March 27, 2014
Fictional Plotlines and Real Assisted Suicide

On the season finale of HBO’s Girls on Sunday, an ailing photographer named Beadie, played by the inimitable Louise Lasser in a wheelchair, asked Jessa to help her die. “So let me get this straight,” says Jessa, a recovering addict played by Jemima Kirke. “You hired me because you knew I could get you drugs.”
No, says Beadie. “I hired you because I thought you were the only person who would see how necessary this was.”
It was daring of Lena Dunham, the show’s writer and creator, to introduce this particular plot twist. Assisted suicide is one of the subjects that American television shows steadily avoid.
Four years ago, the sitcom veteran Bob Kushell tried to get a black comedy about assisted suicide, titled Way to Go, into production. “I was told everybody very much liked the script,” said Kushell, but the TV executives passed on it anyway, his agent told him, because “the subject matter was just too dark.”
Read more. [Image: HBO]

Fictional Plotlines and Real Assisted Suicide

On the season finale of HBO’s Girls on Sunday, an ailing photographer named Beadie, played by the inimitable Louise Lasser in a wheelchair, asked Jessa to help her die. “So let me get this straight,” says Jessa, a recovering addict played by Jemima Kirke. “You hired me because you knew I could get you drugs.”

No, says Beadie. “I hired you because I thought you were the only person who would see how necessary this was.”

It was daring of Lena Dunham, the show’s writer and creator, to introduce this particular plot twist. Assisted suicide is one of the subjects that American television shows steadily avoid.

Four years ago, the sitcom veteran Bob Kushell tried to get a black comedy about assisted suicide, titled Way to Go, into production. “I was told everybody very much liked the script,” said Kushell, but the TV executives passed on it anyway, his agent told him, because “the subject matter was just too dark.”

Read more. [Image: HBO]

March 24, 2014
The Refreshing, Hopeful, Subtly Bleak Girls' Season Three Finale

Our roundtable discusses “Two Plane Flights,” the 12th episode of the HBO show’s third season.
Read more. [Image HBO]

The Refreshing, Hopeful, Subtly Bleak Girls' Season Three Finale

Our roundtable discusses “Two Plane Flights,” the 12th episode of the HBO show’s third season.

Read more. [Image HBO]

March 17, 2014
Well, So Much for Girls Getting More Grown-up

Our roundtable discusses “I Saw You,” the 11th episode of the HBO show’s third season. 
Read more. [Image: HBO]

Well, So Much for Girls Getting More Grown-up

Our roundtable discusses “I Saw You,” the 11th episode of the HBO show’s third season.

Read more. [Image: HBO]

12:55pm
  
Filed under: Television Girls TV I Saw You 
February 27, 2014
What Star Wars' Casting of Adam Driver Says About Hollywood

For once, a casting announcement for an iconic film has been met with little objection. Late Wednesday afternoon, Hollywood trade publications reported that Adam Driver would likely play a key role as the villain in the new Star Wars trilogy. If Driver ends up with the part, this is good news for all. Driver is a terrific actor, and it bodes well for the upcoming trilogy that the producers have chosen someone whose strength lies in his abilities, not in conventional good looks.
Obviously, it is also a big deal for Driver himself, as it marks a huge leap forward in his career. Two years ago, nobody knew his name, but after breaking out in Girls and securing small but memorable roles in prestigious fare like Lincoln and Inside Llewyn Davis, he is now on a more secure path to movie stardom.
But one question remains: Why is it that the first actor from Girls to break through to success in the movies is a man?
Read more. [Image: Evan Agostini/AP]

What Star Wars' Casting of Adam Driver Says About Hollywood

For once, a casting announcement for an iconic film has been met with little objection. Late Wednesday afternoon, Hollywood trade publications reported that Adam Driver would likely play a key role as the villain in the new Star Wars trilogy. If Driver ends up with the part, this is good news for all. Driver is a terrific actor, and it bodes well for the upcoming trilogy that the producers have chosen someone whose strength lies in his abilities, not in conventional good looks.

