Is ‘Girls’ set for a reality TV remake?
Desperate Housewives spawned the Real Housewives franchise; The O.C. inspired Lauren Conrad's successive series’; and National Geographic’s Living Nightmare was the seminal primetime special that paved the way for Jersey Shore. Well, it might have been.
Now, the latest (quasi) fictional series set to be re-worked into a pseudo-reality “lightly-scripted” notably quotable show is, surprise surprise, Girls.
Jezebel reports that an ad posted on Craigslist is calling on young “twenty-something” women in New York to “come to a casting call with our Emmy-winning production company and tell us your dreams and woes, your highs and lows, your tales of *** [sex, we assume] in the city and the outrageous opportunities that have come your way.”
The Craigslist ad shamelessly lifts the self-deprecating, blindly-narcissistic Lena Dunham legacy in the listing, conspicuously referencing Hannah and the gang’s relentless obsession with conceited self-analysis as well as their excruciating lack of self-awareness: “Is your circle of friends bound together by not just parties, fights, and brunches but frequent bouts of commiserating over your struggles? It isn’t easy taking the road less travelled, but making it as a writer, designer, entrepreneur, actress/ model or glorified dog walker never is!” Sure it is, you just have to get out of the coffee shop, abscond your quarter-life expectation hangover and take yourself to work every morning! But of course, if the potential show’s stars did that, when would they have time generate rating-bait? (Namely, that delectable Jessa-esque self-inflicted drama.)
The program-to-be seeks to “follow the trials and tribulations of an ensemble of wise-beyond-their-years young ladies” who are “living the dream in hipster Brooklyn and lower Manhattan.” Yes, the super-fresh middle-aged producers actually used the word hipster in an un-ironic context. The cringes don’t stop there, though: “Only well educated and cultured extroverts need apply. Are you thinking about that show—"Girls?" Well we didn't say it but...now that you mention it.”
Well, it was only a matter of time before this year’s Golden Globe’s show-of-shows was awarded its own E!/ style network/ LifestyleYOU/ MTV/ TLC (we assume) iteration. But it's hard to help but feel that this move is rather problematic one – Girls is celebrated for the way it attempts (and often successfully) achieves it's signature cocktail if of debased, dysfunctional clusters, and we are skeptical whether the “real” girls (and boys) the show seeks will enact losing their virginity/ peeing on their plus one/ blasting their ex-lover with gun-and-panda Emjoi’s with cameras around. The appeal of Girls lies in its constructed (horrendously gauche) candidness, which is something that simply cannot be captured outside the perforated boundaries of scripts or covert conversations.
Of course, not everyone is negative about the potential for a reality re-make. Girls has copped much criticism for omitting non-white, underprivileged “twenty-something” voices on camera, and Jezebel sees potential for another in-the-same-vein show to fill this gap: “Girls concerns itself with one specific, very narrow slice of this demographic — white, cisgendered, heterosexual broke Brooklyn dwellers — [and] a reality show, done properly, could present a more accurate version of events. There are plenty of clever, well-educated twenty-somethings making twenty-something in this town, and not all of them are white. Or straight. Or accepting money from their parents for rent. Girls may be one entertaining way to tell a story — with its deranged wardrobe choices and narcissistic goals — but those of us who live here know that there's a wide range smart young ladies in this town, an international, multiculti mix of gender, sexuality, race, styles, dreams and passions, from the glossy PR gals to those interested in non-profits, science or tech.
“Usually reality shows don't necessarily reflect the actual state of affairs, but with the right casting, a reality show could get closer to a more universal truth than Girls.”
Either way, we’ll probably still watch, and just quietly are considering purchasing a cheeky flight to New York to give the audition a red hot crack.