell, there is Hannah, (Lena Dunham) an aspiring writer, victim of unpaid internships, and all round spokesman for the lost generation, Marnie, Hannah’s childhood friend, a straight edge-career orientated gallery worker, Jessa, an overtly sexual bohemian and ‘unpredictable’, and Shoshanna, a painfully shy virgin who communicates mostly in "Like totallys". In essence, it’s probably a safe bet to pick Hannah as your favourite, although if you’re a bit of a Pheobe from Friends rather than a Rachel, say Jessa.
“Omg, did you see when…”
Girls is notorious for its very hands on sex scenes, but you’ll have to be more specific than that. In the Episode “On All Fours”, Adam, Hannah’s on/off partner has some very graphic sexual encounters with a lady friend. If you make some quintessentially British awkward noises and gesture loosely to your chest, your friends will no doubt agree, that yes that was a bit of an odd scene. You could also mention how great it was when Chris O’ Dowd turns up, as he does, at the end of Series 1, off the back of Bridesmaids as the "well meaning, lovely bloke" trope.
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Things not to Say
“But if Lena Dunham is a struggling writer in New York with no income, how does she logistically even afford a flat share?
Pulling Out the Big Guns
Embark on a debate on how racially biased the HBO show has been accused of being. “Donald Glover was clearly lazily written in to shut everyone up.”Would be a good a start. Just don’t accidentally say Danny Glover, as that may scupper your point a tad. For bonus points, you could also compare and contrast. "Seinfeld was never critiqued the same way," you could say, with a poised expression.
You could always watch Tiny Furniture, Lena Dunham's debut feature film instead, which stars members of the same cast as Girls, and is mostly the same sex-orientated, existential 20 year old tone. ie, nothing happens, but you’re earning cool points just by sitting in front of it.