A girl’s thoughts on GIRLS (and Downton Abbey, DUH)

I can’t decide which I’ve been waiting for more impatiently, the new season of Girls that starts on Sunday or the third series of Downton Abbey that started this past Sunday, so I’m going to talk about both. Chime in! (Hey, remember when I was all, ‘I don’t watch much TV, you guys’? That was great.)


club 1.jpgI was hesistant to watch this show. Anything that tries to define a generation can cause feelings of anger, annoyance or secondhand embarrassment when it fails (Quarterlife, anyone?). I’m especially a little sick of shows and movies set in New York City (I love you NYC, but young people do indeed live in other cities too). But this show, you guys. It gets a lot of things right.

Here’s an actual exerpt from an email I sent to a friend:

OMG this show. I’m only 3 eps in but I have to note:

– Falling asleep to Mary Tyler Moore.
– Cupcakes.
– Googling diseases in a towel.
– The stuff that gets up around the side.
– Rambling at the gynos.
– Guys making the girl apologize for dumb shit.
– Dancing to Robyn

For me, it’s the little things that ring the truest. Writing something about your friend that you hoped she’d never find- every show’s done that. Correcting her that, actually, it’s not a journal, it’s a notebook– that’s hilarious. Some people can’t stand the characters and their flaws, but that’s what I love about them. That’s me and my friends. Perfectly imperfect beings bumping around trying to not to hurt ourselves.

If this show’s not your thing, that’s fine. There’s lots of different choices out there. This is no longer a world where 121 million people will watch the same thing at the same time. I won’t deny that the show isn’t perfect and I’m curious to see how the criticism at season one will be addressed (or not).

Honestly, I think Lena Dunham is very talented. She’s been making videos and web series for years and I think she has a good ear for how people talk and relate to each other. She’s aware of her flaws and not afraid to poke fun of herself. I know there’s been a battle cry that nepotism got her where she is- along the other actresses on the show- and maybe that’s true. Personally, I think growing up in New York City was a much greater advantage since her mother is heavily involved in the art world, not entertainment. And really, let’s be real: As if no one else in the world has gotten ahead because of someone they knew. I guess this is where I confess that I got my first job at McDonalds because my uncle knew the manager. Someone else should have hosted those birthday parties and mopped urine off the bathroom floor, but instead it was me. Sorry, everyone!

I’m interested to see where this season goes.

Dame_Maggie_Smith_vs_Shirley_MacLaine_in_Downton_Abbey_series_three___videoDOWNTON ABBEY DISCUSSION TIME.

Obviously, this is full of spoilers, so scroll at your own risk.

  • Let’s get the big turkey off the table: What’d you think of Shirley MacLaine? Personally, I’m not a fan (Sidenote: The Apartment is massively overrated), but she was pretty great. Part of me wished she had more screen time, though it’s probably good that she didn’t or else it’d be like GUEST STAR IN YOUR FACE and that gets annoying. The only part that was a little disappointing was having her as a foil to the Countess meant less Cousin Violet time (Sidenote: I’m surprised more Harry Potter actors haven’t popped up in DA yet. Obviously, not Dan or Emma, but the kid who played Seamus could have been a footman, you know? (Side-sidenote: Did you know Mr. Carson is married to Dolores Umbridge? YEP. Imagine that cameo.))
  • Edith, Edith, Edith. GIRL. I think I was the only one who liked Edith and disliked Mary in series one and now I’m opposite for both of them (same thing happened with Jack and Sawyer on Lost). I was totally Tyra, you know? (“I rooting for you, WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU.”) Part of me HATES that she’s marrying the old dude just to say she’s married and the other part of me has to acknowledge that it’s accurate for the time period. Most people didn’t have the starry-eyed, lovey-dovey relationships like Mary/Matthew and Sybil/Tom but rather the at-least-we’re-not-alone-kind like E and the Old Dude. Still, knowing that didn’t stop me from being all, STOP TRYING SO HARD HE SHOULD BE CHASING YOU UGHHH EDITHHH.
  • I can’t help but feel icky toward Lord Grantham after last series’ affair with Jane. It just felt so out of character to me and a total soap opera wrench thrown in for excitement. I like this series better so far because it’s a good balance between the character driven first and soapy second, but I haven’t forgotten what’s happened. I also thought Lady Grantham telling Mary how much fun the wedding night will be was a little funny considering she once helped her daughter dispose of a dead devirginizing Turk. No one remembers the past but me! Damn Crawleys.
  • Of course I teared up over Mrs. Hughes. Of course I rolled my eyes at Carson fawning over Mary. Of course I loved the brassy American maid kissing the shy British footman. Of course of course of course.
  • I have to make a confession. I’m totally FREE BATES like everyone else, but I love his jail hair. He looks so much better when it’s not polished and slicked back. Like, ow ow OW, double take kind of better. I want him to be free with Anna and keep his hair like that.
  • I won’t lie, when I first the next series was going to be in the ’20s, I immediately went, “Flappers, prohibition and the Crawleys, EEEE!” Then oxygen went to my brain and I remembered, oh yeah, they’re English, moonshine means nothing to them. I’m holding out secret hope that the Crawley sisters will take a girls’ weekend to NYC to visit Grandmama and will end up in a swinging speakeasy. A gal can dream, right? (If you this appeals to you too, you should probably read Rules of Civility, it’s delightful.)
  • Best line of the series so far: “You’re not popular downstairs, Thomas?” UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR.