Have any of you watched the HBO show Girls? I stumbled across it one day On Demand when I wanted a short break from writing. I chose it because it’s one of the shorter shows and I didn’t have much time to spare. I think I was on deadline, but sometimes the brain needs a break, ya know?
The first show didn’t hook me, but it was intriguing enough to bring me back a couple of weeks later. It’s about four girls in their twenties living in NYC trying to make their ways in the world. Does it sound a lot like Sex in the City? It’s certainly a less glamorous version. Hannah is the aspiring author with OCD. Marnie is the driven museum curate who ends up losing everything. Jessa is the free spirit running away from herself. And Shoshanna is the virgin college senior who is very sweet, but totally uptight and anxious to the point of being annoying. The characters are so tragically flawed that I can’t help but feel compassion for them. I want to hug these poor wounded souls as much as I want to shake them and yell, “What are you thinking??? Get your act together!”
Because of my work in the helping field, I’m not usually up
for these kinds of shows. It feels too much like work. But I don’t enjoy
perfect, trouble-free characters either. *YAWN* But watching these characters sabotaging themselves is like a car accident. I know I should look away,
but I can’t!
Part of the appeal might be due to the fact I didn’t have things very together when I was in my early twenties either. My life kind of fell apart when I was nineteen. My mom and the man who raised me divorced, and my stepbrothers and stepdad disappeared from my life. Later my mom remarried and moved to Africa, and suddenly, I was a formerly overprotected kid having to face the big bad world on my own. I floundered for a while, but I had the most amazing childhood girlfriends who held me together.
|You know who you are. Love you!|
In retrospect, it was the best thing for me. I have a lot more compassion for people struggling than I used to, and I feel confident in who I am and what I can do now. Plus, I reunited with my bio dad. Tough times in our lives provide opportunities for growth, even though it’s not without pain.
But I digress… The characters on Girls have it much harder than I ever did, and they’re much more screwed up than I was, so maybe there’s some appeal there too. I just finished the second season, and I have a better understanding of not just the girls, but some of the other characters – Adam (the socially awkward artist/actor & sexual deviant) and Ray (the 32 year old angry manager of the coffee shop with no place to live).
Adam, played by Adam Driver, is my favorite. He’s the most bizarre, complicated, vulnerable, and infuriating character I’ve EVER seen. He’s so outside of the box. The actor is fantastic!
So, here’s my question. Are you drawn to messed up characters, or are you more likely to gravitate toward the ones that have their acts together? Who are some of your favorite TV show characters right now?