"What the hell are you watching?" he asked.
"Ha--you are a girl."
My dad just whipped out a 3rd grade quality burn on me, one that should seem about as effective as a 58-year-old man telling me that he's rubber and I'm glue. But it wasn't. It stung much, much worse than that. Because the truth is, that's exactly how I felt. Like a girl. Like I didn't belong.
This show didn't always make me feel like that. In fact I was so over-the-moon with the early rendition's, so connected to the struggling group of 20-somethings who adjusted to life after liberal arts college just slightly worse that I have, that I felt like the show was mine too. It may have been called Girls but, like I wrote after the show's premier, my penis didn't stop me from seeing my life on the television screen.
At some point that changed. Not only did the show lose it's hilariously uninformed and youthful charm, becoming less about the things that get on the side of condoms and more about wrecked relationships that were both romantic and platonic in nature, but as it became less about being young and dumb (and full of cum) that trace of hysterical silliness just completely vanished. I went from live tweeting STD and heroin jokes, to wondering why everyone stopped having fun all of a sudden.
It was a rather abrupt change. I understand seriousness, but I don't understand people who have to be serious all the time. Being a 24-year-old who complains about being lazy and having nothing to complain about is only part of my life; most of it is getting drunk and cracking jokes and even dancing on my own like a white kid who sucks. A lack of money or a sense of belonging shouldn't stop you from being able to party and get loose. The recent college grad with no plans angst shouldn't change you that much.
Of course what really changed was the character Adam, Hannah's weird boyfriend who freely masturbate in front of, and urinates on, her and has risen to center stage to become the show's male uh, protagonist? I'm not sure that is the right word, although I guess it could be depending on how you view a guy who never wears a shirt and has the social skills of a deranged snapping turtle and generally makes you want to Ric Flair chop him until his trachea collapses and he can never talk again.
What can't be argued is that Adam has become the show's main male point of view, maybe the most significant POV of any of the characters. And I am not sure how to react to that. Like my main man James Franco before me, I always thought that the dude's in this show sucked, which is fine. I am sure the overly sensitive Charlie (who I really don't have a problem with) or aformentioned psychotic Adam would think that Jimmy Franc and I suck too. The show was never really about them, so I never really had a problem with the girls associating themselves with douches who didn't really matter.
But now the first season is over, and you get the feeling that Adam matters as much as anybody. Is his sudden willingness to verbally admit love for Hannah supposed to redeem him from accidently sending out picture of his ding dong? Does the fact that I am completely sure that him kicking and verbally assaulting my car in the middle of a Brooklyn street would end in me getting out of my ride and punching him in the jaw make me the judgmental meat head who is intolerant of others? Why does it suddenly bother me that none of the guys in the show would know who John Elway is?
Well, because the show never used to make me feel like this, like a football playing frat boy retreating into the Sigma Chi house so I could feel normal again. It never made me feel like I wasn't hip or cool enough, like because I was a bro in college I couldn't be friends with Hannah or hit on, and get rejected by, Marney. It never made me feel like it was portraying a life filled with people who would not be in mine.
Now, maybe I am too judgmental, or meaty, or mainstream to fit the Girls niche after all. Maybe the discussion I am having is best left to the pop-culture gurus at Grantland (who just happen to all be women, and have some differing view of Adam). Maybe it's OK that I feel alienated. After all Leana Dunham, like any creative person creating content, cannot satisfy everyone in her audience with the direction she picks, the choices she makes. At some point I just have to suck it up and roll with the punches that she throws, or get the hell out of her fist's way.
Which is all well and good, as long as she knows that she can make Adam as suddenly sweet as she wants, but it doesn't give him a pass for being a douche. That for whatever reason, making his character matter makes me feel less wanted and accepted in the show's clique. That he takes away the youthful silliness, and makes everyone on the TV screen seem less like my friends.
And maybe that's alright too. Season 1 has closed, and I still count myself as a devoted watcher, even a devoted fan.
Although now I'm a slightly ostracized one.
One hoping that Hannah's next boyfriend takes her to a Yankees game and talks to her about Derek Jeter and buys a beer, if only so I can imagine myself sitting next to them without wanting to be somewhere else. If only because I want the show to belong to me too again.
If only because I want to laugh with my friends, without feeling like the one who is unwanted or judged or not cool.
Adam is not my friend, and he never will be--at least not until someone delivers that Ric Flair chop to his throat and teaches him that you need to be way bigger and tougher if you are going to treat innocent drivers like attempted murders.
Call that meathead justice. I'll call it the way the real world works.
Then we can all remember that we left the liberal arts college, and start making inappropriate STD jokes together again.
Just like we did 3 or 4 weeks ago, or as I call them--the good ole' days.