IN WHICH LENA DUNHAM WRITES HERSELF A HOT LOVER LIKE SO MANY DUDES HAVE DONE BEFORE
by Fiona Duncan
I don’t watch Girls in the way that I’ve heard countless girls in bathroom stalls talk about the show. Like, as in, Hannah is this character that you relate to as if she were a real person: she eats real food like real people and she lives in this real Brooklyn neighborhood called Greenpoint, and she works at this real cafe there called Grumpy’s… Or maybe it’s not Hannah you relate to, it’s Jessa or Ray or, Damien Hirst forbid, “You are such a Marnie.”
I relate, sure—I’m, like the characters, in my 20s, living in NYC, with creative aspirations. But I relate more to Lena Dunham as the creator of a program about a “my” generation. I watch the show for craft, for its screenwriting, costuming, casting, lighting, soundtrack, etc. This is maybe because I’ve witnessed so much of its making. We all have. This summer, you couldn’t go anywhere in North Brooklyn without being rerouted by a Girls set. You’ll see the girls (and boys) out at events and there they are: Lena and Alex and Zosia and Brian Williams’s daughter. So on the show, for me, they remain Lena and Alex and Zosia and Brian Williams’s daughter.
The whole suspension of disbelief thing isn’t even a thing when I watch Girls. This doesn’t mean that I don’t think the characters are believable or the settings realistic, it just means I’m always thinking about how: how has this girl, Lena, and her crew tried to capture “my” generation.
So when an episode like this comes around, an episode that’s so different in form from the rest (the framing, the pacing, the quiet), my first reaction is going to be intentionality, intentionality, intentionality. What was Lena thinking? Was it about character development? Was it an exercise in genre? An homage to Nancy Meyers and Woody Allen and the like? Was it just an excuse to cast Patrick Wilson topless? Was it all a dream?
Those questions came to me but few answers followed. And, for once, that was perfect. I don’t feel like deconstructing this episode for reality, relatability, or even execution. I just want to have it wash over me like a hot steam shower, have it melt in my mind like the thought of Patrick Wilson’s cum on my inner thigh. The episode was moody (and so am I). It was affective in an under-the-skin kinda way that Lena doesn’t usually do. Because of that, and like all things I love most intuitively, I just want to let this one be.