In a weekend book-ended between ‘This is 40’ and the entire second season of ‘Girls’ I can only conclude I am emotionally closer to a 24 yr old than a 40 year old or Lena Dunham is the genius that everyone says she is.
Or maybe both.
Unlike the plastic fantastic travails of ‘This is 40’, Dunham not only reminded me of many of my significant moments of my 20s and 30s, sadly, she touched the raw nerves of my current 40s. No, she hasn’t suddenly aged, become less self centered, egomanical or wise.. its just, man, that shit doesn’t end.
The guy you know isn’t good for you but you can’t stay away from; the need to hide your insanity and failings from friends; the desire to suck the marrow from life while looking totally ridiculous, and yes, the sudden realization that no matter how content you are, you are never immune from suddenly feeling ridiculously lonely. Oh, and sex with gay men, which sadly they seem to be learning way faster than I did, (apparently the closet was more sturdy back in my 20s).
I laughed my ass off at her cocaine experimentation (reinforcing the rule to never wear a string vest, sans bra, to a club); felt her shift as she fell into a fantasy life for a weekend (complete with cashmere sweater, doctor lover and perfect brownstone) and bawled as she fell apart, completely, at the realization that she might, actually, not be cut out for the thing she’s been aiming for her entire life. Hmm.. that one felt a little too close to home.
The bold, strong, ‘don’t give a shit’ heroine turns out to be as vulnerable and fallible as anyone you’ll meet. I have to say its the first time I’ve seen mental disintegration without a safety net and I loved it. Of course our heroine was rescued in brilliant, touching, overwrought fashion – but hey, it is TV. Not real life.
How Judd Apatow could turn out something so irrelevant as ‘This is 40’ and co-produce the brilliance of Girls is beyond my comprehension. One feels like nothing and the other feels like, well, everything. If only this show had been around in my 20s..it would have been, well it is awesome to know I’m not the only one failing to live up to my own inflated expectations. Kind of wish I wasn’t 41 while doing it, but hey, at least I know I’m just 18 old years behind my peers. And if I compare Apatow’s 40 yr old to Hannah’s 24, I’d take the raw, cellulite, awkwardness of Dunham every time. For one thing the sex looks more fun and damn, I’ll never worry about my naked ass ever again.
So Hannah Horvath, I hate to tell you this.. but it doesn’t really change as you get older. You just tend to wear a bra more often and learn when to stop with the Q-tip.