Wednesday, February 26, 2014
In the months preceding the start of Girls, there was a pretty aggressive ad blitz in NYC. Posters in train stations, on buses, at bus stops, billboards, ads on NYCcentric websites like Gawker and New York mag, etc. I remember being sort of aware of the buzz when it started because I had seen and enjoyed her film, Tiny Furniture. Which I was aware of only because I was familiar with her mother's work. Which anyone studying photography in the eighties/nineties would be, because she was part of the big deal Cindy Sherman Metro pictures scene.
I didn't have a huge interest in watching the show. For one thing, we didn't/don't have HBO. For another, I hardly thought I was the demographic the show was aimed at. Lena Dunham was born in 1986, my sophomore year in college. The buzz was that the show was like Sex and the City for Millennials, and I had hated SATC. So I figured, not for me.
But then there was so much freaking talk about it - and the conversations/articles circled around stuff close to my heart, like feminism and personal agency and body acceptance and trying to make art and also make a living, and so on. So, when it became available online I watched. And it hardly seemed like revolutionary stuff. Not exactly reinventing television, or feminism, or anything, really. But it was interesting to me. And funny. And I was surprised to find myself, if not identifying directly, then certainly being able to recall a time in my life that looked and felt a lot like what she was putting on the screen. It felt very. . . familiar.
"...that no one, in the end, would grant them time to prosper or endure."
It's part of a poem by Jay Parini titled "After the Summer Lovers" or at least I think so, I can't find it online. At any rate, I remember it because it articulated the strange sense of panic that time held. So many decisions to make and the feeling that the clock was ticking. The irony being, of course, that at that age one's life was just beginning to unfold. I wish someone would have told me to take a deep breath and relax already. That I could trust myself and the world, that everything would unfurl in due course.