Late Night Open Thread: People, Doing What People Do

Poignant news for the Gamer Dorks among us:

“Civilization” mastermind Sid Meier says that he never fathomed someone would play the 1996 society simulator “Civilization II” for 10 years, or that it could result in melted polar ice caps and 90 percent of the virtual world’s population dead by the year 3991…

This is what happened with a user named Lycerius, who posted the details of his 10-year-long game on the social news site Reddit. The file and images of the game went viral this week, attracting Meier’s attention and drawing comparisons to George Orwell’s “1984.”…

In the Lycerius version, only three nations remain on the planet in 3991, and they’re locked in a 1,700-year-old war, fighting for resources left after dozens of nuclear battles turned most of the world into a wasteland.

In other popcult news, HBO has a show called Girls, described thusly by Gawker‘s John Cook:

Laurie Simmons’ daughter is a 24-year-old intern at a publishing house or literary agency or somesuch. She is writing a memoir but is also aware of the silliness of a 24-year-old writing a memoir, because she is just that self-aware. Her parents give her money. Over dinner on a visit to New York, where Laurie Simmons’ daughter lives, they tell her they are going to stop giving her money. A crisis is introduced.

What is Laurie Simmons’ daughter to do? People need money. Laurie Simmons’ daughter’s best friend is Brian Williams’ daughter. She is uptight, pretty, straight-laced, and has a boyfriend who’s just too nice and loving. She wears a retainer when she sleeps, symbolically. Laurie Simmons’ daughter says Brian Williams’ daughter’s boyfriend “has a vagina,” a notion that isn’t at all hackneyed and retrograde when it’s uttered by a self-aware 24-year-old girl who has tattoos of illustrations from children’s books all over her body…

Laurie Simmons’ daughter’s other best friend is The Drummer From Bad Company’s daughter. The Drummer From Bad Company’s daughter is a globe-trotting free spirit who got pregnant by some surfer and wears flowing dresses (batik?). She just blew into town from France.

The Drummer from Bad Company’s daughter is staying with David Mamet’s daughter, a comically overbroad character imported (knowingly? ironically?) from another sitcom. She loves Sex and the City (GET IT?) and wears pink Juicy Couture-style outfits. Is her father proud of her?…

So who, according to NYMag‘s Vulture blog, is watching this nepotism festival?

Girls is a show by and about urban women in their early twenties, so naturally it’s drawing its biggest ratings among white dudes over 50. Wait, what? It’s true: According to Nielsen data supplied to Vulture by HBO, a full 22 percent of Girls‘ audience has a penis and was born before the Beatles hit American shores, and no other single demographic group comes close in its love for Lena Dunham and her sexually curious Scooby gang…

So, maybe Brian Williams has a lot of friends, who of course would do their best to bump up the viewer stats. Or maybe old white guys with HBO subscriptions like to watch 20-something professional daughters talk dirty and show off their tats?

Brian Williams can console himself with the thought that at least his little girl isn’t appearing in Adam Sandler movies (yet). I made a personal vow to avoid any movies involving former Saturday Night Live cast members around the time the professional daughters of Girls were born, and the career of Adam Sandler is a perennial argument in favor of keeping that vow.

61 replies
  1. 1
    owlbear1 says:

    But you gotta admit having Bob Barker beat the living shit out of him is one of the funniest things ever filmed.

  2. 2
    James E Powell says:

    Michael Kinsley is supposed to be the left David Brooks, right? Do I have that one right? I don’t want to link to his column in the LA Times on how the rich get richer, but check it out. I can’t imagine that even Brooks could write anything more stupid.

  3. 3
    David Koch says:

    @James E Powell: no, Kinsley has always been a self hater. He’s a nerdy and upper class version of Klien.

  4. 4
    Darkrose says:

    I absolutely love that someone has a 10-year game of Civ II, which, IMO, was the best of the series.

  5. 5

    The Civ 2 stalemate has been broken, allegedly.

    Never played any version of the game but it looks intriguing. The closest I’ve gotten to turn-based strategy in my gaming life is Worms 2: Armageddon.

    I’m a console gamer, and can barely claim that as I’m very casual. Is Civ:Rev worth checking out?

