The Wrap’s TV critic Tim Molloy touched off an uproar this week when he asked a question about the extensive use of nudity on HBO’s “Girls” during the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association.
But his perhaps in-eloquently worded query is one I’ve wondered myself while binge-watching the show.
Exec producer Judd Apatow called Molloy’s question not only “offensive” but “sexist” and “misogynistic.”
Here’s what Molloy asked the panel: “I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity on the show — by [Dunham] in particularly. I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you go, ‘Nobody complains about all the nudity on Game of Thrones,’ but I get why they do it. They do it to be salacious and titillate people. And your character is often nude at random times for no reason.”
Molloy’s misstep was trying to backpedal and explain away the “trap” he expected to walk into. By doing so, he fell into a much more insidious snare where he at least seemed to be kicking off a commentary that said the “Girls” nudity was not “titillating,” there by launching the great debate over the way women and the ideal body types and gender norms are portrayed in the media.
I’m all about celebrating the female form in all of it’s glory, and trying to create art that actually reflects life. I’m not offended by the T&A on display. But when I watch Lena Dunham’s character, Hannah, crawling into the tub with one of her closest pals I’m always perplexed.
This has never happened to me, so my mind immediately starts ricocheting between two points: “Oh my god, are my girlfriends and I not close enough?” my internal monologue squeals. “Is this something everyone else is doing and I’ve missed out?”
I start polling friends. They all swear this is new to them, which brings my brain to the other end of the spectrum. “Why is a show touted for its realistic portrayal of young women creating a scenario that is so unfamiliar and seemingly so unrealistic? Or am I just getting…old?”
The void between my late-twentysomethings and my early-twentysomethings never seemed so vast.
Have I become so prematurely prudish and unhip that I simply can’t relate? Is there something just a little bit off about some of the portrayals on “Girls” and Molloy has the misfortune of being a man with an awkwardly-worded inquiry? Or is the nudity, at least in the case of the co-bathing, just there as a physical reminder of the close bond the characters share?
What do you think?