Lena Dunham Reflects On The 10 Year Anniversary Of ‘Girls’

No show has captured the flawed millennial experience better.

HBO Girls

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Lena Dunham has warmly reflected on the 10 year anniversary of her hit HBO series Girls. 

The controversial show first premiered on April 15, 2012, and centred on four incredibly flawed friends navigating the messiness of relationships, sex, and growing up in New York City.

It proved the antithesis to its predecessor Sex In The City by being unapologetic in its depictions of vaginas, OCD, and everything in between — including the notably haunting yet iconic rendition of Kanye West’s Stronger sung by main character Hannah’s best friend Marnie that would put Kendall Roy to shame.

The show catapulted Adam Driver into the spotlight through his breakthrough role as chaotic love interest Adam Sackler, as well as co-star Jemima Kirke — who played the British free spirit Jessa. She returned to the small screen after the show ended for Sex Education, and features in the upcoming Hulu adaptation Conversations With Friends.

As for creator and lead Dunham, Girls proved her Icarus moment — flying too close to the sun in a well-documented rise and fall with multiple controversies and cancellations over the years.

“There’s no Insta wrap-up that can describe the magic and mayhem of this journey, or room enough in a caption to celebrate the people I made the show with,” said Dunham on Sunday.

Girls copped deserved backlash for its lack of representation on the show — from a lack of POC characters throughout its six seasons, to hyper-focusing on the problems of a bunch of white middle-class girls who ultimately had safety nets every time they fell from grace.

“The audience is better equipped than I am to argue the finer points of what we did and didn’t do, so all I can say is: my life is too transformed to imagine a world without this having been my (admittedly singular) first grownup job,” said Dunham. As pointed out by The Guardian, “while Girls shouldn’t be credited for their success, the debate it prompted may have helped the likes of Issa Rae’s Insecure, and Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You make it to TV”.

The show delivered some beautifully simple scenes that still endear to this day: Marnie reconnecting with her ex-boyfriend Charlie for one last rendezvous, Hannah and her token gay BFF Elijah soothingly duetting Demi Lovato’s Cool For The Summer, and fourth group member Shoshanna being the only one to able to call out the bullshit of their toxic quad during a girls trip gone wrong.

One arc that stands out all these years on are is the heartache and pain of Hannah seeing Jessa fall in love with Adam — in a powerful realisation that clicks while attending a play about the bystander effect.

Girls offers a microcosm of a time both familiar and passed, capturing the millennial experience of the gig economy, open relationships, and, as continually professed by Shoshanna’s ex boyfriend Ray to be the bane of his existence, the hipster coffee joints in NYC’s increasingly gentrified blocks.

Yet ten years on it still offers a somewhat universal insight on being young, stupid, and your own worst enemy — maybe, just maybe, finding your feet on the other side of adulthood.

“To the many, many people who comprise the Girls microcosm: I hope I’ve shown you my love and gratitude along the way,” said Dunham. “Love Always, your Birthday Bitch.”