  6. 6
    Weaselone says:

    Ah, the end result of an AI that believes a nuclear missile followed by a paradrop is a viable long term military strategy. I think Mitt Romney has plans to bring it on as a military adviser.

  7. 7
    Valdivia says:

    never seen the show but that bit of data just gives me the creeps.

  8. 8
    Raven says:

    Oh what a shock.

  9. 9
    Raven says:

    I watch Mornin Joe just to watch him humiliate a 40 something scold. He’s doing it right now!

  10. 10
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    listening to Ezra on Maddow’s show. Everytime citizens united comes up I just get knee-jerk furious. I want to set the whole campaign spending industry on fire.

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    @Raven: What is he upset about this morning?

  12. 12
    Jessica says:

    I can’t say I’m surprised by that data. Even though network TV is all about the 18-49 demo because that’s who advertisers pay to reach, Over-50s make up a huge chunk of the TV-viewing audience in general (often at least half of a show’s total audience) and I’d imagine that pay cable skews even more strongly towards them.

  13. 13
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Obama’s incredible lack of “leadership”.

  14. 14
    Raven says:

    @Jessica: But men over 50 looking at 24 year old women. . .ewwwwwwww. Can’t they make some kind of filter.

  15. 15
    Riilism says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: I have a hard time listening to Ezra. There’s something about his vocal intonations that drive me nuts. Was he over-coached in “anchor-speak” or is that his natural voice?…

  16. 16
    Mr B says:

    I made a personal vow to avoid any movies involving former Saturday Night Live cast members

    Uhm… does that include Bill Murray?

  17. 17
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mr B: Animal House and The Blues Brothers would also be out. As would Driving Miss Daisy and My Girl.

    WRT Girls, are we really shocked that nepotism exists in Hollywood? I notice all the outrage about Sean Penn’s career. John Huston’s too.

    ETA: I now notice AL put a time constraint on her anti-SNL movie vow.

  18. 18
    bjacques says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Not a problem when the spawn pull their weight or burn up the scene (as opposed to chewing up the scenery). Irritating when Daddy buys you a sitcom to play with. And with the country’s economy in the toilet, it carries a whiff of the court of Louis XVI playing shepherds and shepherdesses at Versailles.

    The show has viewers. I doubt it has champions.


    That Civ II pieces was hilarious and horrible. Next to “Girls,” 2000 years in a theocratic radioactive swamp don’t sound so bad.

  19. 19
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @bjacques: I have only seen one episode of the show. It was reasonably funny and that is all I really look for in a sitcom. I wouldn’t seek it out in the future, but that is a different matter. I guess I just am missing the explanation for the attacks on this particular show.

  20. 20
    negative 1 says:

    I’ve tried Girls. It’s a lot like Sex in the City, in that the main characters are so shallow you’ll find yourself cheering for the apocalpyse. BTW – why is it if you don’t like that about the show, you’re sexist? In the spirit of fairness, Entourage was just as bad.

  21. 21
    Kevin says:

    Love the Girls hate. Shocking that a show created, written, and staring a female has to suddenly be everything for all people. Louis CK I’m sure dealt with similar backlash for his show about his thoughts and experiences…

    BTW, if 22% of your audience is an over 50 male, that means 88% isn’t, so they aren’t the only people watching…and who gives a fuck if they are? Does having the title “Girls” make watching it, like, totally like gay or something, like for reals?

    Honestly, I haven’t even seen an episode of this show, but anytime someone on a political blog deems it so fucking important to once again bash it, I get annoyed. “but, it doesn’t talk about environmentalism enough! Egads, dumb white girls!”. Oh no, the girls in the show come from wealthy families, turn it off!!!!

    Julia Louis Dreyfus is the daughter of billionaires and married to a TV exec, please also get her off TV..talentless hacks.

  22. 22
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @negative 1: Not liking the show is one thing. Where the sexism critique of the critics seems to come in is that this show, its creator, and cast are being called out for things that are true of other shows as well. One of the primary differences between this show and others is XX chromosomal nature of most of the people involved in the show. It might be coincidental, but then again it might not.

  23. 23
    Kevin says:

    Sexism is the only thing causing the hate against the show (including the boring droning on about it by the front pagers on this site).

