Fangirl. Comedy nerd. Dork. These are terms used to describe people like me. People who read the structure of what I’ve written so far and think of The State Tapeface PSA. People with an insatiable urge to consume comedy. We listen to commentaries. We create infographics. It’s who we are.
“I got hired as a guest writer for SNL for two weeks, and then they didn’t hire me and it fucked me up. But I took it as a challenge to get more creative, you know what I mean? Had a sitcom last year, got cancelled — really hard. Took it as a challenge, get more creative, don’t lay down. One thing I saw on your Tumblr, you were like: “I’m going to close myself off now, not open myself up for that”. Fuck that, you know what I mean? We’re losers. All of us are losers. But we lose well. So don’t try to not lose anymore. Lose more gracefully.”—Chris Gethard (via fuckyeahtcgs)
Definitely going to add to the flood of internet talk on the subject, just because I feel like getting some of this stuff down, and also because I have to write a paper and I don’t want to do it!
So I watched and generally enjoyed the first episode. I’m very happy a show like “Girls” exists, it’s run by a lot of young women, who are very talented and smart. They are really interesting and honest models for young people, and are a better glimpse of reality than anything else offered on television. I’m glad that there’s a place for a work that is clearly made with such care and attention. It’s really great to see a project like this in the world…but I don’t know if I like it.
What I do know is that I definitely did not like it as much as I thought I was going to like it. But chalk that up to my too-high expectations. I thought about it a bit more, and I think a big problem is with my approach to the show. I’m not a Sex and the City girl, I like lo-fi comedy, I like reality, I like a bit of grit in the works. I approached Girls as a sort of anti-Sex and the City-thinking that if it’s anti-SATC it’ll be exactly like me. I assumed that Girls would be representing my experiences in the city, or as close as television could get to that. I am a 20-something living in New York, I have jobs, I take classes. Consequently, I formed the equation in my mind that Girls would be just like me, and it’s not. It’s really really not like me. And I just feel my own reaction to it, my own enjoyment of the show, was initially affected by that perceived disconnect.
I wanted Girls to represent everything that I am, and it didn’t do that. But that doesn’t mean that it’s bad, because it is a really high-quality show, and I hope that I grow to like it, and get past my initial reactions. I guess I just wanted to state my issues.
The other big issue I have with Girls is the money. I know, I know. It’s a television show, why care so much? But their relationship with money literally makes me angry, I just want to yell at the screen and lecture them, I mean two YEARS(!!!) of their parents paying for them? WHAT? That blows my mind, and makes me jealous. I mean, I worked at a part-time job since I was in middle school, I worked full time in the summers, 40 hours a week since I was a junior in high school. Maybe I took a weeks vacation, maybe. This current semester is the first that I haven’t worked part-time during. At first I itched at the free time, but I loaded up on extra classes and volunteer work, and I’ve started sending out grant applications, scholarship stuff etc. I work hard. And I know I’ll have to work hard for the rest of my life, money and stuff like that doesn’t come easy, not for me, not for my family. And seeing that easy disregard for money just makes me want to yell.
Yeah, so those are my thoughts on Girls, I’m definitely going to keep watching, I think it might be a show that will benefit from repeat watches, I hope I grow to like it even more, and overcome my own issues in viewership, haha.
Random thoughts of the week: Excited as always for The Chris Gethard Show this week, except I guess it’s the Hintmaster Show this time! It’s my new favorite thing, and I love being able to go to see it live every week. It feels like a secret, it feels fun, it feels welcoming, and it’s the best. I secretly want to be the next Random (or a Random). I want to be part of the mythology of the show, haha. Literally my favorite part of every week is heading to that show, hanging out with all the crazies, and taking a taxi home through the city at night. It’s the best.
I got an internship! (And it’s paid, haha, back to the money as always). I’m going to be at MacMillan, working with two children’s imprints. This means I get to stay in the city for the summer, and I’m absolutely ecstatic. Really. I just did not want to spend the summer trapped in my small little CT town, working at the same old job, with the same old people. Also, I get to keep going to TCGS!!! Yep, that’s a factor in my excitement.
I was in class today, spacing out, with my two notebooks out, one for regular class notes, the other for thoughts, asides, and diary-like writings. I got caught up in a digression pretty fast in the midst of listening to my professor and classmates talk about “The Duchess of Malfi.”
First we started talking about the characters, and the level of truth within them, truth to themselves, and truth in appearance. This led to a discussion of the Cardinal, whose actions are pretty much antithetical to a typical religious leader. I stated that he was a man of the people.
This simple phrase “man of the people” took me straight back to the You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes podcast, and his hilarious interview with Nick Kroll. This is because they explained that Nick Kroll has a coat they call his “man of the people” coat, listen to the episode if you want to hear exactly how it played out, but it’s pretty darn funny.
Then I thought about the podcast more, and the comedy I’ve been gravitating towards lately, which is a blend of weird, honest, hilarious, and real. You Made it Weird and The Chris Gethard Show have been the two things, besides Game of Thrones of course, that I’ve been obsessing about lately. This is because they are forums for honest discussion, where people don’t hide their flaws, they don’t pretend to be normal, they reveal their narcissism, their family problems, their irrational fears and idiosyncracies. These shows tear down an assumption I’ve held for too long, that there’s such a thing as “normal.” I think that I’ve held a sneaking suspicion that somewhere out in the world there is a family with the perfect life, with no problems, and somehow that is “normal.” But hearing the stories through these shows reminds me that it’s okay that my life can sometimes be crazy, weird, messed up, because there’s no such thing as that perfect life.
Then I thought how “there’s no such thing as normal” felt like a good story title, or a Sarah Dessen style insight. I wrote in my notebook: You’re told you’re supposed to believe in this idea of the world as if there’s some standard you have to live up to, or that there’s some perfection you are just consistently failing to reach, but there’s just not. There’s no such thing as normal. So you need to stop striving for it and start striving for happiness instead.
A good fit for a story would be like a kid waiting to go home from school. You get caught up in that contradiction, in desperately wanting to leave, but also not wanting to go anywhere near home. It could come out of conversation between the leftover kids, hanging out, struggling with their ideas of rightness, normality, happiness, and belonging. Yeah. So this was a post.
Another bit of “genius” from my notebook (also I’m way heavy on the quotes today) was musing on my ideology for working hard these days, and the problems with that. I feel like I think Work really hard, but remember that it doesn’t happen to everyone. Or at least that’s what successful people tell you. So it’s that conflict between go for it, but don’t go too hard? Don’t bet everything on it? I do’t know. I struggle with that drive, to go for what I really want, to work for what I really want to do, when there’s that gaping hole of a future in front of me.
But we’ll see. I’ve felt silly that I want more validation for my work, a sense that I have a shot, that my work has promise, that people believe in me. Maybe I hide my work too much, maybe I show it off before it’s ready, maybe I waste my ideas on this silly tumblr. I need that sense of constant possibility to fuel my work. There just aren’t any rules anymore, there aren’t guaranteed results. I’m too used to institutions and schools, grades and feedback, that structured validation that supports my work. When I shoot for a career I lose that consistent response that might drive me to work harder.
This has gotten pretty strange, but that’s enough for now. I’m getting back to reading another essay on Beckett’s Endgame, certainly one of the strangest plays I’ve ever read, but one that makes me want to write more plays!