Why is no one writing about Girls, which returned to HBO on Sunday night? During its first two seasons everyone seemed to have an opinion about it. Week in and week out certain Other Websites (the ones whose names begin with “S”) had four or five bloggers each, all of them rehashing plot points and transcribing witty dialogue and analyzing episodes frame by frame. The fuss expanded from the show to its creator. Everyone seemed to want to know what Lena Dunham thought about race, sex (both senses of the word), and politics, among other boring subjects. I don’t even own a television set, but somehow I was roped into watching all the episodes on my computer using a colleague’s HBO.com account and writing something about it for the magazine back in May.
But now, despite record-high ratings for the premiere of season three, very little is being written about Girls one way or another. And what is being written is uninspired and uninspiring to say the least. (A few people have noted that HBO has decided to make episode one and two of the new season available (legally!) on YouTube, but this is business journalism rather than criticism.) A humorless slug called Richard Lawson over at Vanity Fair suggests that things have gone downhill:
[T]he new season of Girls is disappointing, dismaying even. It’s still a beguiling work of television, craftily constructed and clever and blissfully weird as hell when it wants to be. But it no longer seems intended to be a relatable depiction of a particular kind of millennial angst and ennui.
I have no idea what “a relatable depiction of a particular kind of millennial angst and ennui” looks like, but I suppose that this phrase is an example of Lawson’s “trademark impish wit.” Still, the inscrutability of his prose is the least of Lawson’s problems. His comments suggest that he is both mean-spirited and shy: never a winning combination, especially in someone who bears more than a passing resemblance to Pajama Boy. What human being with a heart in his chest could call the delightful, if occasionally exasperating, Shoshanna “decidedly less than human”? What kind of beta-male thumbsucker shies away from Jessa on the grounds that she is “callous and nasty”? Holding Hannah’s navel-gazing or Marnie’s bitchiness against the show is like complaining that everyone in Afternoon Men is a bored alcoholic.
Anyway, I’ve decided to take up my cross and do what writers at the Other Websites will not, which is to say, come up with a few hundred more or less interesting words about each episode. Stay tuned for more.