You know when you are standing in the bathroom, blow-drying your hair, and suddenly you have this flash of inspiration for a blog post. But you don’t want to set the blow dryer aside, especially if a good hair day is evident. Then there’s make-up to apply, a bed to make and clothes to put on, in between folding a load of laundry or two. By the time you sit down to write that post, it’s as though you have a sudden case of Alzheimer’s and everything that was so perfect in your head is gone. Gone!
That’s what happened to me today. Hence, here are a few thoughts on the television series, Girls, and the movie Mud. Not what I had in mind for this blog post…but I’ve never been opposed to the path of least resistance. And writing about pop culture is easy.
HBO’s Girls – I recently watched season one on DVD. Lena Dunham, the star, writer and frequent director of the show, plays a young woman, Hannah, two years out of college who had been working as an unpaid intern for a publishing company in New York City for the better part of a year.
Her parents, played by Becky Ann Baker and Peter Scolari (who I loved from Bosom Buddies), have been supporting her; as an aspiring writer, she thinks she could be the “voice of her generation.” Her parents have other ideas, and think it’s time to cut off financial support. This decision seems harder on Hannah’s dad who hates to see his little girl “struggle.”
Hannah is suddenly faced with the prospect of real adulthood, whether she’s ready or not. In the process, she makes decisions that risk making her unlikable to her contemporaries (the “Girls”) – and the viewer. (She also isn’t afraid of taking her clothes off, an interesting choice for a “pudgy” actress.)
I don’t know how closely her life hews to other, real 20-somethings, but I do remember my 20s as tougher than I thought they would be. Girls is Dunham’s take on that life period, only set in an era of Facebook, iPhones and parents who are, perhaps, too emotionally invested in their children.
Even though I couldn’t approve of all of Hannah’s choices, I loved the show. It’s well-written, well-acted, original and real. I can’t wait until Season 2 comes out on DVD.
P.S. – Hannah and her parents are from Michigan where Hannah attended “East Lansing High”. There’s even a reference to a potential job for Hannah at Michigan State University. (Go Spartans!) Anyway, as a former Spartan, I certainly appreciated those specific details.
Mud – The ads for this movie seem to indicate Reese Witherspoon as the star, but she only has a supporting role. While her performance is solid, the real star of the movie is the script: it feels like a novel that starts out slow but builds to a satisfying conclusion.
The movie is about a man on the run, played by Matthew McConaughey, who has found refuge on a remote island in the Mississippi River. He’s discovered by two boys with struggles of their own; one lives with his unhappy parents in a houseboat; the other, with his well-intentioned but at times misguided uncle. Witherspoon plays the love interest of McConaughey’s character, and is the reason he’s in hiding.
There is so much more to this multi-layered, Huck Finn-like adventure – and I loved every minute. (It seems I love everything; maybe I’m not terribly discriminating). My husband thought it was…okay. But he doesn’t read novels, either.
Highly recommended for anyone with a soft spot for stories that build slowly, adventure and Mark Twain.
Have you seen either? What do you think of Girls?