Thursday, January 15, 2015
And yet, the show keeps getting renewed. Why? Because GIRLS generates a lot of buzz. And for HBO, they’re less concerned with ratings than they are about branding. They can boast to subscribers that they have the cutting edge shows. So in that regard GIRLS is a runaway hit.
Lena gets that. And even though many original fans of the show have been turned off by storylines in the last few years, she keeps finding ways to stir the pot.
Last season they did a non-consensual sex scene where the girl was commanded to get down on all fours. Many found the scene degrading. (Yeah, members of the Hollywood Foreign Press – this is a “comedy.”) Everyone watched the YouTube video. No one watched the show. And the result? GIRLS got renewed. Seriously, Lena is a master showman. I’d hire her to run NBC right now.
Think about all the other shows that are on TV that have higher ratings. Bet you never heard of 80% of them. But you sure know about GIRLS. Lady Gaga can wear all the meat she wants, she’s not in Lena Dunham’s league.
And now the latest controversy. On last Sunday night’s episode (that nobody watched) there was a scene where Allison Williams (how can I put this delicately?) has her lover try to give her a colonoscopy with his nose. Now if they had only done that on PETER PAN people would have watched. She could have played the scene with Christopher Walken and maybe had some of his lines pasted to her cheeks.
Adding fuel to the brouhaha is that Allison’s dad is the lead news anchor of NBC. He of course was asked for his reaction. And as expected he gave the requisite diplomatic show of support to his daughter. What is he going to say? “I’m trying to be the distinguished face of NBC News. Walter Cronkite’s daughter never let some guy motorboat her ass on television.” So his answer was stock and carefully worded, and every news organization in the country ran it. Score another one for Ms. Dunham.
I watched the scene (on YouTube). It’s like fifteen seconds. That’s it? That’s the big whoop? (I found one version where someone overdubbed her singing from PETER PAN during her proctology porn and it was hilarious.)
At a time when actual pornography is as easily accessible as YouTube, the fact that people would rather see Allison Williams’ little fifteen second snippet again tells you the power of hype and the genius of Lena. The real crowning glory will come when Allison Williams wins an AVN award. (which, by the way, is more prestigious than a Golden Globe)
So now I’m curious. What will Lena do next? I’m sure it will be audacious. Graphic childbirth? A girl-on-girl with Charlie Rose’s daughter? Lena will keep this show on the air for ten years. It’ll be getting 24,000 viewers a week by then but Lena will have her fourth book deal and third movie deal so what does she give a shit? I’m only sorry Colonel Tom Parker isn’t still alive to see this.
WARNING: Below is a screenshot from Sunday night's scene. It is somewhat graphic. You're welcome to log out now if it's something you don't want to see. But I just can't resist a caption.
"No, I don't see the earring."
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM