The new season of “Girls” premieres next week. This means that we’re all about to reach peak Lena Dunham-saturation. I know this because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about writing online—and, yes, there may only be one thing I’ve learned—it’s that people like to read about Lena Dunham. Also, hipsters and gentrification. People love to read about all these things. And when you put them together? In a cluster of SEO-perfection? Pageview magic.
Anyway, now that I’ve taught you all the secrets of Internet-writing success, let’s go back to talking about Lena Dunham and “Girls.” Season 2 doesn’t kickoff until next Sunday, but the reviews are already starting to trickle in and Linda Stasi of the NY Post has offered up one of the more egregious examples of badly written criticism that I’ve ever seen. In her review in the Post, Stasi doesn’t spend so much time talking about what actually happens in the show because she clearly feels that the more important thing to focus on is Dunham’s body.
The problem with “Girls”, as Stasi sees it, is that it just doesn’t make sense. After all, why is “the gorgeous Marnie…the one who is now totally unlucky in love”? Why are men obsessed with Dunham’s character and her “blobby body”? Stasi admits that the show is unique because “it’s not every day in the TV world of anorexic actresses with fake boobs that a woman with giant thighs, a sloppy backside and small breasts is compelled to show it all.” Yes, imagine that. A woman who isn’t anorexic and in possession of a pair of fake tits is actually comfortable enough with her own body to display it to the world. No wonder Stasi finds the show “both revolting and compelling.”
Stasi goes back and forth between seeming like she is simply one of those disgusting, infantile people who isn’t clever enough to come up with a good critique and resort to making nasty comments about a person’s appearance and…well, no. She is most definitely one of those disgusting, infantile people. But also, she isn’t content to shame someone for the simple fact of that person’s physical appearance. No, Stasi also needs to shame Dunham for having sex that Stasi finds to be “bad and sad” and “in the city — but not Manhattan.” Because all the good sex happens in Manhattan. Obviously.
The laziness of this review is apparent in several ways—I mean, Stasi uses the adjective “blobby” twice, when once would have been too much—but especially in the fact that all that is important to Stasi is what Dunham looks like and whether or not her sex life fits in with Stasi’s idea of normal. A reviewer doesn’t need to think that “Girls” is perfect to understand that it’s intended to subvert many of the norms that we have grown accustomed to on television, namely that only thin and beautiful women get to have sex and that when they do have sex, it is a magical, perfect, and consistently orgasmic experience. But Stasi doesn’t want to look beneath the surface, particularly when the surface has dimpled thighs and resides in Brooklyn. So she professes outrage at the idea of “afternoon anal sex” and “blobbies who are willing to take their clothes off in public constantly” and then…gives the show a 3-out-of-4-stars rating? So maybe Stasi actually liked it?
Hmm. Well, then, I guess the lesson here is that maybe afternoon anal sex isn’t the worst thing in the world. Just don’t forget the lube.
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