After the dignity and grace of Downton Abbey, Lena’s Brooklyn Bunch at 10 pm on HBO seems particularly vulgar and sad. Have so many seasons of reality TV desensitized us to the point where both clothes and privacy seem so last century? We’ve seen marriages come apart, lives unravel and a pregnant Bethenny Frankel use a bucket at the Four Seasons for a bathroom prior to her trip down the aisle.
And now we have Lena Dunham in all her naked glory. Yes, self-acceptance is empowering for woman and a positive body image is healthy. But was almost 30 minutes of Hannah in a see-through mesh top, boobs and tats on full display, necessary to the story line or character arc? Not to me, who is thankful for my Luddite tendencies and the fact that I don’t view Girls on a large-screen TV. Too much Lena is too much Lena, even on my small screen, and I would feel this way if she had the perfect proportions of Angelina Jolie. Mystery and romance are sexy. Desperate and depressing sex in dismal surroundings is not. Of course, there is likely all sorts of cultural and feminist significance to Girls which I’m missing and that universities will study. But I prefer to take a retro look back to the no-nudity days of the Eisenhower era and the anti-Lena Dunham–Loretta Young. Remembering that elegant, 1950’s entrancer-making fashion twirl: