HBO ‘Girls’ antithesis of how I want my daughters to turn out!

HBO has a new show called “Girls” that all the critics are loving. I sat down to watch it the other day and came away hoping to God my daughters don’t turn out that way.

It features a group of girls living in New York City who seem to be not so gainfully employed. (One appears to have a job.) The main character of the show, Hannah, has in fact been unpaid intern for two years since she graduated from college allowing her parents to pay for her to live in one of the most expensive cities on earth!

The crux of the pilot is her parents (FINALLY) cut her off. The dad doesn’t want to but the mom says enough is enough – plus she wants a lake house.

So Hannah all of a sudden (she’s had two years on the dole!) has to figure out how to get a job and provide for herself.

Another exciting aspect of the show is their love lives. The two main characters do a walk-and-talk where we learn the hierarchy of trying to communicate with men now. The boy she likes won’t “text” her back. Texting is apparently very low in the preferred method of communication.

Despite the fact that she can’t get him to text her, she shows up on his doorstep when she’s just been fired from her unpaid internship (tough to manage) and then lets him do her like a dog even though it’s obvious he doesn’t care for her at all. (I need to mention here that it is extremely graphic!)

You almost want to show the scene to your daughters and say this is a guy that doesn’t really like her. This is a guy just using her for sex who doesn’t care how she feels at all. And in fact doesn’t even put the condom on. This is a girl whose self-esteem is so low she would let a guy treat her this way. Don’t be this way!!

I am with the mom on the show – you do not get to do an unpaid internship for two years and live in New York City and expect your parents or your grandparents to fund it. Michael calls it being on “scholarship.” It’s just not right people. Get a freakin’ job and live within your means.

My parents were willing to pay for four years of college and that was it. (I graduated early. I didn’t even cost them four years.) If you wanted graduate school then you had to pay for it. And you better have a job before you smacked that cap and gown on. (In fact, I didn’t even attend UGA’s graduation ceremony because I was  at work that day at the AJC.)

It is compelling, horrifying television. I’m sure I’ll watch it again – if only to learn how I don’t want my daughters to turn out!

Could the creators of the show mean this is a cautionary tale? Do they mean this to be a true reflection of the Millennial Generation? If so, this country is big trouble.

How do we keep our girls from turning out this way? How do help them have some self-respect and some shame in sponging off their parents? How do we make sure they have drive?

Have you seen the show? What did you think? (It airs on Sunday nights.)

43 comments Add your comment

shaggy

April 20th, 2012
6:46 am

Ladies, I WAS the one that never called you back, after rocking your world the night before. I was prolific. I worked in the entertainment industry, so targets were many. The difference I see from reading about this crappy reality show that I will never watch, is I had respect and manners. In the time we were together by mutual choice to…well, you know, I treated you like a queen. I never spoke badly about you afterwards, no calling you a bitch to impress my peers or stoke my ego. I never sought to hurt you or have power over you. I loved free spirits like myself.
Ultimately, I did mature, and find my soul mate, who IS my reigning queen. We want to rule our fiefdom together until we die and beyond if that is possible. I don’t regret sowing my wild oats. It directly led me to my queen, so if I had chosen differently, maybe shaggy ends badly.

With that said, this former horn dog has this advice to you mothers of sons and daughters. Teach them respect, manners, and to love themselves first. It was MY mother that made sure I learned and followed this early on. I never forgot and remember it still.

catlady

April 20th, 2012
6:53 am

First, teach your daughters not to measure or pattern their lives on celebrities, on what they see on TV. My church says, “Raise them up in the admonition of the Lord.” Eschew the superfulous, the shallow, the tawdry.

NAGA

April 20th, 2012
7:01 am

Just rename the show “Democratic Girls”.

Do you really have to watch a “Reality TV Show” to understand how not for your girls to turn out to be???

Jeff

April 20th, 2012
7:01 am

And yet we have an increasing number of females who truly believe that reason for the feminists movement was so they could do and say all the bad things that the worst of men did and said and be celebrated for it.

