I really do appreciate a lot of the think pieces about “Girls.”
Especially ones about how unrealistic the show was. (Though honestly, one of my favorite reviews was about how it’s not meant to be realistic.)
Anyway, I think what some of us are trying to say is we’d really like a show that is trying to mirror reality by actually show us something real.
At least, I assume that’s what we’re saying? Because honestly, it feels like we are perfectly fine constantly consuming television where people are living outrageously, from rich housewives to rich California brats to the newest realty show “The Real White House.”
Maybe we’re upset because things feel true and should therefore show the slog of daily life.
The slog of daily life for many of us is struggling with money. I don’t know if I’d be into a show where we see what it’s like to not be able to pay the bills or our rent checks bouncing or what it’s like to live on a budget.
In some ways, that sounds like a snooze fest and in other ways, it could be comically sad.
It would refreshing to see the consequences of being broke. Trying to make the most of a lame happy hour, selling CD’s for cash, walking home when you realize your 30 day train pass has expired and you’ve got no money, signing up for open bars at every event possible. Shoes with holes. Outdated clothes. Underwear from high school.
This was me.
My pregnancy and delivery were paid for entirely by Medicaid. My kid still qualifies for Medicaid.
Then again, I’m not sure an entire show of being on the phone with your health insurance company to argue over a bill would make for good t.v.
I’ve always taken issue with “Girls” because while they sort of talk about money (Marnie being evicted, Hannah’s list of reasons she shouldn’t have a kid that included making $24K, Adam paying for Jessa’s school because her trust fund dried up), they still somehow make it work.
Seriously, though, how do Elijah and Hannah live in Brooklyn with him working retail and her freelance writing? Please, just tell me how and I would be OK. Explain in great detail how they afford everything. I really wanna know.
But that wasn’t the show’s priority.
And maybe if we really thought about it, a fictional show isn’t supposed to be about financial realities.
I guess I’m trying to figure out what I wanted from “Girls” when it came to money. There were acknowledgements, just without explanation.
But all I need is my own life and the life of my friends to realize that people just figure it out. Because if they didn’t, I’d know a lot more homeless people. I don’t say that lightly at all. I mean it. If the people I know weren’t able to figure out their financial problems, they’d be on the street.
And as far as I know, no one is.
Given that, they do what people do. Borrow. Hustle. Lean on mom and dad. Have a benefactor or trust fund. Live with roommates (maybe more than one.) Live in more affordable housing in more affordable cities. Use credit cards. Have a second job. Have a partner who makes more money than them who pays the bills. Donate plasma. Drive Uber.
That’s how people do. It’s not magic. It’s not always privilege.
So unless everyone around you is literally hungry and homeless, then you don’t need to understand how Hannah rents a house in upstate New York and pay for childcare as a teacher.
You already know.