May 8, 2012

Why 'Girls' is a hipster 'Peanuts'

 From my blog post for Intelligent Life:—
'Where else have we encountered the Dunham’s  preoccupation with ill-matched couples, self-abasing love and self-basting humiliations than in Peanuts? Admittedly, Charlie Brown’s love for Little Red-haired Girl never got him as far as an actual date (“You know why that little red haired girl never notices me? Because I’m nothing! Hos can she see someone who’s nothing!”) whereas Dunham’s Hanna achieves regular, monkeyish intercourse with an artsy Prospect Heights carpenter who likes to take her from behind on his dirty sofa. But the look on Dunham’s face as he does so, squished into the sofa so that she almost seems to be turning out to face the viewer, seems to cry out for a fluffy thought balloon above her head containing the words “Good grief.” Or better yet: *sigh* Charlie Brown, it will be remembered, is the punch-bag for endless jokes about the size of his head, just as Hanna is teased mercilessly for her flabby body; both seem to draw punishment from the universe like air moisture, suckers for an endless succession of humiliations, disappointments and set-backs which leave Brown, at least, staring out at the reader despondently, as if to say: do you see this? As Schulz’s biographer David Michaelis puts it, “No rage boils up, no self pity spills over, no tears are shed, no lunch line is squeezed out — just silent endurance”.'