The Deal

April 20th, 2012
7:25 am

NAGA, the show isn’t a reality show. It’s a fictional comedy, and it is hilarious. It is not appropriate for girls; it is targeted for adults and, thus, contains adult humor and situations.

pws

April 20th, 2012
7:46 am

Wow, this one blew me away. Thanks Theresa, for the synopsis of the program, now I know I will never watch it. How do we raise girls to be self confident, and have self esteem? We have to show them by example, we have to be moms with self esteem, and be moms that teach, love, and not try to live out our own youths through our kids. We have to be strong enough to tell them “no” a lot of times, and the reason is “because I said so”. We have to be their parents, not their friends. We have to love them enough to be the bad guy in their eyes sometimes, and believe me, that’s what we are failing at today, because we take the easy way and say yes to them most of the time. We raised two beautiful daughters, who are both independent women. We are still helping the youngest while she is in medical school, but she did her part by keeping her hope scholarship the entire time she was in undergraduate school. The money we would have used for undergrad, we assist her with now wiht her living expenses, but she has student loans that she will have to pay back for tuition. It’s called teaching them responsiblilty, and then letting them fly when the time is right!

library volunteer

April 20th, 2012
7:49 am

What I don’t understand is why anyone would pay money to have this trash in your home.

Augusta

April 20th, 2012
8:01 am

Yet another “reality” show, that does not include REALITY!!!!!

It’s just a tv show Theresa. Don’t worry about your daughters taking this in. Remember TV is entertainment…….and if you don’t want them to watch it……well you as a parent still have control.

☺☻Have A Smile!

April 20th, 2012
8:31 am

Another show about “first world problems”?

I’ll pass.

Augusta

April 20th, 2012
8:43 am

Jersey Shore, Bad Girls Club, Gossip Girls……..HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE shows…..all they depict that Entitlement mentality…..NONE of those shows are viewed at my home. I can honestly say that, as my kids DO NOT have TVs in their rooms. We have one TV in the house, and it’s in the Family Room.

Roberta Higginbotham

April 20th, 2012
8:44 am

“How do we keep our girls from turning out this way?”, “How to have help them have some self respect and some shame in sponging off their parents?”, “How do we make sure they have drive?” – You’re joking, right? I would hope parents should be able to answer these questions BEFORE they have kids.

K's Mom

April 20th, 2012
8:45 am

@PWS you are spot on, but I will take it a step further. I do not want my children to have self esteem, I want them to have self confidence. Self esteem is thinking highly of one’s self, self confidence is instilling values and work ethic so that your kids believe they can problem solve and make decisions on their own. That may be semantics but since parents have been solely focused on self esteem depression rates in children and teens have skyrocketed.

I heard John Rosemond speak on Wednesday and again, I encourage all parents to read his books on what we are doing to our children by being their friends and solving all of their problems for them.

Voice of Reason

April 20th, 2012
8:57 am

It could be that this show was designed entirely to be a warning to others.

If that was it’s true goal, I say, “BRAVO!!!”

JOD

April 20th, 2012
9:23 am

I’m glad I don’t have HBO if this is what passes for entertainment. Agree 100% with pws and K’s Mom.

My parents were very clear in their expectations for me with respect to school and support funds. I plan to do the same for DD – work hard and this is what we will do; mess around and slack off and this is what will happen. I can’t relate to anyone who would sponge off their parents for years as an adult – just don’t get it.

Scooby

April 20th, 2012
10:06 am

If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Simple.

