RE: LENA DUNHAM = you’re screwed
So I know you all must be thinking that we just lost the password to our WordPress account because we haven’t blogged since you still had tacky Christmas decorations up. Truth be told, we’re just big time shit shows right now. Julia is in a “life transition” and was actually, no joke, homeless for a while. Cheri is afraid of blogging. And I’m in the home stretch of a 3-year graduate acting program. I have stopped all important life tasks like laundry and groceries (see fridge pic) so that I may focus all my energy on not falling down in the next 10 days when I get my diploma and perform in our agent showcase in NYC. Which you all should come to because…. I play a Lord of the Rings themed stripper in a scene I wrote with my funny friend Matt Zambrano. (Spoiler alert- I wear a princess Leia bra and spock ears)
ANYway I am writing in response to GIRLS. In the midst of trying to finish graduate school in Denver and move back to NYC I have been getting tons of calls and emails about Lena Dunham’s new show GIRLS on HBO.
“So GIRLS is basically Hot Mess. That sucks” Wow friend- thank you so much! This is so helpful. Now that I know, I’ll be sure to dump four years of hard work and our upcoming 3rd season and go back to data entry. Thank god I got your email in time.
I gotta say- at first I was a little threatened. For like 2 minutes. I had never heard of Lena because her first film Tiny Furniture came out while I was in year 2 of grad school and was worried I’d never be able to master the craft of playing a saggy-breasted Grandma in Chekhov. Wow – how priorities shift. But then I watched her film and I was so excited and proud to have her as a fellow filmmaker in this era of funny femme centric content. The film is really well done. I loved her style. But also sighed with relief because it’s not mine. At all.
Saying that our shows are mutually exclusive or whatever- is like saying The Office & Park and Rec are as well. Or more accurately The Big Bang Theory and Two & Half Men; they both star men under 40 who are not GQ models. (save Ashton- that’s another convo. Also I’ve never seen either show so don’t correct me, k? thanks.) Simply because our shows feature real life young women- dealing with real life situations does not make them the same. I understand that it’s hard for many people who are not used to such shocking camera shots as an attractive girl on the toilet. But believe it or not- women can do more than 3 funny things on camera! I know–I just got the memo- I was shocked too!!! HBO’s Girls- is a great show about 4 young women trying to figure it all out. What they want? How to get it? Hot Mess is about women who think life is great. We prance through NYC on a sunny fall day with a hot cup of fancy coffee and our ipod playing Kelly Clarkson, and then just as we think “This is it- I have arrived”- we ram into a 300 lb. construction worker, spilling our hot bev all over his white shirt causing him to growl. Girls stars actresses with famous parents, and deals with what happens when your rich ‘rents financially cut you off. Our parents have never financially supported us in the city. We worked at Sonic at age 15 to earn gas money. (FYI- I was a terrible car hop- I am afraid of Coney dogs and visors to this day) Lena’s mom is a famous artist and probably exposed her to incredible things growing up, let alone an amazing apartment to film her first movie in. MY dad is a professional banjo player, renowned throughout the Midwest. (See this clip) My mother once left her purse on an MTA bus and chased it down the street banging on the door to stop the bus in traffic and retrieve her wallet. (Disclaimer- I love my parents- they rock. They are super smart democrats who happen to live in a land locked red state)
The main point I want to make is Lena’s show is semi-autobiographical. It’s realistic, its dark, it’s edgy. It’s daily life told without polish. Hot Mess is scripted Non-Fiction. It’s about extraordinary true stories and survival. We are devoted to creating scripts of real stories, as they actually happened. Girls is to Studio 60 on The Sunset Strip as Hot Mess is to 30 Rock. So relax everyone, this is good news for Hot Mess. Shows like this get bloggers and critics talking about funny stuff made by women- and therefore us. It keeps us in the conversation and will hopefully get us in the room with a Network or major producer.
I think a lot of people want women to find each other threatening, it’s just like watching kittens wrestle – but hotter. To me, that is totally counterintuitive to what we, the women, want. If we are focused on what is happening between us in things like “Who wore it best” etc., then we don’t see the evil TV exec with the greased back hair and the scary underscoring stealing our ideas and turning them into bad shows that fail because we weren’t involved. I have always been big on this and so has Tiny Fey-
“People are going to try and trick you. To make you feel that you are in competition with one another. ‘You’re up for a promotion. If they go with a woman it will be between you and Barbara.’ Don’t be fooled. You’re not in competition with other women. You’re in competition with everyone……a bunch of us suggested that (women) collaborate instead of compete.” – Bossypants
In an awesome Ted Talk about women in politics and leadership, Madeline Albright said “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” I agree. I refuse to find other talented women threatening. They inspire me and give me hope. Sex in the City, The Golden Girls, and Mary Tyler Moore made way for all us. And I see no reason why show’s like Girls and Lena Dunham who is already connected and famous can’t make room for Hot Mess and for me- who is not all connected or famous- but determined, optimistic, and able to survive on payless shoes and generic shampoo. (the 99-cent kind)
Though I do love that in our press photos Lena and I seem to strike the same “I have to pee, I have a UTI and I can’t get a cab” pose. I hope to meet this exciting woman soon. Until then, hang tight. Hot Mess is picking back up this summer and lots of exciting stuff to come. Tell your friends, stay tuned, and don’t loan me anything fragile or of value. Over and out. ps: If anyone is related to, sleeping with, or has met the following people – please forward onto them. Lorne Michaels, Judd Apatow, Tina Fey, Mary Tyler Moore, Amy Poehler, Liz Meriwether, Hulu, Netflix, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, Showtime, Darren Star, Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, & Katherine Pope
Leave a Reply