I recently, finally, watched episodes 1-7 of the HBO show Girls. Yes, that one show that everyone was talking about weeks ago. I’m not going to share my opinions about the show with you; you’ve heard enough, I’m sure. Instead, I will share with you how it felt to have heard and read everyone else’s opinions before watching it.
I was a little bit of a freak when it came to anything and everything regarding television and film not too long ago. I was living in Manhattan and working in video production. Not only did I feel like I had to be that way, I enjoyed it. I often consciously stopped myself from being that annoying person who only talks about television shows and movies, saying things like, “Let me write that in my notes so I can add it to my Netflix queue.” Flash forward two years to a beautiful autumn day when I decided to pack my bags and move. I left New York behind, and being in the know slowly faded with it.
Australia deprived me of access to my Netflix account. I also lost my right to watch all of the free, lovely content Hulu has to offer– the biggest blow of them all. “Sorry, currently our video library can only be watched from within the United States” would pop up on my computer screen, and I’d scream with agony. I’d lift my computer and pretend smash it into the ground. All I wanted to do was watch Sofia Vergara on SNL, but I couldn’t get to a single sketch.
A few months later my anger completely vanished. I started ignoring media all together. I’d only go see whatever new movie was out in the theaters. If I felt like watching TV, I’d put my boyfriend’s 32 GB USB (impressive!) into the XBox and re-watch the first season of The League. When my friends and family back home asked if I had seen this or that, I’d ignore the questions and tell them about the latest book I was reading. I began to sound smarter, older, cultured. So what if I had no idea who the new guest star on the New Girl was? So what if I had no idea where the phrase “Call me, maybe” came from? I still don’t know what YOLO stands for.
But then came the big boom of Girls Coverage. It was everywhere. Everywhere! There were people loving it, hating it, relating to it SO MUCH, not relating to it AT ALL. I kept hearing about girls eating cupcakes in the shower… what? Even James Franco weighed in with his take on behalf of all the men in the world.
A show that gets that much attention from people who don’t HAVE to watch or write about it for a living is definitely a show you want to watch and talk about. Isn’t that the reason why most content is created – to form and discuss opinions? I wanted to chime in with something, anything, but I couldn’t since there were no way to view the program. I had to sit back and wait while everyone else was having fun.
It was like if Real Life was the only option available, and I had to spend every night of my week engaged in it. And predictably, Real Life made an unnecessary number of seasons. Meanwhile pop-culture life went on without me for months…
Luckily, I was able to watch Girls close to the season finale so the show was still on some people’s minds. The lesson I learned from all this is that there’s nothing like discussing a new show, funny sketch, album or scandalous book with friends, family, workers, et al while all buzz is happening.
P.S. Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey?