Posted on | January 12, 2013 | 72 Comments
“It’s a little fat girl . . . and she keeps taking her clothes off and . . . I don’t want to see that. . . . I learned that this little fat chick writes the show and directs the show and that makes sense to me because she’s such a camera hog that the other characters barely are on.”
— Howard Stern
Maybe you know somebody like Lena Dunham. In a way, it’s hard not to feel sorry for people like her. She’s not really that fat or that ugly, but she just can’t get over the fact that she’s not pretty and skinny.
She can never manage to recover from some deep psychic wound, a sort of juvenile ego-trauma that left her with such a profoundly damaged personality that she spends the rest of her life trying to get revenge against the world for bad things that happened to her years ago.
Anyway, if you know somebody like Lena Dunham, you understand what she’s doing: “I’m fat and ugly and unpopular, but maybe if I add ‘cruel’ and ‘obnoxious’ to the list, I can pretend like people who don’t like me are intimidated by my intelligence and courage.” This isn’t really an effective compensation, but it provides her an excuse — a rationalization, a defense mechanism — she can alternately cling to as a crutch or wield as a weapon, harming others without actually helping herself. The damage is never healed, because her inner feelings of worthlessness are so intense, she scorns as contemptible anyone who wants to help her: “If you like me, there must be something wrong with you.”
All of which is a necessary preamble to the latest manifestation of Lena Dunham’s tendency toward vengeful cruelty: People complained about the lack of diversity on Lena’s Not Very Popular HBO Show, so she decided to bring on a black guy . . . as a Republican villain:
I want to start with the fourth scene of the entire season, which is you, topless …
… on top of Donald Glover.
Which is pretty much a summary of every single thing that people complained about in season one. How conscious was that?
We always wanted to work with Donald — he’s the cutest and the funniest, and why would you not want to kiss him on TV? But I think that when we shot that scene, there was both a feeling that it was the appropriate place for the character to be and a sense that it would, for people who had been paying attention to the backlash, at least evoke some sense that we were in a dialogue with our audience. It definitely wasn’t a “Fuck you, haters!” That’s not really how I tend to roll my game. But at the same time, it was a pretty clear statement that we are comfortable, that there isn’t a political agenda against having black characters in the show.
Why make him a Republican?
We liked the idea of a Republican entering their universe. And Hannah doesn’t really have a clear sense of why you shouldn’t date a Republican; it’s kind of just like the same reason why you shouldn’t date a Nazi: You just shouldn’t.
Dunham spends a lot of her time associating sex, bad sex, lack of sex, with . . . you guessed it, Republicans. . . .
So to avoid the show looking racist — Dunham creates a black character that she’ll teach her audience to love to hate.
Hey, her ratings might finally beat Honey Boo Boo . . .
UPDATE: Donald Douglas at American Power:
This is interesting because I was just reading about Lena Dunham at the Los Angeles Times, “Review: Lena Dunham’s ‘Girls’.”
“Maybe I’ll check it out,” I was thinking to myself.
Don’t bother. It’s just another reason why HBO isn’t worth the premium. If you like watching unhappy women try to cope with their self-loathing, just cue up an old Kathy Griffin special.
UPDATE II: Twitchy:
Did we mention Dunham was named one of 2012’s “Brave Thinkers”?