In my perpetual quest to remain hip I try to keep my eyes and ears open. I sniff out emerging trends (Red jeans? Of course! Tucked into black boots? Hell no – Santa Alert) and admittedly, jump on a lot of late bandwagons (thank you, HBO OnDemand, for the perfection that is True Detective).
That said, after hearing my 17-year-old daughter gush over the HBO series “Girls,” a show about modern-day 20-something female friends trying to make their way in the world after college, I decided to give it a whirl.
I really didn’t care for it but she nudged me on.
I tried a few more episodes yet still got a weird, uneasy feeling in my stomach. I told her I just wasn’t that into it.
“Maybe you’re just too old” she shrugged.
What? Pffffft. I think not.
Bolstered by a slew of Golden Globe nominations, I gave it yet another shot. Still nothing. Nary a chuckle.
I got through all 10 episodes of the entire first season and numbly thought of all the miles I could’ve clocked on my treadmill had I just gotten off the couch once in those five hours…
But I believe I’ve figured out why an undeniably hip show is eluding my undeniably hip sense of humor.
The female characters are crude. Not in the Sex-and-the-City-Samantha-Jones cheeky kind of way but in a crass, Good-God-I-hope-my-daughter-doesn’t-do-that kind of way.
I get it. It’s a comedy. And I love comedy. But the whole desensitization of really (really) private things seriously gives me the heebie jeebies.
Also, I’m not entirely convinced college educated young women are so … I don’t know … self-loathing. Their flippant banter about oral sex and office harassment left me wondering if young women really do talk like this. (I’m kinda hoping to hear from a few after this … and I’m really hoping to be told I’m out to lunch. If you’re young and hip and reading this – please check in!)
I remember feeling the exact same way when my oldest son (now a semi-grown man at 19) used to watch those man-cave scratching movies like “Knocked Up” and “Pineapple Express.” Those movies made masturbation and getting stoned look like the epitome of hilarity. And (worse) normalcy. Poor, poor Seth Rogen’s mother …..
It finally dawned on me why these types of movies grate on my nerves and polarize me: seeing these “characters” puts a face on my very vision of parental failing. These larger than life portrayals of such flawed and unfazed youth are the stuff of my nightmares: kids with no direction, no money, no motivation, and the worst: no apartment of their own – Jesus Christ, they’re the scarlet letter symbolizing my utter failure as a mom.
No, no, NO!
I don’t want my kid spending his meager paycheck on weed.
And I’d rather die a thousand deaths than know my daughter was tolerating her boss’ hand on her skirt.
I honestly don’t know what I’d do – in real life – if these situations in these comedies were playing out in real time in my kids’ lives. What I do know is that I would find it decidedly Unfunny. (Quick aside: for an EXTREMELY funny look at flawed — yet SUCCESSFUL — Generation X, Y, whatevers …. check out “The Mindy Project” on FOX. She just rocks, is all.)
So yeah, maybe I’m not as hip as I used to be.
Maybe I’m simply more scared.
Damn this parenting thing.