Friday, 20 April 2012

Backlash. Yawn.

my twitter feed earlier
I’m getting bored of the anticipation/hate-filled backlash cycle tv has got into. It’s US tv more than UK tv. (Do we make boring telly here? Or maybe I just read to too many American sites. ) We had it with New Girl – everyone seemed overexcited before it started overcome with Zooey Deschannel love...until it aired and there was a MASSIVE backlash. The world went mad with MPDG (Manic Pixie Dream Girl) hate. It pretty much went: We all love Zooey Deschannel! This looks silly and fun! WOOOO! And then: ERGH she’s just the one girl who comes in and lives with these guys and she’s so girly I might vom erghhh.  The backlash prompted a scene in the show [just send I spent 20 mins trying to find it youtube] where Jess defends herself:

‘I brake for birds. I rock a lot of polka dots. I have touched glitter in the last 24 hours. I spend my entire day talking to children. And I find it fundamentally strange that you're not a dessert person. That's just weird, and it freaks me out. And I'm sorry I don't talk like Murphy Brown. And I hate your pantsuit. I wish it had ribbons on it or something to make it just slightly cuter. And that doesn't mean I'm not smart and tough and strong.’

But this rambling post is about the backlash against Girls. Before Girls was on I had heard nothing but good things about it. Everyone seemed excited about it: here was this show about non-fabulous twenty-somethings in New York who have awkward sex and ridiculous, messy lives. All the people who had seen previews were excited because it seemed so honest and different. Add to that the fact it is written by and stars a twenty-something woman (who looks like a normal girl). I was excited to see a show about lost and dysfunctional twenty-somethings. 

Now it’s been on, every site I read regularly has had a piece highlighting all the inadequacies of the show: the characters are spoiled; there are no black, asian or latina characters, there are no gay characters. Some writers have complained that the show wasn’t magically their life. People keep referring to a scene where Lena Dunham’s character Hannah, eats a cupcake in the bath while talking to their friend: “I don’t do that! Girls sucks because it’s not my exact life.”(to paraphrase massively). 

I am definitely NOT saying that those unhappy about the lack of diversity in tv should pipe down. I am just saying that it seems unfair for them to target Girls. I know that all the main characters are white. But that is true for a lot of tv but most new shows don't have this much rage directed towards them. Look at what IS good about girls: it’s a show written and created by a young woman about young women. Yes, a young, privileged and white woman about young privileged white women, but let’s not lessen the achievement of Lena Dunham.

When a show is so hyped and so anticipated, it is bound to cause disappointment. Somehow everyone got it into their heads that Girls was supposed to be completely about them so when they watched it they were naturally disappointed. The problem is that we have got so used to having very little that is produced FOR women BY women and subsequently we want each book or film or TV show to have a little of us all in. We need to stop this. We don't need one show that is filled with ALL types of women, we need LOTS of shows that are filled with ALL kinds of women in different combinations. When How to be a Woman came out, Caitlin Moran said that she didn’t want hers to be the only voice, she wanted others to join in. She wanted more women and more variety. WE NEED MORE WOMEN EVERYWHERE, IN ALL OUR GLORIOUS VARIETY!

thank you and good night. 

p.s. it is 1.14 am so this might just be sleepy crazies. 

p.p.s. there are MILLIONS of things about Girls on XOJane, The hairpin, Jezebel and HelloGiggles these pieces are written by proper writers and not sleep deprived nutters.. you probably should have read them in the first place. 

1 comment:

  1. I just... I don't know at what point everyone decided that Girls was going to be all about diversity and whatnot. Like... if there was a tv show called 'boys' and was just about how white boys lived, people would probably be like 'hey, that's cool' and not go WHERE IS THE DIVERSITY, WHY ISN'T IT ALL ABOUT ALL BOYS EVERYWHERE?! Also, I would not be watching it.

    But anyway. Double standards and badness, and I like Girls dammit! Everyone is a moron. (except us ;) )