I was watching a Tarantino interview recently in which he paid tribute to ‘Dazed and Confused’ and the rare quality it possesses: being “a real hangout movie” and every time you watch it feels like you’re hanging out with old friends. Naturally, my thoughts then turned to whether there was anything I could relate to on that level and the HBO series ‘Girls’ written and directed by the brilliant Lena Dunham immediately came to mind.
As a shy, insecure, teenager I tried relating to television characters who’d been through similar struggles and come out the other side with a polo playing boyfriend and a shiny college degree. The OC, One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl all shaped my adolescence and fed into the irrational insecurities of a sixteen year old girl. This continued into my late teens when I started watching what is considered a rite of passage for any woman: Sex and the City. Questions such as: ‘Am I a Miranda or a Carrie?’ plagued me whilst I watched episode after episode of them having casual sex and purchasing over-priced footwear. In reality: I’m neither. I don’t meet men at the gym who salivate over me doing squats before practising an alternative form of exercise back at his place. In fact I just ate peanut butter from the jar and seriously considered whether it’s acceptable to wear perfume as deodorant tomorrow because I forgot to repurchase my Nivea roll on.
Then ‘Girls’ came into my life, and suddenly I was watching people I knew. Instantly I knew my best friend was a total Marnie and I saw myself in the slightly narcissistic, self-involved Hannah. Life in your twenties isn’t painted as picture perfect as I’d planned it to be whilst I was going through my awkward teenage years. Their failures are my failures, every insecure, embarrassing thought they have, I’ve had too. Girls doesn’t glamorize life for a twenty-something or create characters that feel too perfect and surround them with unrealistic drama: it feels real.
It’s back on screens next week and just like Tarantino I can’t wait to hang out with my old friends again.