    When a show is not attacked on the quality of the writing, the acting, the humour, but instead about what it doesn’t have (there aren’t enough black people, they’re aren’t enough poor people, the actors are all from rich families), you cannot tell me that the critic is grasping at anything they can to attack this show because it is the creation of a young woman. And i include the front pagers here who have bashed the show as being sexist for the attacks.

    Or maybe i missed the similar backlash from everyone for a show about a young male writer struggling with his white people problems too. Bored to Death, staring young nobody Jason Schwartzman (ie, son of Talia Shire and deceased producer Jack Schwartzman, nephew of Francis Ford Coppola, cousin of Nick Cage. Maybe i just have to search the internet archives to see the venom directed at that show…

  24. 24
    piratedan says:

    @freelancer (iPhone): yes, yes it is… I finally broke my addiction after Civ IV was out…. game is, well addicting, sparked minor internet meme… just one more turn….. I’m gonna play just one more turn.

  25. 25
    lol says:

    @freelancer (iPhone):

    It looks like part of the winning strategy is converting to fundamentalism and razing all the schools and universities plus other buildings. Which makes sense since there’s no more technology to be researched, but it’s horrifying from a RP perspective. Reminds me of Dune.

  26. 26
    Rob in CT says:

    As someone who played a LOT of CivII (and CivIII and CivIV, but not V because it sucks ass, worse than III IMO), that Lycerius person is just not a good player. You let the AI get nukes?

    Fundamentalism can work pretty well, but the best thing isn’t Fundy + War! It’s Fundy + spies. You can literally buy cities in CivII. Fundy can be a cash machine. So what you do is you buy all but the “core” cities of your opponent, and then roll those with Howitzers. Again, *before* the AI gets nukes. The AI is psychotic and will use nukes with abandon. Still, even with an nuke-wielding AI, I can’t imagine how bad at the game you’d have to be to fail to win for ~1000 years. Yikes.

  27. 27
    Rob in CT says:

    @freelancer (iPhone):

    CivIV is, by far, the best of the series. Warning: the time suck factor is roughly equivalent to a galatic center black hole.

  28. 28
    Someguy says:

    What’s the significance of 22% of a minuscule audience… wait… doing the math… hold on…

  29. 29
    YellowJournalism says:

    I’ve learned never to make vows against watching movies or tv with certain actors, otherwise I would have missed out on most of the films of Leonardo DiCaprio’s career. He annoyed the shit out of me when he first started acting, but now I think him to be quite a fine actor. And Sandler has made some good films and some “comfort food” films over the years intermixed with dreck like Jack and Jill. Plus, under the right director and with the right script, he’s shown some acting skills beyond screaming and making weird voices.

    Please remind me again why there is so much obsession with an HBO series that pulls in less of an audience than most of what is on TV that is probably already ignoring issues of class, race, and sexism while starring/produced by industry insiders and insiders’ family members. If people want to talk about absence of certain issues on TV, I think it’s a worthwhile discussion until it becomes a pile-on of one show that happens to rub a few people the wrong way.

  30. 30
    Kevin says:


    Excatly! It’s the pile on that is starting to really annoy me. So many shows seem to get a pass, but this show is really bothering people…and it just so happens to be a show created by a woman. Gee, who’d have thought…

    If you want to complain about the lack of diversity, complain about HBO network executives, and use the breadth of the shows on the network to make your point, it won’t be difficult. But when it all comes down to one show, it just reeks of sexism.

    Like i said, Bored to Death didn’t get this despite it’s similar “middle class white person struggles with writing” premise and despite staring a man descended from Hollywood royalty. Veep isn’t getting it despite staring daughter of billionaire, wife of network exec, too big to fail JLD (who is great, but let’s not pretend her connections have nothing to do with the 900 chances she gets to finally have another hit).

    Or hey, how about criticizing the networks and their Lilly-white output? They attract FAR more viewers then this little show does, but I guess none of them get people riled up as much as Girls does…weird how that is…

  31. 31
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ) says:

    Your missing out on Will Ferrell’s genius. Seriously, Talladega Nights is one of the funniest movies ever made.

