American television show Girls is in its second season over here in the UK. It was inevitable really that it was going to come back, after women everywhere talked about the first with such enthusiasm and passion. The show took over the comedy category at the Golden Globes, picking up Best Comedy Series and the shows creator and star Lena Dunham also took home Best Actress in a TV Comedy series.
So what makes Girls such a big hit? Why are women, myself included, raving about it and can’t wait for the next episode to pop up on their TV planner? There are many factors that make it such a great show, mainly the girls and their individual stories.
The show – set in Manhattan, New York – gives you four main women, four very different women with very different backgrounds. Dunham plays the main character Hannah Horvath (all the girls have alliterative names) who is a college graduate trying to earn money doing what she think she loves, writing. I know what you’re thinking…how very Sex and the City but the difference is you don’t want to punch Hannah in the face like you do Carrie Bradshaw (sorry SATC fans).
Alison Williams plays the tall, skinny and flawlessly beautiful Marnie Michaels, Hannah’s best friend and ex-roommate. In the first season she was seen as prim and proper Marnie who worked as an art gallery assistant but in season two she is fired and has to become a ‘hostess’ in a seedy gentleman’s club. She’s the girl who makes mistakes and doesn’t really know who she is yet.
The gorgeous and blonde Jemima Kirke plays unpredictable bohemian beauty Jessa Johansson. We see the world-traveller arrive back in New York City and move in with her cousin Shoshanna in season one. At the end of the season she married a wealthy, boring man played by loveable Irish man Chris O’Dowd, and in season two we see it fall apart.
Zosia Mamet plays Shoshanna Shapiro, the bubbly and incredibly innocent cousin of Jessa. Shoshanna’s story is probably the most significant, though you don’t really hear much about her. The 21 year old loses her virginity in the first season and we see her trying to learn about her sexuality with her boyfriend in season two.
We’ve had too many ‘frilly’ and ‘everything’s perfect’ comedy series recently, New Girl – whilst being a great show – is the sickeningly upbeat one that springs to mind. Girls doesn’t hold anything back, the storylines are raw and real, everyday things that women will go through and the things that we would all share like these girls do with our friends.
There is love and romance involved but the stories have more depth, more meaning to them. A failed marriage, psychopathic ex and that guy you lose your virginity to are all a refreshing spin on normal love storylines. The somehow still forbidden topic of sex is also a recurring theme in these girls’ lives – girls have casual sex? Good Lord! – it just makes the show even more relatable with young women in their early 20s.
Personally, I see Girls as a breath of fresh air. It’s not just my female friends who enjoy it, it’s become popular with guys too. Not an easy thing to accomplish. If you haven’t started watching it already, I highly recommend you start now.
Girls is on Sky Atlantic HD Mondays at 10pm.