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Monday, April 23, 2012

Veep Life

So, in all of the miserable hubbub about Girls, no one is talking about Veep.  Well, not no one, I heard a thing about it on NPR, but you know what I mean.  But, hey!  Guess what?  Veep is fantastic!

I should have started by mentioning that this show co-stars Tony Hale, and obviously anything Tony Hale touches turns to beautiful gold, including that episode of Dawson's Creek where he tells Dawson he has to pull the old man's plug or when he was the amazing ceramics teacher on Community ("No Ghosting!").  So it should come as no surprise to anyone that his role on an HBO comedy is anything other than perfection.

And, oh!  Julia Louis-Dreyfus!  I mean, talk about women in comedy.  It might be a little unfair to compare Veep to Girls, but too bad so sad, they're on the same night on the same channel so I'ma do whatever I want.  Whereas Hannah in Girls is relentlessly pathetic and trying so hard to be REAL that she becomes REALly unbearable, Veep's Selena is flawed in some charming ways of which she seems hyper-aware yet simultaneously totally oblivious, but her shortcomings only make her more likable and relatable (which, sadly, is I believe what Dunham was trying to achieve). And just the fact that Veep's cast has an authentic gender-balance, actual characters of color, and shows a woman holding a serious position of power (and yet simultaneously no power at all because being the Vice President sucks) in our government makes in miles better in terms of "women characters on television" than anything I saw on Girls.  Point made, contradictions left unexplained, let's move on.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Girls World

Ok, time to talk about Girls.

I've mentioned numerous times before that all-encompassing titles irk me.  Titles like Girls, Modern Family, Humboldt County, etc., that seem to purport to represent an idea, a place, or an entire group of people.  These titles set themselves up for failure, because there's no way they can be everything to everyone.  I came to Girls with this bias already in mind, and although brief moments of the show were enjoyable and fun, for the most part I found it excruciatingly insufferable.

To adequately discuss Girls, one must first have an understanding of Tiny Furniture.  Now, I kind of liked Lena Dunham's film, although I hated almost every character.  It was like they were insisting that "these are REAL characters, that's why they're stupid jerks to each other all the time", but just because real people are flawed doesn't mean that's ALL they are.  I have a similar problem with Girls, but we'll get to that in a second.  Tiny Furniture started out funny and relatable - English major, just out of college, forced to move in with her family - it pretty quickly turned frustratingly sad.  Dunham's characters, who appear to be autobiographical to some degree, are pathetic.  They struggle to maintain agency over their own lives, and when they finally attempt to assert themselves, they get in their own way.  It's not very much fun to watch, especially because by the end of the episode, I actually like every single character less than I did at the beginning.  Except the mom, because she (Leslie Ann Baker?) was great.  Seriously, they're all awful, but all of this leads to the real problem with Girls.

PRIVILEGE.  Ughhhhhhhhhh this show reeks of privilege.  White privilege, rich privilege, upper class city dweller privilege, legacy privilege, New-York-Is-The-Best-City-On-Earth-Ugh-Woody-Allen privilege, just all the horrible East Coasty privileges you can think of rolled into one giant rat king. And then everybody just fucking COMPLAINS for the ENTIRE show.  Boo fucking hoo, your parents have been supporting your life in The Most Expensive City Ever for TWO YEARS so you could work at an internship to advance your career except you were so used to being coddled and taken care of that you didn't think about maybe using the valuable experience you've gained to try to find a PAYING JOB even if it's not in your chosen field or whatever.  Sorry, let me just stop and think about the look on my parents' faces if I told them I needed them to give me $1100 a month.  AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Oh, man.  Good one, guys.  I mean, yes, my parents have supported me and lent me money before, but, like 200 dollars to fix my car - like most people I know, they're not rich. Look, the truth is, Hannah and I have a few things in common.  We're twentysomething English majors a few years out of college with an eventual goal to write for a living.  The difference is I've been writing AND working for the past four years...just like everyone else.  Yes, a lot of people get support from their parents these days, and yes, it's hard to find a good job, but to be so upset and surprised about being cut off from your parents like it's this great injustice is just horrendous.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Stuff We've Got To Talk About

Ok, I've got 45 minutes before I have to get in the shower and head off to meet a friend, so let's get to it!  So much going here it is, in absolutely no particular order.

Oh, the Chevy Chase/Dan Harmon thing makes me SO SAD.  Without knowing any more than what anybody else on the internet knows, my take on it is that these dudes are both just too cranky and too narcissistic to ever get along.  However, in the over-all scheme of things I've got to side with Harmon.  Chevy has been vocal about his disdain for sitcoms since the beginning, and doesn't seem to be able to understand how transcendent Community really is.  Here is a guy who has been, since the real beginnings of his career on SNL, a superstar, and has the ego to match.  I'm betting his agent or manager or someone convinced him to do Community in order to get his face out there to a younger audience and that Chevy didn't bet on the show becoming the phenomenon it has.  Additionally, I think the Pierce character hits a little too close to home for him sometimes.  I don't mean the daddy issue stuff (although, who really knows), but the old man/out of touch/hopelessly un-hip stuff ("Encarta it" ahahahahaha).  I bet before this show Chevy still thought of himself as being a classic bad-ass, but the writing has forced him to look his own old-man-ness in the face.  Anyway, that's just my take on it, who effing knows.  I think it was bad form for Chevy to walk off the set, and it was bad form for Harmon to chant, "Fuck you, Chevy" at the wrap party (although I do think that's pretty funny), but it was really bad form for Chevy to leave such a horrible message for the guy that is his BOSS.  And sorry, but calling D. Harms a bad writer doesn't hold water because everyone in the world knows that the opposite is true and that he's actually The Best writer (and I'm sure that Dan could care less about Chevy telling him to suck his cock).  Threatening to leave the show over this is a selfish, petty, childish, TOTAL DICK MOVE.  Honestly, I wouldn't care THAT much if he left - the incredible cast could pick up his slack - but the threat to do so just pisses me off.  Chevy needs to get over himself, stop thinking he's above doing television, and maybe if he were a little more respectful than stuff like this wouldn't happen.  Hmph.