Ok. So I understand that I, and even some other people on staff here at Northside Media Group (Hi, Virginia!) write a great deal about Girls and Lena Dunham and everything tangentially related to the universe of that particular HBO show. And we’re not the only ones, obviously. People do it all over the Internet. They write about Girls and they write about Lena Dunham because they want to squeeze as many pageviews out of readers as they can. Sorry to just have pulled back the curtain there. But I feel no shame in that. It’s just being smart is all. But so anyway, I think we’ve reached our nadir. I don’t think there’s anywhere to go but up after the latest Girls think piece.
What could be worse, you ask, than a grabby headline like “Lena Dunham Is In Playboy”? Well, what about an article claiming that Girls directly parallels global politics, with each character representing a different country? Yes! That’s much, much worse. Over on ForeignPolicy.com there’s a piece titled “The Geopolitics of ‘Girls’: How Lena Dunham Explains the World” which asserts that the buzziest show of all time isn’t really about young women in Brooklyn, but is instead “the most insightful television show about world politics airing right now.”
The author of the article, Daniel Drezner, asks that you “finish your peals of laughter” so that he can explain to you how Hannah is like America because she “manages to insert herself into every situation, making it all about her — a process that evokes myriad U.S. military interventions.” And that Jessa is just like France—”self-absorbed, flighty, with a taste for the grand gesture that doesn’t quite work out.” Shoshanna is Canada because we all know how Canadians love emoji and hair donuts and the color pink? No, it’s because she is “seemingly polite, but bubbling over with passive-aggressive insecurities.” Oh! Canada just got burnt. What about Marnie you ask? Terrible, terrible Marnie? Well, she’s Germany because of “her undeniable beauty, her self-assuredness, and her unwillingness to go into debt.” Whatever. Anyway, the boys of Girls get assigned countries too. Ray is Russia because he is “old…cynical and angry” and Adam is China because “he’s a force to be reckoned with, but it’s not entirely clear whether he’s socialized into how the rest of Brooklyn society behaves.” Yeah, that makes perfect sense.
Drezner goes on to explain how Hannah and Adam’s relationship directly parallels US-China diplomacy and there was some stuff about the European Union thrown in there but oh my god I just couldn’t take it anymore. I had to stop reading. I thought my interest in reading things about Girls was bottomless, but I realize now that the bottom has been reached. It’s just a tv show. It has a lot of interesting (I think, anyway) things to say about being a young woman in Brooklyn. It is not about geopolitics. It is not about negotiating trans-Atlantic trade agreements. And, also, duh, Marnie would be England, because people from England smell like wet cookies and you just know that Marnie does too.
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