Sometimes I just want to watch a TV show. That’s it - just watch it and enjoy it. Shallow aren’t I.

These women have thighs… eight thighs in total.

Sure, during Downton thoughts about class and sexism sometimes bubble to the surface. When I catch MKR I’m aware I’m being sold a formula. And of course as a dominant cultural medium TV is going to come in for a bit of cultural analysis every now and again.

But there’s a difference between that and ruining good TV with a constant stream of scene-by-scene examination of the motives and significance of every, single, utterance.

The excellent Girls is at risk of being analysed to death as a piece of entertainment.

The sheer volume of public thought about writer/director/star Lena Dunham’s thighs is weighing down enjoyment of a show that deserves its spot on our radar - and its fans are doing just as much damage as its detractors.

Here’s what we really need to know about Girls, in many people’s opinion it’s great TV. Now leave us alone to enjoy it.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEDT.

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    • Chillin says:

      11:57am | 18/02/13

      Leave the Catholics alone.
      Leave Bob Katter alone.
      Leave the Liberals alone.
      Leave the Monarchy alone.
      Leave gun owners alone.
      Leave the White Male alone.

      The list goes on.

    • Ben says:

      12:21pm | 18/02/13

      Hey what’s wrong with leaving people alone?  beats bitching all the time.

      You seem to prefer:

      Attack the Catholic
      Attack Bob Katter
      Attack the liberals
      Attack the monarchy
      Attack gun owners
      Attack the white male…...

    • Chillin says:

      12:26pm | 18/02/13

      Where do you reach that conclusion?

    • acotrel says:

      12:39pm | 18/02/13

      ‘Leave the White Male alone.’

      Tony Abbott ?  Hardly !
      The rest can look after themselves.

    • subotic makes a hormone says:

      12:43pm | 18/02/13

      I ain’t leaving the girls alone, tho….

    • Ohcomeon says:

      12:43pm | 18/02/13

      “Leave the White Male alone.”

      Oh this never gets old. Wont somebody please think of the most privileged, healthy, rich and least discriminated against people in the world. The poor poor white male.

      So good.

    • KH says:

      12:49pm | 18/02/13

      You forgot Brittany.  Leave Brittany alone too…....

    • subotic says:

      12:54pm | 18/02/13

      You forgot Brittany.  Leave Brittany alone too…....

      And them career-less, tattooed, animal rights activist, vegetarian guys who do the current KFC commercials. Leave them sell-outs alone too.

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      12:55pm | 18/02/13

      “Wont somebody please think of the most privileged, healthy, rich and least discriminated against people in the world. “

      Employing the ecological fallacy when dealing with individual grievances can be rather destructive, you know…

    • Tubesteak says:

      01:00pm | 18/02/13

      Ohcomeon
      So as a white male I’m automatically rich and privileged?
      Seems you don’t understand the difference between correlation and causation. Be a dear and go and learn the difference.

      On topic:
      Don’t pay attention to the analysis. I saw a few previews and thought “typical below average fuggos wasting their best years by batting too far out of their league because they lack the self-awareness to realise men are willing to stick it in the gutter if it means we can get our end away for an easy lay”
      No more analysis is necessary.

    • Ohcomeon says:

      02:23pm | 18/02/13

      Im sorry Tim, Ill add the word ‘statistically’, and then mention that studies have shown time and time again that white males have the most potential for success out of pretty much any demographic on earth. And although I enjoyed your patronising relaying of a logical fallacy, you fail to notice that the original comment said ‘Leave the White Male alone’

      It did not say ‘Leave this white male alone’. So he was asserting that all white males are discriminated against. Do try to keep up.

      If you are a white male in Australia, and you feel discriminated against and that this is holding you down, youre pretty much useless.

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      03:50pm | 18/02/13

      “potential for success out of pretty much any demographic on earth”

      Yes, potential.  I’m simply pointing out that you cannot whitewash an entire demographic as being impervious to any kind of discrimination.  If you do employ the ecological fallacy then best case it’s counter-productive for obtaining wider empathy and worst case means you end up with someone with justified grievances being ignored and ridiculed.  That usually ends in suicide, rampages or just regular old depression that ends up impacting a lot of white men…

    • PJ says:

      04:10pm | 18/02/13

      The Gillard Government a stranger to minority interest.

      Indigenous policy in the NT described as ‘ethnic cleansing’ and Amnesty’s Mr Shetty said it reminded him of the dark days of South Africa.

      Gay rights? Gillard laid out her store by agreeing to be a key speaker at the ACL, a body openly critical of gay people.

      Instead of making Gay marriage law like they did the toxic carbon tax, we had a chicken shit conscience vote. Gillard led by example for her party faithful by openly voting against Gay marriage. Sat there for all to see with the ‘No’s’.

      There’s a lot of crap inuendo that Gillard wants to rescue all the asylum seekers and release them straight into the country.

