Is Lena Dunham The Secret Spawn of Al Goldstein?

Was the demeaning, gratuitous sex scene between 11-lenadunhamadamdriver-blog480Adam and his Shiri-Appleby-Beautynew girl friend ,Natalia , really necessary? Ditto for Hannah’s  boil popping and OCD butt scratching.

Like the former publisher of Screw magazine who also hosted a pervy cable talk show in the buff20061129goldstein called Midnight Blue, Dunham works the bad taste/exhibitionist card as hard as she can.  Creepy,  bad sex scenes almost feel like a creative compulsion on the show.  We’ve all known a wild child or two,  but I can’t remember the girls of my youth seducing the teenage siblings of their  friends or making out with the  doorman. The doorman?  There is something quite sad and not sexy at all  about the hook-up culture of these young woman. One review called the episode “dark and nasty”. I couldn’t agree more. Some recent “dish” on the show from Scott Meslow at The Week:

“But I wonder if Girls, like its characters, is on the verge of self-destructing. Ratings are down this season, and it was recently revealed that Lena Dunham quietly let go of a number of the show’s writers before beginning season 3 — including Steve Rubinshteyn and Deborah Schoeneman, who co-wrote last week’s problematic episode. The show has never felt as directionless as it feels now, and I’m not convinced that punishing loyal viewers with an episode as unpleasant as “On All Fours” — albeit a very well-executed episode — was the right move for a show that hasn’t been firing on all cylinders for a few weeks. Lena Dunham may have decided that Girls is a drama, not a dramedy — or even some kind of nightmarish series about body horror, if this week’s episode is any indication. But whatever this show wants to be, it needs to have a clear idea of what that means going forward. I’m hoping that next week’s finale points to a brighter future for the series after this strange, muddled second season.

Unfortunately, based on what we’ve been seeing lately, I’m not convinced that Girls can stick the landing. After the all-fours sex scene that gives the episode its title, Adam responds to the shaken, disgusted Natalia by asking, “Is this it? Are you done with me?” I suspect many viewers found themselves asking the same question about Girls tonight — and I wouldn’t blame any fans of the first season that look at this darker, stranger season and decide the answer is “yes.”

From The End Of Courtship, The New York Times:

“Many students today have never been on a traditional date, said Donna Freitas, who has taught religion and gender studies at Boston University and Hofstra and is the author of the forthcoming book, “The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy.”

Hookups may be fine for college students, but what about after, when they start to build an adult life? The problem is that “young people today don’t know how to get out of hookup culture,” Ms. Freitas said. In interviews with students, many graduating seniors did not know the first thing about the basic mechanics of a traditional date. “They’re wondering, ‘If you like someone, how would you walk up to them? What would you say? What words would you use?’ ” Ms. Freitas said.

That may explain why “dates” among 20-somethings resemble college hookups, only without the dorms. Lindsay, a 25-year-old online marketing manager in Manhattan, recalled a recent non-date that had all the elegance of a keg stand (her last name is not used here to avoid professional embarrassment).

After an evening when she exchanged flirtatious glances with a bouncer at a Williamsburg nightclub, the bouncer invited her and her friends back to his apartment for whiskey and boxed macaroni and cheese. When she agreed, he gamely hoisted her over his shoulders, and, she recalled, “carried me home, my girlfriends and his bros in tow, where we danced around a tiny apartment to some MGMT and Ratatat remixes.”

She spent the night at the apartment, which kicked off a cycle of weekly hookups, invariably preceded by a Thursday night text message from him saying, ‘hey babe, what are you up to this weekend?” (It petered out after four months.)

Relationship experts point to technology as another factor in the upending of dating culture.

Traditional courtship — picking up the telephone and asking someone on a date — required courage, strategic planning and a considerable investment of ego (by telephone, rejection stings). Not so with texting, e-mail, Twitter or other forms of “asynchronous communication,” as techies call it. In the context of dating, it removes much of the need for charm; it’s more like dropping a line in the water and hoping for a nibble.”

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One thought on “Is Lena Dunham The Secret Spawn of Al Goldstein?

  1. I agree. And although I’m all for Lena trying out new moods and tempos for the show (Louis C.K. does it every week on Louie, after all), Louis tends to surprise us with cinematic beauty and brilliant, quirky, humorous gems. When he makes us uncomfortable, there’s almost always a pay-off. Lena is no Louis, but I suspect she’s trying very hard to be and this season has just been abysmal, at least IMHO. Maybe when she’s 45 and divorced, with 2 kids (like King Louis), her work will have the gravitas of his. Clearly, she is not quite ready, yet, to be anointed.

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