Obviously, it is also a big deal for Driver himself, as it marks a huge leap forward in his career. Two years ago, nobody knew his name, but after breaking out in Girls and securing small but memorable roles in prestigious fare like Lincoln and Inside Llewyn Davis, he is now on a more secure path to movie stardom.

But one question remains: Why is it that the first actor from Girls to break through to success in the movies is a man?

Read more. [Image: Evan Agostini/AP]

February 24, 2014
The False Depth of Dudes: Why Girls' Guys Are So Ridiculous

Our roundtable discusses “Incidentals,” the eighth episode of the HBO show’s third season.
Read more. [Image: HBO]

The False Depth of Dudes: Why Girls' Guys Are So Ridiculous

Our roundtable discusses “Incidentals,” the eighth episode of the HBO show’s third season.

Read more. [Image: HBO]

10:20am
  
Filed under: Television Girls TV Dudes 
February 17, 2014
Girls Is Right: Friendships Are More Dramatic Than Romances

Our roundtable discusses “Beach House,” the seventh episode of the HBO show’s third season.
Read more. [Image: HBO]

Girls Is Right: Friendships Are More Dramatic Than Romances

Our roundtable discusses “Beach House,” the seventh episode of the HBO show’s third season.

Read more. [Image: HBO]

11:56am
  
Filed under: Television Girls TV Beach House 
February 10, 2014
Maybe, Finally, Girls Is Starting to Grow Up

Our roundtable discusses “Free Snacks,” the sixth episode of the HBO show’s third season.
Read more. [Image: HBO]

Maybe, Finally, Girls Is Starting to Grow Up

Our roundtable discusses “Free Snacks,” the sixth episode of the HBO show’s third season.

Read more. [Image: HBO]

January 27, 2014
The Girls Gutcheck: ‘Just Because It’s Fake Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Feel It’

This week, death happened upon Girls. Hannah’s editor, David Pressler-Goings, died mysteriously, and his body was later found in a river. David’s death prompted a range of responses: Hannah wondered what this meant for her ebook, Adam was appalled at her insensitivity, and Jessa and Shoshanna had a conversation of their own about their experiences with loss—which led to Jessa’s discovery that a friend of hers who had tragically died a few years before hadn’t really died at all.
Below, The Atlantic's team of millennial Girls-watchers—Education editor Eleanor Barkhorn, Health editor James Hamblin, social media editor Chris Heller, and Entertainment editor Ashley Fetters—responds to questions raised by the show’s depictions of grief, online media, and the flighty nature of maturity.
Read more.[Image: HBO]

The Girls Gutcheck: ‘Just Because It’s Fake Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Feel It’

This week, death happened upon Girls. Hannah’s editor, David Pressler-Goings, died mysteriously, and his body was later found in a river. David’s death prompted a range of responses: Hannah wondered what this meant for her ebook, Adam was appalled at her insensitivity, and Jessa and Shoshanna had a conversation of their own about their experiences with loss—which led to Jessa’s discovery that a friend of hers who had tragically died a few years before hadn’t really died at all.

Below, The Atlantic's team of millennial Girls-watchers—Education editor Eleanor Barkhorn, Health editor James Hamblin, social media editor Chris Heller, and Entertainment editor Ashley Fetters—responds to questions raised by the show’s depictions of grief, online media, and the flighty nature of maturity.

Read more.[Image: HBO]

January 13, 2014
The Girls Season-Premiere Gut Check: Do Happy Endings Last?

HBO’s Girls has been described as a lot of things—like ”a sex comedy from the female POV,” “a comedy about people who take themselves too seriously," "a ponderously unwatchable mess,” and “a show about a generation of men and women and gays and straights and everything in between, all struggling to understand each other, and all just absolutely failing miserably.” On Sunday night, Lena Dunham’s HBO dramedy about twenty-something friends dealing with both timeless and trendy coming-of-age dilemmas returned for a third season. And if its funny but challenging first two episodes are any indication, the conversation about what Girls really is, or really means, will likely keep raging on.
Below, The Atlantic's team of millennial Girls-watchers—Education channel editor Eleanor Barkhorn, Health channel editor James Hamblin, social media editor Chris Heller, and Entertainment editor Ashley Fetters—reunites to respond to questions raised by the show’s depictions of difficult women, run-ins with exes, and dubious cross-gender bonding.
Read more. [Image: HBO]

The Girls Season-Premiere Gut Check: Do Happy Endings Last?