  32. 32
    PJ says:

    The show gets attacked not because it was created by a woman, but because it was hyped to high heaven by HBO and critics as being the best sitcom ever, with Lena Dunham as “the voice of her generation”, when it turns out to feature mediocre to bad writing and acting. (It’s certainly not the worst program on TV right now, but it’s certainly not good.) This causes people to question why it was praised so much and why it got made in the first place. Lo and behold, Lena Dunham turns out to have rich and famous artist parents who are extremely well-connected (not to mention that the actresses also have rich and famous parents.) This is no crime (and, I suspect, is how a lot of crap makes it on to TV), but Dunham, instead of remarking about how lucky she is to have these connections, continually acts surprised and insists that she got the program solely because of her amazing talent. This is, to say the least, disingenuous.

    But I suspect the real hate comes because the characters on the show are so blithe about their privileged status and so insistent, in Dunham’s case, on their talent and importance. One would think that they are simply meant to be satirical figures, because no one could be so clueless, but coupled with Dunham’s statements in real life, it rather seems that the characters’ statements and actions are in fact genuine reflections of Dunham’s beliefs. This confirms to viewers that the media, from those who create it to those criticize it, is one big circle jerk of well-to-do folks praising each other for sensitively depicting the problems of the well-to-do.

    Bored to Death, and most other television programs, were not presented as being incredibly insightful and moving portrayals of a generation. This is why they don’t get the number of comments that Girls does. And if Girls were actually good, and had something meaningful to say about our society, nobody would care whose children the creators were.

  33. 33
    Kevin says:


    …really??? You didn’t realize that “i’m the voice of my generation” was a joke at her own expense and feelings of self importance? I believe she was laughed at in the show for saying that…seriously, i think it’s a viewer problem more than a writing problem (and that you disagree with the majority of the critics on the quality of the show doesn’t mean that they are all protecting a rich girl and you are right, it just means that you have different tastes, and given the seeming anger from your writing, you seem to take it too personal that this show exists…)

  34. 34
    patrick II says:


    BTW, if 22% of your audience is an over 50 male, that means 88% isn’t,

    Nice math. So, do you work for the Romney economics team?

  35. 35
    celticdragonchick says:

    @negative 1:

    I watched half of one episode and I ws ready to chug a liter of Drano.

  36. 36
    Will says:

    I haven’t watched a second of Girls, but I have lived in NYC and know a LOT of folks who write for media organizations.

    As far as I can tell, Girls is a show about the sort of people who write for Gawker, AVClub, Buzzfeed, Newser, Mashable, etc. Therefore, the show is catnip to pop-culture writers, because ITS ABOUT THEM.

    Seriously, who writes for pop culture websites? Well educated white girls from privileged backgrounds who moved to NYC from some other place and got an job re-capping Game of Thrones while they work on their memoir. (fyi – I’ve got nothing against those people, I’m friends with lots of them.)

    Who is Girls about? The exact same people.

    So, it’s a show all about the people who are paid to write about shows like that. And, unsurprisingly, the folks who are paid to write about shows like that love the show because it is about people like them. So they write about it. A lot. And the rest of us sit here scratching out heads going, “Really? This deserves THAT much attention?”

    And that question quickly turns into resentment, and then into a backlash. And once you’ve got a backlash, it’ll grab any critical argument it can, no matter how crappy (nepotism, classism, racism, misogyny, etc.).

  37. 37
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @freelancer (iPhone):

    I’m a console gamer, and can barely claim that as I’m very casual. Is Civ:Rev worth checking out?

    I’d say it’s worth checking out. Revolution is the sort of streamlined entry in the series, and it’s easier to pick up and play than the main series on the PC. But when I say “easier,” that doesn’t mean go in expecting Tetris. There’s still quite a bit going on, and when I think about it all, I have no idea how it is I actually learned to play.

  38. 38
    PJ says:

    @Kevin: I don’t take it personally that the show exists (I could give you a long breakdown of why the show is mediocre, but I really don’t care that much about it), but I do care that the supporters of the show, like yourself, need to resort to ad hominem attacks (“anyone who criticizes the show is sexist”) to defend it.

    The “voice of my generation” was a joke in the show, but in the pre-release hype, HBO used it seriously. If this had been presented as just another sitcom about young people in the city, like Two Broke Girls (which at least acknowledges a financial crisis), nobody would care that it was bad; it’s because of all the praise that it received all the backlash.

    I do care, however, about the general state of the media, in that it’s an insular group of people who rarely present points of view from a socio-economic status other than their own, and can’t even fathom why that might be important, but are all too ready to pat each other on the back for being “brave” or “edgy” for circulating banal revelations about themselves.

