Working women in New York City have frequently been portrayed on television, from the glamorous foursome on Sex and the City, to the brash Williamsburg waitresses on 2 Broke Girls. But while these shows can be fun to watch, sometimes it’s hard to recognize our hometown in them.
Now there’s Girls, an HBO series set in Greenpoint to which locals can try to relate. The show chronicles the misadventures of four female friends juggling work, boyfriend, and money troubles. Although the “girls” are in their early twenties, they’re definitely not mature enough to be called women!
“You know that part on your résumé where they ask you to list all of your special skills? I feel like I don’t have any special skills,” pines Hannah, the show’s main character, in one scene. A hapless college grad, Hannah remarks that her “entire life has been one ridiculous mistake after another.”
The same can’t be said for the actress who plays Hannah, 25-year-old Lena Dunham. The talented New York native wears many hats on the show, including writer, director and producer.
Dunham got her first break with Tiny Furniture. The film, which she directed and starred in, won Best Narrative Feature at South by Southwest (SXSW) in 2010. In the award-winning flick, a recent college grad named Aura is trying to “find herself” despite many mishaps.
Like Aura in Tiny Furniture, Hannah is struggling to establish a place for herself in a city that can be gritty and unwelcoming. Some Greenpointers may be able to identify with the heroine, especially youngsters who’ve just found themselves cut off from Mom and Dad’s cash flow, but still have to pay rent.
Greenpoint residents may also appreciate how the neighborhood is portrayed on the show. Hannah and her friends represent the trendy college grads who have settled here, trying to stay close to Williamsburg.
Since much of the show is shot on location, Girls is an improvement over 2 Broke Girls, which is filmed in L.A. Greenpointers have already cringed at the many inaccuracies on the CBS show. One waitress on the show fears she’ll be robbed for wearing a leather jacket in Williamsburg, and the “Greenpoint Ave” subway stop is referred to simply as “Greenpoint.”
Dunham’s show appears more dramatic and down-to-earth than another new Greenpoint series, MTV’s I Just Want my Pants Back, which concentrates on the seemingly unending romantic escapades of several hip characters. But it’s not all dark humor. Like many of the newer residents of Greenpoint, the characters take on the trials and tribulations of twenty-something living with hope and gusto. As Hannah proclaims on the show, “You are from New York, therefore you are just naturally interesting!”
Girls premiers on April 15th at 10:30PM.