Girls: Pilot Review

As one of the few souls who didn't like Bridesmaids (though that's a whole other piece, and an outdated one at that), I was particularly turned off by its treatment of Melissa McCarthy's conventionally unattractive body. Because she's fat, her sexuality is funny; it's laughable that she wants sex. If you're fat, you want dirty, rough, freaky sex, too. The idea of her character, Megan, wanting to be sexy and to enjoy a quickie with an Air Marshal had to be drawn incredibly over-the-top in order for it to be palatable to mainstream audiences because real women, women worth dating and marrying, don't want to speak out about having sex. That's just for those weird ugly girls. Most recently, American Reunion was also guilty of this, with a major punchline being that a girl who Stifler used to get great blowjobs from is fat now. GROSS!

But back to Girls, and to Williams' character, Marnie. Women are constantly berated for throwing men into the "friend zone," for picking jerks over "nice guys" when the "best man" is standing there right in front of them. It is the worst, and I'm so glad Girls addresses this through Marnie's long-term relationship with her boyfriend, Charlie (Christopher Abbott). Just because a man is nice to a woman, it doesn't entitle him to her eternal love (let alone her body, but Girls doesn't go there in the first three episodes). Marnie no longer loves Charlie or feels his love for her, to the point that his kindness makes her angry. It is one of the many details of the series that is true to life and very well written, and is touched upon much more in the show's second and third episodes. As not to spoil it and instead take a look at what's hinted at in the pilot, Charlie has built up his girlfriend as more of an object to care for and compliment than actually listen to. It's more than just that Marnie is spiteful, "bitchy" or bored (though any of those would be okay, too!), it's that Charlie idealizes her without actually appreciating her for the complex woman she is. Girls doesn't shame Marnie for that or make her out to be a bad person -- instead, she's allowed to grow, change and be flawed, and that's fine, because people do it all the time. Womankind don't owe anything to mankind, and yet Girls is one of the first television series to illustrate this basic concept.

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