  39. 39
    Kevin says:

    @patrick II:

    lol…um…78%…not like I’m an accountant or anything…wait, I am…

  40. 40
    Rusty says:

    Brilliant commentary, Anne. Simply brilliant.

  41. 41
    Medrawt says:

    Not liking the show is fine! Having problems with the show because of the constraints of its socioeconomic worldview is fine! But at this point it seems undeniable that this show has angered a lot of people who are advancing arguments in the “having problems with the show because of the constraints of its worldview” category basically because … HBO overdid its publicity campaign? There’s nothing in the “socioeconomic worldview” category that you can say about Girls that isn’t true of vastly more popular shows AND shows with more consensus critical admiration. The vitriol, therefore is perplexing, and people who do like the show wonder why it is that this show in particular has come in for the most criticism for being too white, or Jesus God, for not showing the perspective of poor people. And by the way, it airs on HBO, the cable network that just saw fit to renew Treme for a third season, which it is basically impossible to imagine any other network doing. HBO might have the least “diversity of background and of perspective” problems of any network out there.

    But stop conflating the responses to people who are attacking the show for its perceived political failings with your own distaste for it. Nobody thinks you’re sexist for not finding Girls funny, unless you’re saying things like “of course it’s not funny, it’s written by a woman.”

  42. 42
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ): I loved Talladega Nights, but I think Anchorman is Will Ferrell’s best movie. Both of them are well worth seeing though, so I hope Anne revisits her policy soon!

  43. 43
    Mino says:

    @lol: Hey, Bobby Jindal’s on his way.

  44. 44
    Mnemosyne says:


    The “voice of my generation” was a joke in the show, but in the pre-release hype, HBO used it seriously.

    So the fact that HBO presented one of the show’s running jokes as a serious assessment means that Leah Dunham is a moron?

    You do realize that Dunham doesn’t run HBO or write her own publicity campaign, right?

    Also, I hope Anne Laurie made sure to steer clear of The Avengers since it was written by a third-generation Hollywood writer and stars the son of a successful director and the daughter of an actress and a TV producer. I mean, assuming it’s really the nepotism that bothers her.

    Oh, and I hope no one here complaining about the nepotism of “Girls” saw Up in the Air since the writer/director is the son of a famous director and the star is the nephew of a major star from classic Hollywood. That would make you kind of a hypocrite, don’t you think?

    ETA: I also hope that people here are not ignorant of the fact that Dunham was able to do this TV show because her indie movie made a decent splash. You did know that she wrote and directed a movie prior to this, right? You didn’t just assume she walked in off the street with no prior experience and was handed a TV show because her parents are rich?

  45. 45
    PJ says:


    But stop conflating the responses to people who are attacking the show for its perceived political failings with your own distaste for it. Nobody thinks you’re sexist for not finding Girls funny, unless you’re saying things like “of course it’s not funny, it’s written by a woman.”

    If you would read the comments above, you’d see that more than one person stated that any criticisms of the show originated precisely in sexism.

    Further, I’m not conflating my dislike of the show with the vitriol directed against it; I was trying to explain where the vitriol came from.

    And please stop conflating my response to Kevin, who accused me of being angry with the show, with my problem with the media in general. I do not care that Girls is bad. I do care that the people in the media who are praising the show are doing so apparently because it confirms their blinkered viewpoint.

  46. 46
    Kevin says:

    and no, it wasn’t even presented as serious in the commercial. I remember the line (since they showed the commercial ad nauseum..) “I think i’m the voice of my generation…(comedic pause as everyone looks at her with a “no your not look”)…or the voice of a generation…”

    The shots at the AV club people may be valid, but the reviewer there is a guy, so in this case, no, it isn’t.

    And I’m not even a supporter of the show, i haven’t watched it! Honestly, the comparisons to Louis turned me off, since as much as I love his stand-up, his show just doesn’t do it for me (my fault, i expected a hilarious comedy, I should probably try it out again with lowered comedic expectations).

    And giving credit to Two Broke Girls in anyway… seriously? That racist, sexist crap?

    I don’t know that you are personally sexist, only that the over the top hate of this show for not giving each viewer their own special unicorn seems strange. Like this show of all shows must be all things to all people, while other shows aren’t held to that standard.

