Review: GIRLS on HBO & Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham


Six seasons aired from 2012 to 2017 on HBO.

Created by and starring Lena Dunham (“Tiny Furniture”), the show is a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their mid-20s. Dunham wrote and directed the pilot of the series, which she executive produces with Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner. The cast also includes Jemima Kirke, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver, Alex Karpovsky, Andrew Rannells and Ebon Moss-Bachrach.

I was fresh off of my freshman year of college and ready to binge some quality TV, so what show did I choose to kick off my summer? Girls. I was in a mood where I was really thinking about my future, going through the strange emotions of missing school (what I consider to be more than my second home now) and friends, more than I was happy about being home; and most of all, dreaming what my life will be like when I’m just a little bit older. Naturally, when I was scrolling through TV shows, Girls seemed like the perfect option for me.

Apart from hearing so much praise given to Girls, I didn’t really know what it was about prior to actually looking into it before I started watching. Needless to say that I started watching the first episode and was a little shocked. Ok, not a little, a lot. I think Girls is the reason why TV ratings are a thing, and even so, it pushes the boundaries of TV. Yet, without all of the explicit content that originally shocked me (but I became numb to after a couple episodes), I think it would lack realness, which is what Girls captures (or at least I think it captures) so well. I am yet to be a twenty-something, but I get the impression from life so far, that Dunham captures the reality of it in a way never seen portrayed on a TV show before.

It only took me about two weeks to get through all six seasons. I was surprised to notice when I first started watching, that the episodes were only about 30 minutes on average. I was impressed by the show’s ability to still suck me in and tell a story so fully in such a short amount of time.

I think there’s something about the reality of the stories of each character that truly makes viewers become invested in them. Each and every character is so perpetually flawed, yet we can see bits of ourselves in them that allow us to relate and feel right along with them.

I thoroughly enjoyed Girls for its fearlessness towards reality: the reality of love, friendship, school, work, family, and every aspect of life in between.

20588698Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham

Adult > Non-Fiction > Essays, Humor, Memoir


“There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told,” writes Lena Dunham, and it certainly takes guts to share the stories that make up her first book, Not That Kind of Girl. These are stories about getting your butt touched by your boss, about friendship and dieting (kind of) and having two existential crises before the age of 20. Stories about travel, both successful and less so, and about having the kind of sex where you feel like keeping your sneakers on in case you have to run away during the act. Stories about proving yourself to a room of 50-year-old men in Hollywood and showing up to “an outlandishly high-fashion event with the crustiest red nose you ever saw.” Fearless, smart, and as heartbreakingly honest as ever, Not That Kind of Girl establishes Lena Dunham as more than a hugely talented director, actress and producer-it announces her as a fresh and vibrant new literary voice.

I liked this book, but I wouldn’t really go further and say that I really liked it or loved it. I found it to be real and funny in the same ways that Girls was, but it wasn’t as exciting to me.

Being that it’s a book of essays, of course, there were some that I enjoyed more than others. Lena Dunham writes her life’s stories in a funny, emotional, quirky, and sometimes downright strange way. I think my favorite part about the book was her style of writing.

Her life is definitely one that I’m glad I’ve read about because she’s lived a lot. She’s relatable in the weirdest of ways, but other times I can’t believe what’s she’s writing is truly real, or that anyone would ever think or say such a thing! I enjoyed the moments where I recognized tidbits of her life that appeared in Girls, or when she mentioned a real life person by name. I felt like I was getting a behind-the-scenes look at her reality.

That being said, I wouldn’t recommend this to someone who isn’t a Lena Dunham fan already. It won’t make you like her if you currently don’t. But if you’re already a fan of her (or Girls — if you like Girls, I think it’s safe to say you like Lena Dunham), it will make you laugh and like her even more!

Have you watched Girls or read Dunham’s memoir? What did you think?

4 thoughts on “Review: GIRLS on HBO & Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

  1. i am so impressed by how quickly you finished girls, as someone who watches tv so sporadically…i can barely finish one season of the office in a month. i tried starting girls a year ago but only got past the first two episodes…i tend to be rather impatient with my shows so if i’m not immediately invested, usually i’ll give up on them & move to another show. i think i might return to girls though because i have heard great things about it from many people (also the fact that i really enjoy lena & jenni’s newsletter). maybe i’ll find myself being able to relate to it more after my first year of college next year!

    1. Annie! I totally understand about having to be invested right away, and I can see how the characters in Girls could be difficult to connect to right away. But, I’d maybe give it a shot again sometime, the realities of jobs and thinking of life after school definitely helped me to relate! 🙂

  2. I watched a few seasons of Girls and honestly I wasn’t a fan. It wasn’t that relatable to me, and more so weird. I do appreciate that it’s different, but I just didn’t connect with the characters personally. Nice to read your review about the book!

I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s