GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS

When I turned 22, I wondered why I felt so disappointed. I was about to graduate from a good school, I liked my major, I finally found a hair color I’m relatively happy with – I had no reason to feel like a failure, right? I have come to realize that my disappointment stemmed from a very unrealistic view of what my twenties would be like, fueled entirely by reruns of “Sex and the City” and “The Hills.” I guess I just assumed that by 22 I’d be graduated (early, apparently) and living this totally glamorous lifestyle of perfect hair and chic stilettos, while working my cushy fashion publicist job and going to lunches where I’d master the art of the subtle eye conversation.

Back when I was still a naive 21-year-old, I started to realize that things were just not shaping up my way, and at that moment, Lena Dunham swooped into my life with her pudgy arms and messy hair and saved my 20s.

Possibly to make up for giving us a false sense of life on a writer’s salary all those years ago, HBO has given Lena Dunham a platform to express the trials and tribulations of women in their 20s in New York. With a little help from comedic genius Judd Apatow (“This is 40,” “Knocked Up”), “Girls” is a dramatized, yet fairly realistic account of a recent college graduate living in the city and trying to make it as a writer. Key word, trying.

Dunham stars as Hannah Horvath, a recently cut-off Oberlin graduate who wants so desperately to become a writer. Unfortunately, she hasn’t got anything to write about, having lived a fairly average life with no major traumas aside from the ordinary body image struggles. Along with best friend Marnie Michaels (Allison Williams), British free spirit Jessa Johansson (Jemima Kirke) and Jessa’s offbeat but adorable cousin Shoshanna Shapiro (Zosia Mamet), Hannah attempts to make it through life and love in New York City. The group bumbles from one hilarious screw-up to the next, and occasionally, they actually get it right.

If you haven’t seen the show, you’ve got some catching up to do, since it is in the second season right now. It’s worth catching up on, and some of the show’s funniest moments happened in the first season. It is also set to become a cultural phenomenon. Call me crazy, but Dunham won two Golden Globes for the show, she’s got comedy’s wonder-man behind her and I have a good feeling that she’s going to take home an Emmy in September. There is a distinct opening for a woman in comedy with the departure of Tina Fey, and Hannah’s mess of a life might just measure up to Liz Lemon’s consistent slip-ups. Not to mention the media darling the show is already becoming. It started with criticisms from just about every blog and news outlet you can think of, calling the show everything from entitled to racist. But in true Hannah Horvath style, Dunham has won over nearly all of her critics with down to earth humor and a dedication to telling the gritty truths of growing up a modern girl.

Don’t be fooled by the title, however. This is not just a show for the ladies. Executive producer Apatow encourages men to watch in order to understand the complex workings of the over-analyzing average 20-something woman. Dunham has the unique talent to write realistic women as well as deep male characters.

“Girls” is smart, funny, relatable and an overall must watch for anyone who’s ever felt the terror of looming graduation and adulthood