First, there was Sex and the City, a show about four women living and dating in New York City. The characters were all white except for the occasional one-episode boyfriend, assistant or passerby. And now HBO has done it again with Girls. Another four women living in an NYC that appears to have lost its diversity.
And yet, just like SATC, as much as I want to be mad for their lack of diversity, I’ve got to give them a pass. Girls is PHENOMENALLY good show. And beyond there being four white women and NYC as a character, there’s really no comparison to SATC. So I will not be mentioning SATC any more in this post.
I find it believable that these four girls wouldn’t know any people of color. I could see Charlie, or even Adam, having a black friend. But Hannah and the other girls, no way. Of course there are some entitled, insecure, whiny, self-centered 20-something black girls out there, but I just can’t imagine them being let into this circle.
Aside from Shoshanna, who is just undeniably adorable and hilarious, the real interesting people on this show are the men. I could become a cougar for Charlie. And you just know that strange Adam has to be bi-polar. And the gay guy hooked me when he slapped the boring pretty girl.
This shown is telling Lena Dunham’s story. It’s cool that HBO is giving her the license to do that. Has there ever been a more unattractive lead character? And all of the characters wear terrible clothes and several appear as if they haven’t pulled a comb through their hair in years. Yet, the bad clothes — and godforbid boots — are a part of the genius of the show. And even though I can’t relate to any of these characters, the show resonates.
Hollywood isn’t exactly eager to give an unattractive, badly dressed group of black people a show like this. Well, there’s an exception: Madea. Tyler Perry’s stories involve cross-dressing, and sassy black talk, so people watch. Would people line up to watch a show about a quirky group of non-white women? Or a diverse group of women?
I’m pulling for the black or Latina or Asian writer who’s going to break through that and make the world want to watch her story in a legitimately great show with excellent writing, phenomenal acting, an interesting backdrop AND backing by a powerhouse like HBO. In the meantime, I’m going to rewatch this season of Girls. I’ve got to hear some of those great one-liners again.