      The only asylum seeker policy the Gillard government put forward was the Malaysian Concentration Camp solution. No compromise from this position was offered, even though its Governments responsibility to facilitate solutions and make them policy. The high court and refugee groups said the Malaysia concentration camp solution was inhumane and illegal twice.
      People drowned.

      The Gillard Government is far from the perception put out there by 1600 spin doctors and people better cotton onto it if that why they are voting labor.

    • acotrel says:

      11:57am | 18/02/13

      I recently watched 5 episodes of Downton Abbey without advertisments.  Download to memory stick from EZTV, and YIFI Torrent, and play on the big flat screen TV. Apart from the ABC and SBS, I don’t usually watch commercial TV.  The device WDTVlive for $130 allows access direct to your computer and the web for your flat screen TV for .iView and Youtube. The computer app known as UTorrent is ve ry useful.
      I refuse to watch the lies in commercial advertisments, or from Phony Tony.
      For me, commercial TV is finished. When the NBN comes along , it will be a real hoot.

    • Ohcomeon says:

      12:08pm | 18/02/13

      Do you ever contribute to the creators and producers of the show? ie buy the DVDs?

      If not, how do you reconcile that youre not contributing to the funding of the entertainment you enjoy?

    • acotrel says:

      12:30pm | 18/02/13

      I’ve bought far too many DVDs and CDs.  My lounge room bookshelves are full of them, and I rarely use them.  If I see musicians I really like I usually buy their product in some form, because what is on Youtube are samples to tempt us. I also go to the movies fairly regularly, so pay that way too. I show preference to venues with live music when I eat out.  Are you really going t o try to tell us that because you watch the ads on free t o air TV, you are supporting artists ?  How much adverised product have you bought dur ing your whole lifetime ? Personally I have cognitive dissonance - I switch off when the ads are on, then miss the following ten minutes of the movie. When commercial TV begins to provide a quality service, I might start watching again - so that will probably never happen.
      Incidentally ‘A Current Affair’ is a sick programme.

    • Ohcomeon says:

      12:47pm | 18/02/13

      Acotrel,

      I havent had my antenna plugged in for two years once I realised that free to air TV is for suckers. Even when there is a show I like, I refuse to have it doled out to me in 10 minute increments with people shouting patronisingly in between them.

      I love the HBO shows, so I buy the DVDs. I do this because I want to reward excellence, and also hope that they make more.

      TV shows have never been better. FTA TV has never been more unwatchable.

      Ads are completely irrelevant to my life, I just dont see them except in public spaces.

    • gobsmack says:

      12:56pm | 18/02/13

      I enjoy a good nature documentary and especially like the ones presented by David Attenborough.

      However, I made the mistake of watching his new series on Africa shown on a commercial channel.  It was absolutely murdered by the ads.  I can’t believe they didn’t have to cut some of the show in order to fit all the ads in. 

      Also, I was recording it and was dismayed that a few minutes after one ad break one of those stupid things at the bottom of the screen appeared for MasterChef.

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      12:59pm | 18/02/13

      “Ads are completely irrelevant to my life, I just dont see them except in public spaces. “

      It’s a substantial investment in one’s peace of mind, I think, to avoid being inundated with advertising material all of the time.  It does mean I have no idea what is being sold now…but somehow I still survive.  Quite amazing.

    • Tubesteak says:

      01:40pm | 18/02/13

      I refuse to conform to the way networks dictate to how I watch TV. Therefore, I download things as they air overseas. This includes many popular TV shows.

      If they want money out of me then they should change their distribution method.

      I would be happy to pay a subscription fee of no more than $10 per month and can download from their website (eg HBO, AMC, Showtime etc) unlimited TV shows straight after they air in the local market.

      No region restrictions because I live in Oz.

      It would be better if they can do a deal with Netflix or Hulu which will centralise memberships.

      They can build in ads into the TV shows by product placements or ghosting or having a rolling bar across the bottom of the screen.

      The old method of waiting for a network to air something (which is delayed for up to a few years here in Oz) is dead. Time to change or I’m happy to continue to torrent.

      The market is there. Learn to adapt.

    • SAm says:

      02:04pm | 18/02/13

      True Tuby. Even some form of PPV would be alright (provided the right price).
      Till then I’ll keep watching what I want when I want

    • Modern Primitive says:

      02:06pm | 18/02/13

      I will be very surprised if some of our networks are able to stay afloat once the NBN arrives in full.

    • Ohcomeon says:

      02:28pm | 18/02/13

      Tubesteak,

      although I agree with you that TV stations need to change their distribution models. This doesnt justify you pirating it. In what other part of capitalism do you get to tell the manufacturer how to distribute things?

      You dont get to tell Holden how much to charge for their cars, because you cant have it if you cant afford it. But you can just torrent TV shows and then invent justifications after.