HBO’s Girls has been described as a lot of things—like a sex comedy from the female POV,” a comedy about people who take themselves too seriously," "a ponderously unwatchable mess,” and “a show about a generation of men and women and gays and straights and everything in between, all struggling to understand each other, and all just absolutely failing miserably.” On Sunday night, Lena Dunham’s HBO dramedy about twenty-something friends dealing with both timeless and trendy coming-of-age dilemmas returned for a third season. And if its funny but challenging first two episodes are any indication, the conversation about what Girls really is, or really means, will likely keep raging on.

Below, The Atlantic's team of millennial Girls-watchers—Education channel editor Eleanor Barkhorn, Health channel editor James Hamblin, social media editor Chris Heller, and Entertainment editor Ashley Fetters—reunites to respond to questions raised by the show’s depictions of difficult women, run-ins with exes, and dubious cross-gender bonding.

Read more. [Image: HBO]

August 13, 2013
When a Woman on TV is in Distress, She Cuts Her Hair Off

In a recent episode of HBO’s The Newsroom, Maggie, a young associate producer on the fictional cable show News Night, cut her long, blonde hair to a short, red pixie. This was foreshadowing. In a later episode, viewers found out why she cut her hair: She’d witnessed the death of Daniel, a little boy she made friends with, while reporting in Uganda. Cutting her hair was a way to express outwardly her inner trauma. She recalled a moment when Daniel touched her hair, during which the boy’s teacher told him that blonde hair was “nothing but trouble.” The connection between the memory and her decision doesn’t really make sense. If the blonde hair is a terrible reminder of the incident, the dye job would make sense, but not the cut. To make the chop all the more dramatic, emphasizing her emotional instability, Maggie cuts it off herself. Plenty of women cut their own bangs and trim their ends. Not many women try to cut a short, complex hairstyle themselves. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t look very good.

Maggie’s not the only TV heroine to chop off her hair in a moment of distress. At the end of the second season of another HBO show, Girls, Hannah Horvath cuts her hair off during a period of mental illness. In Season 4 of Mad Men, Sally Draper cuts her hair for reasons that may include a desire for her father’s attention, a desire for everyone’s attention, or a need to have some form of control over her life after her parents’ divorce.
The dramatic haircut has had mixed success.
Read more. [Image: HBO]

When a Woman on TV is in Distress, She Cuts Her Hair Off

In a recent episode of HBO’s The Newsroom, Maggie, a young associate producer on the fictional cable show News Night, cut her long, blonde hair to a short, red pixie. This was foreshadowing. In a later episode, viewers found out why she cut her hair: She’d witnessed the death of Daniel, a little boy she made friends with, while reporting in Uganda. Cutting her hair was a way to express outwardly her inner trauma. She recalled a moment when Daniel touched her hair, during which the boy’s teacher told him that blonde hair was “nothing but trouble.” The connection between the memory and her decision doesn’t really make sense. If the blonde hair is a terrible reminder of the incident, the dye job would make sense, but not the cut. To make the chop all the more dramatic, emphasizing her emotional instability, Maggie cuts it off herself. Plenty of women cut their own bangs and trim their ends. Not many women try to cut a short, complex hairstyle themselves. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t look very good.

Maggie’s not the only TV heroine to chop off her hair in a moment of distress. At the end of the second season of another HBO show, Girls, Hannah Horvath cuts her hair off during a period of mental illness. In Season 4 of Mad Men, Sally Draper cuts her hair for reasons that may include a desire for her father’s attention, a desire for everyone’s attention, or a need to have some form of control over her life after her parents’ divorce.

The dramatic haircut has had mixed success.

Read more. [Image: HBO]

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