I have seen many complaints about Girls only being relatable to a small sliver of the audience. I have also read someone defending it saying that we can't relate to the characters on Dowtown Abbey but still love it. I like Downtown Abbey. I think of Mary Crawley as a bit spoiled, high-minded, even snooty but still good natured and I like her with her faults and I am far from a British aristocrat. The maids, footmen, valets, and cook - I can't relate to their situation either... Secret is we do relate to them through their experiences, like Daisy learning to stand up for herself in a respectful way. Enough about Downtown Abbey...
I think you CAN write a show about spoiled privileged self-absorbed white girls in their early 20's. Actually, that show could be really funny because on some level who doesn't like laughing at privileged sheltered girls stumbling through a big city? At the same time we are laughing, we are also being comforted by the fact that life isn't easy for anyone, learning from their mistakes, and watching them grow. I'm also not troubled by the fact that all the friends are white - I found this to be somewhat realistic. Even a boyfriend who is too nice can be upsetting - you want a partner, an equal, with opinions and not a puppy dog that follows you around. This sounds like I am going to start praising the show? All the main complaints about it don't bother me. However, my point of criticism was it forgot to be entertaining and the situations are poorly written. It isn't funny and I am bored to tears while watching it. The characters are also often just plain annoying.
I saw an episode one night not knowing what it was. It was so boring, drab, and lifeless, I kept thinking what is this? Is it a show? Who could produce something so vanilla, limp, and dull? Thanks to the info button, I learned it was 'Girls.' So I googled it and found rave reviews and decided to watch some episodes - maybe I couldn't appreciate the show without seeing the story that came before. I watched the first 3 episodes, that makes 4 total and 4 too many. The show just fails on multiple levels, mostly at the satire it tries to be. I admit there are brief moments when the show rises above and realizes its potential, again, very briefly. Sometimes the lack of comedic timing kills a scene. The dialogue and interactions are also very simplistic and there is never any subtext.
Things that bugged me in the first 2 episodes:
The lighthearted abortion party was a little disturbing and I am completely pro-choice. So the British girl isn't the type to be emotional but she doesn't show up to her abortion and just confessed to you that she does want children (the conversation about her wanting children was one of the most badly written scenes I have ever watched.). What is your response? You are worried about your friend who is facing a huge life decision and is unsure about her choices? Worried she may be somewhere needing your support? Nope, you are annoyed she stood you up. What? The situation could be funny but NEVER in the way it is presented. The show then wimped out and balked on the unwanted pregnancy. (Also, she would have had a pregnancy test and medical exam to schedule an abortion so was she miscarrying?)
Hannah makes a joke about date rape in her interview. OK, nose-diving in an interview should be funny and make you uncomfortable. Her date rape joke makes you cringe but not cringe at how out of touch Hannah is but cringe with who wrote this terrible show?
Hannah's lover during sex wants her to pretend to be an 11 year old girl that he took from the street and is going to send home to her parents covered in semen (they use the other word) while shoving his hand in her face. He's a jerk but still this one, I... don't... get.
Alright, it's all to character development and we aren't supposed to think they are the greatest people in the world - they are real with flaws. They certainly are not completely awful but whether we are supposed to be laughing at or horrified by them, we should be invested in their story. The characters inspire nothing. They aren't interesting, they aren't funny. I didn't like them or hate them and I didn't care. You don't have to like a character to root for them. I also had a nagging sense that the show was telling superficial people, it is OK to be this self absorbed.
You shouldn't have to be living in a narrow section of society to like a show and relate to the characters - most shows I watch are far from depicting me but I like them, I relate, I laugh, I cry. So when a large chunk of people think a show is not relatable, it's the show's fault and not the viewers. The shows biggest failure is it's boring. I didn't absolutely hate it despite it making me cringe at times. It's just a blank void as vacuous as its characters.