FOR ME, A CONSTANT issue with writing about Girls is the temptation, or the obligation, or the temptation to feel obligated to write about what people write about when they write about Girls. That is, it’s hard not to feel, especially after an episode so postmodern in its auto-critique, that we need to talk about race here. Last week, I spoke about the opening slug Dunham gave to her critics while riding Donald Glover in the cold open. This week, we’re faced with the idea that Glover may be gone from the show, that his presence was introduced in order to prompt the break-up argument we got last night. In other words, it’s possible Sandy was introduced just so Dunham could address her character’s narrow world-view. But race, I think, is only one of a complex of issues Hannah Horvath gets wrong.
Here, I defer to Irin Carmon’s brilliant write-up of “I Get Ideas” at Salon. In this piece, Carmon compares Dunham’s casting of Glover to the GOP tactic of “ideological drift,” adapting an opposing belief in service of one’s own world-view. We can talk about this as we go on this week, but the less headliney takeaway from Carmon’s argument was the suggestion that Girls’s insularity was not an “accident,” but rather a “deliberate representational” choice. In other words, Girls is so white because that’s what the show is about. It’s about the monochrome tunnel-vision of a group of people. This is something of a familiar defense of the show, but I’d like to talk about it this week in context of what the show has felt like since the start of the new season. I also want to suggest that the general mood of the show is telling us ...read more