  47. 47
    DMcK says:

    So Girls is basically Cloverfield minus a monster to root for. Got it!

    I have CivRev on my iPhone based on a friend’s recommendation but I’ve resisted playing it due to it’s rep as a time-suck. Very tempted to start now…anybody know how much of my life I should expect to waste on it?

  48. 48
    Kevin says:

    (I’m not saying everyone who dislikes the show is sexist, only that the overall backlash to the show and the seemingly angry need to say how awful it is reeks of sexism. If that hurts your feelings, I don’t much care).

  49. 49
    PJ says:

    If Lena Dunham is a moron (your words), it’s because she’s clueless both about the extent to which privilege has given her entree into making movies and television programs and her inability to write convincing and interesting characters and dialog.

  50. 50
    Medrawt says:

    I think Kevin’s original comment in this thread, despite the opening line, does a good job of differentiating between “I don’t like this because I don’t like it” and “I don’t like this because [ax to grind].”

    Look, I personally think arguing about personal taste is an idiotic thing to do, which is why I don’t run around telling the proprietors of blogs I enjoy that the new show or band they like is terrible. It’s not interesting to me. But the amount of attention Girls has attracted, so much of it filtered through the lens of (a) explicitly sexist attacks (not made by anyone at Balloon Juice) (b) an enormous amount of holding the show to task for not fulfilling criteria which most shows on television, and frankly most shows of what I’m gonna call “prestige television” also fail to fulfill. Whether or not you think it’s a good show is kind of beside the point when people are having these “Girls is classist/racist/nepotistic” arguments.

    And the Gawker quote above is snide pap, saying nothing of import (pro or con) about the show. It’s just a sneer, and it’s also naive as hell. Nepotism doesn’t get you a TV show. Nepotism does help you get in a position to be considered*, but in this case she has a TV show because Judd Apatow took a shine to her movie. If you want to talk about the overall issue of how many actors/writers in Hollywood are the children of people who worked in the business in some capacity, cool, but I’d be curious to see how those percentages compared to, say, law, or finance, or pretty much any other field of work. The more interesting and pressing social issue, if you want to find one related to “who were your parents?!” is the much larger and surely quite disproportionate % of people in Hollywood who come from backgrounds of at least middle class and often upper-middle class privelege (because those are the kids most likely to have gone to schools with art programs, most likely to have families that would embrace the idea of pursuing a career in the arts, and most likely to be able to help their kid through the hard times.)

    But that’s not as satisfying as sneering about how being the daughter of the Drummer From Bad Company (who nobody can even bother to name when it comes time to invoke him as the golden ticket of unearned privilege) calls into question the legitimacy of your casting on a TV show.

  51. 51
    Kevin says:



    Show about silly rich white girls is reviewed well because reviewers are silly little white girls

    I don’t even have to try to pick the sexism out of that one. I guess the only opinions that are free of bias are those of men, they don’t let their silly periods get in the way of their deep criticism.

    And gay judges shouldn’t be allowed to hear trials about gay marriage.

    And when we talk about Obama’s voting base, we should eliminate the black vote, cause, you know, those aren’t “regular votes”

    …always goes back to straight white men as the only ones who can do something without being tainted (not attributing the last two to you, just pointing how similar all these arguments seem to be.

  52. 52
    TG Chicago says:

    @Mr B: Some of the movies Anne is missing out on outside of Bill Murray’s work:

    Grosse Point Blank
    When Harry Met Sally
    Howl’s Moving Castle
    Hamlet (1996/Branagh)
    Say Anything
    Toy Story 1, 2 & 3
    High Fidelity
    Natural Born Killers
    Good Night, and Good Luck
    Wet Hot American Summer
    Waiting for Guffman
    Best in Show
    Leaving Las Vegas
    The Saddest Music in the World
    Get on the Bus
    New Jack City
    Punch-Drunk Love
    Funny People
    The Royal Tenenbaums
    Brokeback Mountain

    (and that’s only including post-1988 movies, based on the timeline)

    Surely there’s something worth watching in that list. :-)

  53. 53
    Will says:


    You misread my comment.

    Here. Let me try again.

