With the fresh report of Girls being cancelled, those on either side of the love/hate relationship have expressed their viewpoints on the matter, with fans in the laudatory camp exhibiting pathetic forlornness and detractors in the pit of vitriol relieved to see something so wretched reach its conclusion.
And yet, no matter what one’s opinion may be about the show, it can’t be denied that it has irrevocably changed the shape and population of North Brooklyn forever. Unlike Sex and the City, the godmother show it pays overt homage to, Girls was set in a neighborhood that does not have the timeless appeal (and rent price points) of Manhattan, a borough that has always served as the epicenter, regardless of how much Brooklyn has come up in the past ten years.
With Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), there was a hopeful, classic air–a lifestyle that understandably made women who watched it in their 20s want to come to New York and live the same way. Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham), on the other hand, is a toad who strives loosely for greatness, also in the field of writing. And yet, sadly, this is all women of Dunham’s age can believe in: dissatisfying sexual encounters that take place in shitty, overpriced apartments. It somehow seems glamorous to them, like something they could only dream of possessing. And this is precisely why the Greenpoint/Williamsburg/Bushwick nexus has become irrevocably fucked. Not just in terms of how much it costs to live there, but the type of clientele it will now always attract as a result of Girls.
While many like to emphasize all of the “positive” elements that Dunham has portrayed on the show, like OCD and ugly nudity, what about all of the grossly misrepresenting cliches? Like accidentally snorting crack at a warehouse party in Bushwick or having a one-off tryst in the middle of the day with an older man in Greenpoint. These misguided attempts at putting what is, for lack of a better term, a certain “bohemia” on display through the skewed lens of Dunham’s sheltered perspective have only hammered the nails in the coffin of these neighborhoods even further.
And though Girls is finally ending, like Sex and the City, with its sixth season, the women who have watched it will forever have the tainted notion of what it means to be a directionless twenty-something living in Brooklyn. Moreover, even with the series’ completion, it all goes back to the old adage, “When you cut one head off, two more grow back in its place” (i.e. The Bedford Stop).