      I dont care if people pirate, I just wish they would admit they do it because they can get away with it, and not because of a sudden interest in regional distribution and copyright law.

    • HC says:

      02:51pm | 18/02/13

      @Ohcomeon

      You can legally watch these shows minutes after they’ve aired in the US via numerous legal streaming services.  The download option is just there if you want to watch it later because it’s at an inconvenient time and often these are legal too via various subscription services but the best ones are free though they’ll only usually show the latest episodes and some, like Fox and ABC (the US version) require additional plugins to work.

      Hulu, South Park Studios (for all the South Park episodes), Netflix and of course YouTube are my favourites though.

    • PJ says:

      04:14pm | 18/02/13

      This generation has so far 130 years of Gillard Government debt to pay, so they’d better get away from the TV and get a job, two jobs.

      If Gillard and Swan get back in, they could pump that 130 to 260 no worries.

      Tough punishment for not paying attention to the important things.

    • Mark says:

      11:58am | 18/02/13

      The shallow part is not that you watch it, but that you watch it and enjoy it.

      Why not find something that relates to your taste, rather than whatever is forced down your throat at any given time? Plus, you don’t get ads that way.

    • subotic says:

      12:52pm | 18/02/13

      The real interesting part is if the Torster would watch the same show if it was called “Boys” and was a show about a bunch of guys doing the exact same thing. Just as guys.

      I have $50 down says it would get labelled indulgent pap and a blight on the history of commercial television programming.

      Me, I wanna see the same show with the cast as misogynistic Drag Queens trying to sub-exist in Maryland, Baltimore.

      That’s be something I could probably tune-in for.

      That, or more Werner Herzog “Texas Death Row” interviews…

    • TRBNGR says:

      01:06pm | 18/02/13

      “Me, I wanna see the same show with the cast as misogynistic Drag Queens trying to sub-exist in Maryland, Baltimore.”

      Watch any John Waters movie that had Divine in it, basically everything you’re asking for in one hilariously disgustingly half hour.

    • Elphaba says:

      12:06pm | 18/02/13

      ‘Girls’ is fantastic.  I must admit, I must have missed some (most… no, all) of the talk of Lena Dunham’s thighs.  Perhaps just tune it out and enjoy.  It’s a bloody good show and she’s an amazing talent. smile

    • subotic says:

      12:44pm | 18/02/13

      All girls is fantastic. I knew that already… and I’m a guy

    • Elphaba says:

      01:20pm | 18/02/13

      Lol, subotic, true, we are. wink

    • thigh will be done on earth says:

      12:08pm | 18/02/13

      Downton has sexism, but there’s no sex. After all, they’re British. As for Lena Dunham’s thighs, don’t know who she is, and have never seen her thighs. Two things; she may be holding a drink coaster between her knees, or it’s something to do with her likeness for chicken As for the heavenly creatures above, I can only thigh.

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      12:17pm | 18/02/13

      We’re selling our TV on eBay right now because we never use it…there’s nothing but mind-numbing junk on and the few shows we want to watch are better watched on DVD when they come out.

    • Wayne Kerr says:

      12:29pm | 18/02/13

      If you’re selling your TV how do you plan to watch the DVDs????

    • MikeS says:

      12:36pm | 18/02/13

      How will you watch your DVDs with no television?

      Winner

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      12:37pm | 18/02/13

      “If you’re selling your TV how do you plan to watch the DVDs???? “

      Well, there are PCs in the house smile

      However, we have another that’s not connected to any type of receiver (in a place without an antenna socket), just a Blu-Ray player.

    • MikeS says:

      01:14pm | 18/02/13

      And what about the news? What if there is some life altering moment beamed across the world and someone asks you “Are you watching this?” what will you say?

      ‘Oh no. I wouldn’t lower myself to watch such things as i am such a narcissistic pretentious arse that I can only watch things when they appear on my computer’

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      01:24pm | 18/02/13

      “And what about the news?”

      Not sure if you’ve noticed, but it’s the same thing over and over again.  Football players doing something bad, some murders/assaults, some wars, celebrities wearing a dress that shows a heap of skin etc…

      I’ll happily reclaim those extra 30 minutes to an hour each day on the off chance that I’m missing some world shattering event.  If it’s that important, there will be recordings on the Internet of the broadcast.

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      01:27pm | 18/02/13

      Oh, I do hope you’re watching the TV right now Mike…just in case!  Wouldn’t want to be distracted by the computer, eh? wink

    • Ohcomeon says:

      02:46pm | 18/02/13

      MikeS,

      I probably heard the piece of news several hours or days before you did, via the internet. And I didnt have to have all the facts removed from it just to make a snappy headline.

      TV news is completely worthless. 10 minutes on line will get you more actual information than even an hour of commercial news. But I dont care about football which is what commercial news mostly seems to cover anyway.

    • Zeta says:

      12:22pm | 18/02/13

      But for reals yo, what did you expect from a show about hipster excess than excessive hipster analysis?

      Girls is for people who read Tao Lin as Lost is for people who read Tom Clancy novels. It’s water cooler fodder for people whose offices don’t have water coolers, but gather around a small shrine to pray to Steve Jobs.

      Don’t get me wrong, I like the show, but I think the obsessive hipster obsessing about it is part of the charm.

    • Smith says:

      02:48pm | 18/02/13

      I prefer my shows to have hot chicks in them… so its a pass for me.

    • King in the North says:

      12:50pm | 18/02/13

      I’m more a Game of Thrones kinda guy, in case you hadn’t guessed smile I’ll be getting my S2 bluray early next month and at the end S3 starts, so excited!!!
      Walking Dead and Breaking Bad are great too.

    • Jon Snow says:

      01:12pm | 18/02/13

      It appears we are Kin

    • Tyrion Lannister says:

      03:33pm | 18/02/13

      Just read the freakin’ books, yo wink

    • TimB says:

      04:55pm | 18/02/13

      @ Lord Tyrion, the books are good, but actually SEEING you win the Battle of Blackwater right there on my screen was something else wink

      (Seriously, the Wildfire was far more impressive than the books let on)

    • Terribla says:

      01:35pm | 18/02/13

      Give me those Downton girl thighs!

    • Rebecca says:

      01:49pm | 18/02/13

      I like mind-numbing junk television. I like coming home from a long day at work and having Futurama or My Kitchen Rules or The Big Bang Theory in the background while I cook.

      Yes, I know this makes me stupid. Yes, I know I’m supposed to be watching Q&A. I don’t really care though. Home time is my time to switch off and chill for a few hours.

    • SAm says:

      02:07pm | 18/02/13

      I think PJ and Alcotrol are the only people that watch Q&A here (or in Australia)

    • Gordon says:

      04:44pm | 18/02/13

      Q&A has been unwatchable for while. Don’t feel bad. When they go back to one or two guests on a related topic, and put to them questions that aren’t just a purile restatement of a pre-established position maybe I’ll go back to it.

      tip…if you play around with the screen ratio you can cut the tweets out of the bottom of your screen.

    • TimB says:

      04:57pm | 18/02/13

      There seemed to be quite a few Punchers watching Q&A a while ago I caught it once to see what was going down. It just made me angry and violent.

      Never again.

    • Leopardsocks says:

      01:54pm | 18/02/13

      So, once again we are regaled by the pre-occupation of women by…women.

      Sex in The City. Desperate Housewives. The Kardashians.

      Ad nauseum.

      Popular culture is unquestionably being feminised. Not just television, but literature, as women churn out books on female sexuality, vampires (same thing, really) and of course, all things female, from their genitalia to their body weight.

      What is it about femininity that demands and commands constant introspection and self analysis? One could argue that it smacks of insecurity and lack of self-understanding, but being a male, it is not my place to comment.

      No, all I can say is continue watching your vacuous television melodramas, your vapid “reality” shows, your vampires and soon no doubt the “50 Shades” movie, and then tell us how vapid and boorish male related entertainment is. The little of it that is available, anyway.

      I have to agree with feminists on one point.

      We are still some way from equality.

    • Fed Up says:

      02:01pm | 18/02/13

      I just like Q&A and Question time in Parliament…the plots….the intrigue…the misogyny

    • Arnold Layne says:

      03:50pm | 18/02/13

      It’s interesting how few of the comments are by people who have seen Girls.

      In any event, I have watched a season and a half of it and still can’t decide if I like the show or not.  I agree that it’s well written though, even if the characters themselves are caricatures at times.

      To your original point though Tory, it depends on your definition of great TV I guess as to whether people agree with you.  Some people might think The Block was great TV but I’d rather stick an ice pick into my eye than watch it.

    • stephen says:

      05:14pm | 18/02/13

      All TV and films are manipulative, though.
      (Pauline Kael, the excellent American film critic, once said that a film such as Bonnie and Clyde - the Warren Beatty vehicle - relied on producing a new form, that of the slow violent death, if only to create in our own minds what to expect from that genre.)
      I think all newness is manipulative, if even in our own minds - as change and adaptions - and irrespective of the sender’s motives or intentions.

      Especially now, with the commonness of digital movie making, is the format of film so at the mercy of a Director’s whim : most of what we see and hear - and the only recent exception to this would be Les Miserables - did not happen as we see it ; it was done under instruction in the editing room and with the expert input from a Production Designer, and possibly an animator.
      Most of what we see did not happen that way on set when the Actor/s gave voice to the action.
      Film has always been make-believe.
      That’s why we go to the movies : ordinary life is so common and bland, and in our own private lives, a happy ending is inopportune.

 

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