This year’s Golden Globes was quite epic. And as the title suggests, this was a big year for girls. Namely, these girls, Tina Fey and Amy Pohler (for being LOL funny as the hosts), Jodie Foster (for her impassioned speech), and Lena Dunham (writer, director, star of the series Girls).
This is the first time in a long while that I have thoroughly enjoyed sitting through 3-hours of hollywood patting its own back.
Mainly because of the funny hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Because funny girls crack me up and these two consummate comediennes are the best in their craft. These two SNL alums have proven that you can crack jokes without making snide and below the belt remarks (yes, Ricky Gervais, that is a not so subtle jab at your hosting skills) and offend half of Hollywood’s It-guys and gals. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler managed to make jabs at the celebrity filled room without ripping their audience to shreds. And that folks, takes a lot of control, maturity and intelligence to pull off, when Hollywood gives one so much material to poke fun at.
Another must-see, gotta-hear-it-for-yourself-from the horse’s mouth moment was Jodie Foster’s (sorta) coming out speech where she said she was “out and proud” and thanked the “co-parent” of her two kids as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille award. Although Foster’s sexual preference has been Hollywood’s favorite “open secret” for decades, her declarations were strategically announced at the Golden Globes and marked her coming out moment into mainstream media and the public at large. Another highlight of her speech was Foster’s ripping into the tastelessness of reality shows and the paparazzi’s obsession with celebrities, which was also much applauded. (Although Nene Leakes of RHOA, who was also in the audience, must have been grinning and thinking I don’t know about you, but I’m laughing all the way to the bank thanks to reality tv and the paps).
The biggest surprise of the night though was Lena Dunham beating luminaries in her category like Julia Louis Dreyfus, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The quintessential underdog, even after one successful season run of her self-directed, written and starred in work, Girls (HBO), Dunham was still a relative unknown, except maybe to hipsters who related to her storyline quickly.
Dunham and genius Judd Apatow (exec. producer) are a made-for-cable tv tandem match made in heaven. They make up a formidable team that strives to make every episode authentic and un-Hollywood. Unlike its predecessor to the genre of single women camaraderie/ life in the big city storyline, Sex and the City, Girls is a series that will never see the green light on regular network programming due to its very racy scenes and overt sexual content and propensity for nudity. But unlike Sex and the City where its main characters have walk-in closets the size of a typical NYC apartment, women traipsing around Manhattan wearing Jimmy Choo stilettos and sipping mimosas for brunch at Pastis, Dunham’s girls live in dank, cramped Brooklyn and Lower East Side apartments, wear ratty, bargain -store bought clothes and have jobs like babysitter and barista. So where Sex and the City reveled in glitz, glamour and high fashion, Girls digs deep into the economic recession realities of over qualified 20-something undergrads working at the local coffeeshop, apartment sharing and downsizing and the insecurities that are part and parcel of everyone’s journey into their 20′s. Where Parker’s Carrie was a size 0, Dunham’s character Hannah is not bashful about her size 8 or maybe even size 10 body. And in today’s anorexia driven media, Dunham succeeds to give everyone the royal middle finger and show us that no one must be reduced to people’s judgements of ones appearance. She shows everyone that real women do have curves.
Also interesting to watch is how Dunham’s generation deals with some very important milestones such as marriage. Where Carrie’s almost wedding to Mr. Big at the NY Public Library had the traditional trappings of a wedding, in Girls first season wedding of the group’s hippie/bohemian ingenue, Jessa, marries a guy she had only known for 2 weeks and sends a text message to her friends inviting them to a “secret party”.
In one of her interviews, Dunham explains her motivation for creating the series was to represent the conspicuously absent sector of women not included in hit shows like Sex and the City and Gossip Girls. The slightly overweight, the trapped in the limbo of underemployed status, the not drop dead gorgeous, the I-don’t- have- a-rich-daddy girl and the shopping in thrift stores demographic. Although she acknowledges Sex and the City as an influence and inspiration to her storyline, girls moving to the Big Apple to pursue their dreams, it can easily be labeled as the antithesis to its predecessor.
For a show that basks in its un-glitziness and its effortless aim to bring authenticity to the small screen, we thank you Lena Dunham. And the many 20-something y.o. girls of your generation who are not a size 2 will always thank you for putting Hannah into the Hollywood stratosphere. From this day forward girls your age will hopefully not starve themselves to death or suffer from anorexia or bulimia because you’ve inspired them to be comfortable in their own skin. More importantly, your show will inspire generations of girls to focus on substance and not fall victim to shallow standards of beauty and success dished out by traditional media and the big and small screens.
The winner in this year’s Golden Globes is truly, Lena Dunham.