Liberal Critics Still Consider ‘Girls’ Irresistible

Despite its ugliness, HBO show still getting praise.

After ten awkward and unpleasant episodes, the first season of HBO’s critically acclaimed show “Girls” has mercifully come to an end. Each week seemingly tried to up the ante with graphic sex, gutter language and inappropriate innuendo.

 There were scenes that were obviously intended to make the viewer as uncomfortable as possible. How else to explain multiple allusions to (and one depiction of) masturbation, and even a “golden shower?” The season finale was no exception. There were frank discussions about STD’s, abortion references, frequent drug use, and brutish behavior – basically what audiences have come to expect from premium cable networks.

Critics, of course, love it.

HuffPost Entertainment’s Crystal Bell acknowledged some of the more cringe-worthy moments in her episode recaps, but she remained completely engrossed by the series. “I didn’t hate it,” she said about the finale. “In fact there were some parts … that I absolutely loved, but it didn’t exactly leave me wanting more,” she said.  

Fellow HuffPost TV critic Maureen Ryan has been one of the most outspoken fans of “Girls” since the beginning, putting a positive spin on everything she can.  In her original review of the series, she called the show “bold” and “transcendent.” More recently she praised the relatable female characters of the show, who are “every bit as unlikeable, selfish and confused as their male counterparts,” she said. reporter Michael Arbeiter called the show a giant leap forward saying it’s “hardly a statement about gender at all. It’s a statement about humanity.”

Many more were willing to recommend the show, but Metacritic exposed a noticeable disconnect between critics and viewers. Out of 29 critical reviews, only two had ‘mixed feelings’ about it. On the other hand, 36 out of 91 registered users on the site were not fond of the show. Out of 27 reviews, 14 were negative.

Besides the reported backlash pertaining to the lack of diversity and nepotism, a couple of writers were actually critical of “Girls.” John Kucibek of BuddyTV may have said it best in his initial review of the show. “Girls feels less like a commentary on this generation and more like an indictment on it,” he said. “These characters have been raised believing that they’re special and that they do anything they want. The problem is that none of them seem to want to do anything.”

Consistent-enough ratings have warranted a second season order from HBO. While many will be left wondering what the entertainment value of “Girls” is, numerous left-wing columnists will continue to praise the show for its ‘brutal honesty’ and ‘gritty realism.’