I know there was something of an uproar on the internet regarding HBO’s new series Girls. I’ve seen the three episodes that have aired thus far, and I actually enjoy the show. I find it entertaining for the most part. Lena Dunham carries the show as Hannah, obviously, and all of her storylines have been funny in the early stages of the series. She’s just funny in general. A lady hybrid of Woody Allen and Jerry Seinfeld almost. So I look forward to seeing more of her comedy in episodes to come.
My huge problem with the show, though…
…is the character of Jessa (the world traveler girl). What an awful character. But she’s awful in a way that isn’t even interesting. Take Game of Throne’s Joffrey for example. He is, in my opinion, one of the worst characters in the history of television. Whenever I see his stupid face I want to punch it until it disappears. But when I say his character is the worst on television, I mean that his character is the king of all pricks and I hate everything he does. *But* I look forward to scenes with Joffrey because every time I see him he does something remarkably douchey and it throws more hate logs in the fire. So when Joffrey eventually dies on the show (I hope to god he dies; painfully), it will be a glorious day, and I’ll have a skip to my step all week. He at least provides compelling television.
But Jessa isn’t the same kind of bad. She’s boring. She brings the show down when her scenes come on. She slows the pacing down. The other three girls have already had character development and interesting storylines develop (or gave indication of being developed), but Jessa is the exact same vapid lady she was in her first scene as she was in the most recent. She has an inability to learn or listen to anyone else, and her scenes barely even coexist with the other girls’ stories. She’s just kind of there. And she has such a polarizing, pretentious attitude about her, that even with a radical shift in her story (maybe she hits rock bottom?), she’ll probably still be somewhat of a know-it-all bitch.
I can’t tell if Jessa is even supposed to be a protagonist or an antagonist. She has certainly been written to be an unlikable woman. Do people find her relatable? The most I can wish for is that all this irritating build up of Jessa’s horrible attitude will eventually explode in a later episode and expose her as the pathetic person she really is. But I get the disturbing feeling that the Jessa we are seeing right now is actually supposed to be a unique and cool character.
She’s the type of aloof, smarmy, one-note, vaguely attractive, idea of a woman who I was used to seeing as one of Vince’s girlfriends on Entourage… Always packing a smirk and a one-liner draped in sexual innuendo, she gets what she wants by manipulating weak men with the possibility of sex.
It’s like she’s there for the males in the audience who only think “Durrr hurr hurr she’s really purdy and slutty. I like slutty chicks, durrrr”. She’s a serious version of Katrina Bowden’s character on 30 Rock, which is essentially a parody of girls like Jessa. A simple joke of a characterization that feels completely out-of-place as the good friend of the complex character of Hannah on Girls.
Get rid of, or greatly reduce Jessa’s screen time on this show, and it becomes instantly better to me. I actually pay for HBO, so my opinion counts! :/