    The people who write about girls regularly, such as Todd VanDerWerff of the Onion AV Club and John Cook of Gawker, write about the show so much and with such intensity because it is about them and people like them.

    John Cook is, I believe, a man.

    Todd VanDerWerff is, I believe, a man.

    My comment was about them.

    Go ahead, pick the sexism out of that one.

  54. 54
    Kevin says:

    I misread? How about no. You wrote:

    As far as I can tell, Girls is a show about the sort of people who write for Gawker, AVClub, Buzzfeed, Newser, Mashable, etc. Therefore, the show is catnip to pop-culture writers, because ITS ABOUT THEM.
    Seriously, who writes for pop culture websites? Well educated white girls from privileged backgrounds who moved to NYC from some other place and got an job re-capping Game of Thrones while they work on their memoir. (fyi – I’ve got nothing against those people, I’m friends with lots of them.)

    see the bold…you were pretty explicit, you can change what you said now, but can’t change it and then say I misread the original.

  55. 55
    Will says:


    Okay… fine, you caught me. I’m a bad little boy who should have said, “Well educated white PEOPLE from privileged backgrounds…” etc etc… I should have referred to them as “people” or “folks” as I did in every other instance in my post.

    I most humbly beg your lordships pardon, shall I kiss the ring?

    Now, with that edit firmly in place, I stand by everything else I wrote.

    This show is getting a ton of attention (such as weekly write-ups in Gawker, the NY Observer, etc.) because it is a show about the sort of people who write media pop-culture columns.

    ‘batter up.

  56. 56
    Kevin says:

    No complaints with that assesment, just think that can be applied to other shows too, like Community, Louis, Portlandia, etc… Only show that seems to be getting the over the top backlash is this one.

    There is criticism to be made about the media and their focus. There is criticism to be made about the networks and their choices. There is criticism that can be made about this show and all others…but they should be made on the merits of what the show is, not what you feel you deserve out of the media. That is a broader critique, and it seems to be being applied exclusively to this show.

    I don’t disagree with your take on the critics on the pop culture blogs. Personally not a fan of Tod Vanderwaffe myself (guy can write 2000 words on an episode of something and spend maybe 10 words on the actual episode). But i don’t think it’s wrong to say that all the lumping together of all these complaints to hammer this specific show just stinks of sexism. I won’t say that you are, or PJ, or Ann Laurie, but in general, that’s the impression I’m getting.

    One of the big reasons i haven’t watched this show is the “young writer struggles” theme. I think too many writers think they are far too interesting. Maybe the show is good, but I’m just not interested in this story anymore (well, I never was interested in the struggles of the poor writer).

  57. 57
    DMcK says:

    @Kevin: I wouldn’t be so quick to say the negative attention directed at Girls is purely motivated by sexism per se (although I’m sure there are examples). It’s just that its big selling point was that it’s supposed to be a fresh, bold take on its subject matter, told from an exclusively female perspective. Because of that I sort of think people were expecting something…I dunno, much more insightful? Edgier? Political? …instead of the same old young-white-urbanist-mediaite-writer-whatever whingeing. I think it came as a big disappointment to those who were primed to expect something better (although I haven’t watched it either, so feel free to tell me if I’m off-base).

  58. 58
    Binky Bear says:

    “Girls” is the greatest show about interactions between humans and aliens since Babylon 5 went off the air.

  59. 59
    tones says:

    whine has no G at the end, thanks.

  60. 60
    BruinKid says:

    @Mr B: If you haven’t seen Anchorman, you have not truly lived.

  61. 61
    fuckwit says:

    I think it was Ann Richards who said that Shrub was “a man born on third base who thought he hit a triple”.

    As for these young women (why did they name their show “girls”, anyway, they’re over 18, and whatever happened to feminism?), ahem, Richards’s assessment fits just fine, thank you.

    This isn’t about geneerational divide. It’s about 1% versus 99% divide, which has some unique features in each generation. But, since the divide has been becoming more stark with each passing generation, this is what the younger generation of 1% looks like, and accurately portrays its unique and distinctive features.

    This show is about the kids of the 1%. I have found that the kids of the 99% are so different as to be almost unrecognizable from the 1%.

    Compare “Girls” to the kids at Occupy or who were sitting in at UC Davis and Berkeley. Differences so huge that they are as big as a generational gap, perhaps bigger.

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