Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Lena Dunham and ‘Girls’ don’t a woke reboot, like that awkward Sex in the City sequel: MEGHAN MCCAIN

Lena Dunham and 'Girls' don't a woke reboot, like that awkward Sex in the City sequel: MEGHAN MCCAIN 2

Every morning, after feeding and clothing my daughter, I doom-scroll Twitter to see the latest updates on Ukraine and inflation.

With one eye closed, I check for the latest shooting, stabbing, or hate crime that has been committed in yet another great American city. 

Advertisement

Yesterday, I was doom scrolling (this time on Instagram) when a post from yet another controversial figure popped up.

But instead of getting a fresh dose of the usual mind-numbing absurdity of our times, it felt refreshing.

Lena Dunham was recognizing the 10-year anniversary of the premiere of her HBO show ‘Girls.’

Advertisement

For many women of my generation, this show cataloged a time in our lives.

I cannot believe it has been a decade since that show first aired and I remember the hype and excitement that accompanied it.

I also remember the intense controversy and criticism over its apparent nepotism (most of the main characters are the children of famous parents), lack of diversity (all the original main characters were white), and self-centered millennial plot lines.

Advertisement
I cannot believe it has been a decade since that 'Girls' first aired and I remember the hype and excitement that accompanied it. (Above: Girls cast from left to right) Alison Williams as Marnie Michaels, Jemima Kirke as Jessa Johansson, Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath and Zosia Mamet as Shoshanna Shapiro

I cannot believe it has been a decade since that ‘Girls’ first aired and I remember the hype and excitement that accompanied it. (Above: Girls cast from left to right) Alison Williams as Marnie Michaels, Jemima Kirke as Jessa Johansson, Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath and Zosia Mamet as Shoshanna Shapiro

I remember it because I watched every single episode.

‘Girls’ was sort of an antidote to the deeply unrealistic depictions of life in ‘Sex and the City.’

Advertisement

When ‘Sex and the City’ went off the air, I was a freshman in college and even then, I can remember thinking that the show was an extreme fictionalization of what it was like to be a young professional in New York City.

It was all Manolos, obsessing over every small detail of dating, and having a perfect wardrobe filled with designer clothes.

I am not saying ‘Girls’ was a perfect show by any stretch. But what show is perfect?

Advertisement

Much like ‘Friends,’ ‘Sex and the City,’ and basically any sitcom before 2017, it lacked diversity and representation.

The ‘Sex and the City’ reboot, ‘And Just Like That,’ is an attempt by HBO to cash in, as well as account for the politically correct fouls committed by the original.

The result is a confusing, condescending mess (that I wrote about here) and I am begging Dunham and the creators of ‘Girls’ not to corrupt something that has been perfectly frozen in amber showcasing a particular time in our culture.

Advertisement

The root of my appreciation for ‘Girls’ and Dunham is that they are honest. 

Dunham’s character Hannah was deeply flawed in the show, as were the other three main characters.

I like protagonists that are flawed.

Advertisement

Dunham herself has always presented herself in a real, raw, and uncensored form.

In her public life, she has been open about everything from struggles with her fertility (she had a hysterectomy and struggled with endometriosis), relationships, family, fame, and navigating the pandemic.

'Girls' was sort of an antidote to the deeply unrealistic depictions of life in 'Sex and the City.' (Above: Sex in the City cast from left to right) Cynthia Nixon as Miranda Hobbes, Kristin Davis as Charlotte York, Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones and Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw

‘Girls’ was sort of an antidote to the deeply unrealistic depictions of life in ‘Sex and the City.’ (Above: Sex in the City cast from left to right) Cynthia Nixon as Miranda Hobbes, Kristin Davis as Charlotte York, Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones and Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw

Advertisement

In a new piece for Vogue, Dunham writes about the driving creative force behind the show.

‘By the time I wrote ‘Girls,’ I had 24 years of experience with feeling both connected to and separated from, well, girls.’

Dunham also admits that she still hasn’t figured it all out.

Advertisement

This is something that remains uncommon in 2022.

Our culture remains saturated with actors, actresses, and pop culture figures, who are Instagram-filtered within an inch of their life.

They present themselves to the world without a flaw or nuance and quite frankly, I find it dull and obtuse.

Advertisement

Dunham may be accused of a lot – from racism to victim-shaming – but she won’t be accused of photoshopping a swimsuit picture.

Leave that to Kim Kardashian.

Dunham isn’t a racist or heartless person who would knowingly dismiss someone who has been victimized.

Advertisement

But she does put herself out there and there are risks to that.

Women are complicated and nothing in the world is actually Instagram-filter perfect – nothing.

Dunham may be accused of a lot – from racism to victim-shaming – but she won't be accused of photoshopping a swimsuit picture.

Dunham may be accused of a lot – from racism to victim-shaming – but she won’t be accused of photoshopping a swimsuit picture.

Advertisement

Lena showcases her flaws, struggles, and nuances and I will continue to applaud it.

Maybe I also appreciate Lena, because I see some of myself in her.

If you’re reading my column, you are more than likely already aware that I am known to say a few things that are perceived as controversial from time to time.

Advertisement

It comes with the territory when you dare to be a woman, who decides to share a political opinion.

I am aware of the criticism that she’s a nepotism baby. Her mother and father are prominent artists.

As a fellow nepotism baby – as the GEN Z’ers call us – I couldn’t care less who her parents are.

Advertisement

Dunham won multiple Emmys and two Golden Globes for her work as creator, writer and lead actress in ‘Girls,’ which she sold to HBO at just 23 years old.

That takes brains, guts, and talent – period.

That she is seen as deeply problematic by much of the intelligentsia and glitterati class – is another thing that I couldn’t care less about (and actually like).

Advertisement

We really couldn’t be more polar opposite when it comes to politics, profession, lifestyle, and yet, I root for her.

How can I not?

As a conservative woman in America’s liberal mainstream media, honest, outspoken women need to stick up for women that they appreciate.

Advertisement

Maybe Dunham would agree. Maybe not. It’s beside the point.

We need more honesty – not less.

Vanity Fair recently published an article with the headline ‘Justice for Girls’ and I echo this sentiment.

Advertisement

There is not enough truly creative and interesting content coming out of Hollywood that showcases main characters who are complex, imperfect, and messy women trying to navigate the world, and ‘Girls’ did that in a lot of ways.

10 years later, Lena Dunham and ‘Girls’ don’t need a reboot. Our boring, unrealistic, censorious culture does.

Advertisement

About The Author