I love GIRLS. I think it’s one of the best shows to come out of 2013. But if there’s one thing that will do it no harm at all, it’s a little good-natured criticism and ribbing – something Gail Lerner’s ‘GIRLS Season 38’ gets spot on.
What makes Lerner’s parody so perfect is that if you squint, it really could be an episode of GIRLS. Set 40 years in the future, the girls are still largely useless layabouts – Hannah still doesn’t have a job, Marnie is waiting to get back together with Charlie like a modern-day Miss Havisham, Shoshanna is as thick as ever, and Jessa is in the hospital with cancer terrorising nurses. Starring a handful of veteran American comediennes, the cast capture both the narcissism of GIRLS and of Dunham herself.
It begins with Hannah having a roll in the hay with a random stranger, then going back to her apartment where she and Marnie still live and fight. Dunham’s famous ‘I think I’m the voice of my generation’ line is parroted back with Marnie saying ‘yeah, yeah, you’ve been saying that for two generations’. Coupled with the appearance of a baby that just ‘wrote, directed and starred in her own pilot’ that leads Hannah to ask ‘are we really supposed to give a shit about how much babies shit?’ and Shosh to reply ‘that’s exactly what they said about you’, Lerner takes the piss out of Dunham gently enough to be construed as affectionate while still pointing out some of the major problems with GIRLS. Although Lena has repeatedly stated that Hannah is an exaggerated character, it’s easy to see in interviews that secretly, in the back of her mind, she really does consider herself a spokesperson for all the bored twentysomethings wasting their lives away. In part, this is what makes GIRLS such compulsive viewing; the shame of relating to the characters whilst simultaneously recognising them to be some of the world's most unbearable people. Me and GIRLS are in a horrible abusive relationship. I love it too much to leave it and I hate it too much too much to stay.
In essence, GIRLS Season 38 says what everyone is thinking; GIRLS is a good show, but it's a show completely made, starring and written by spoilt brats. Still, it’d be a lie to say I wasn’t waiting on the edge of my seat for season 3 to come out. And I’d be fairly happy to see another episode of Season 38 as well. All hail GIRLS and the pisstakes that come along with it.