Denise

April 20th, 2012
10:47 am

@K’s mom….My cousin died last month and her children are at a complete loss. I don’t mean because their mother died but because they don’t know how to do anything for themselves because their mother is gone. The oldest is 26 this year and the youngest will be 18 at the end of the month. She was both friend and mother and I’m not sure which she was more of; I’m guessing friend as they grew older. My cousin was amazing and took care of EVERYTHING for EVERYBODY and now EVERYONE in her family is sitting around clueless. I feel sorry for them all because they don’t know any better. I don’t think my mother intentionally taught me how to be independent and to do things for myself as much as I learned because she DIDN’T do everything for me. What I do know, at least in my family, is that the more “helpless” you appear the more help you get. No “get it together on your own”, no “I’m done helping you”, no “you can’t have it if you can’t afford it”.

motherjanegoose

April 20th, 2012
11:06 am

A bit off topic….I am in Wyoming and met a pleasant young woman last night who is a Chemical Engineer. She told me that many parents /teachers/ couselors have no idea about the salary and jobs in the field, in that you can have a six figure salary with a Bachelor’s Degree. She thinks more HS students should be informed of it. Just a thought and if you have that degree, with a job and salary to match…perhaps you will be just fine.

gleepuke

April 20th, 2012
11:17 am

While your at it -no condemnation of GLEE ? promoting gay lifestyle, casual teenage sex, teenage pregnancy the liberal hollywood crowd can’t help inserting their warped morals into every tv show and movie, just last night a show that had great possibilites “Touch” had to insert an Asian lesbian couple into the show -tring to have a baby from a donor-goodbye Touch and the rest of your morally corrupt hollywood crap

Scooby

April 20th, 2012
11:23 am

@gleepuke…which offended you more – that they were Asian or lesbians?

Common Sense

April 20th, 2012
11:26 am

HBO is a waste of money. The last (and maybe only) worthwhile show it did was Band of Brothers. I’m surprised it doesn’t go bankrupt in this day of Netflix, On Demand movies, and streaming video. If you subscribe to it, you’re just providing more money to support this kind of content.

catlady

April 20th, 2012
11:26 am

I will say you don’t spend much time on their problems (in a developmentally appropriate way). You spend time biting your tongue (if you have to) and saying, “What are YOU going to do about that?” Or, “How did you handle that?”
Bringing up your children with not only a sense of responsibility but also of efficacy provides them with very powerful tools.

pj

April 20th, 2012
11:28 am

I agree with Jeff and Library girl. I would take pws’ comments further and say that a girl’s self-esteem and relationships with men are patterned on her relationship with her FATHER and that of the relationship between her parents, whether they are married and/or live together. Sometimes there is no relationship, sometimes it’s great, and sometimes her dad is not a good example. Mom’s can only do so much, like NOT having the bad example type of man in her life. You teach by example, not by what you say.

K's mom

April 20th, 2012
11:29 am

@ Denise, I am so sorry for you loss and I hate that your cousin’s children will grow up in a baptism by fire scenario. I have a 13 yo stepchild who has been made to do nothing and has been treated with only the intention of putting a smile on her face primarily by her mom, but my husband has been guilty of this too and now sees the error of that. Unfortunately, she has no critical thinking skills and can do almost nothing for herself other than study, which is important but you do not get a job just because you have study skills. She will be in college in 5 years and my husband is scared to death of her being on her own because he knows how far behind she is life skills. I have tried to instill some self confidence and self reliance in her and she just thinks I am a big meanie because I expect chores to be done and instead of doing things for her, I ask her to think through how she should handle it. I do not see her often because her mom just does whatever she wants. Because of all of this and work I do with college women, I am all too familiar with the millenial generation and how badly they are lacking in life skills. I am determined that my boys will leave my home with character, work ethic, manners and critical thinking skills. Again, the self esteem myth is not high on my list of priorities.

pj

April 20th, 2012
11:31 am

Catlady and Denise: spot on. I see so much of the “helping” type of parenting among my own friends (especially with boys) and the helpless adults they’ve raised

and motherjanegoose, I’m copy/pasting your comment for my high-achieving daughter who is about to graduate hs and like/is good at chemistry. thanks : )

Denise

April 20th, 2012
11:33 am

@MJG – I have a degree in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (don’t use either even though I am an engineer) and I definitely didn’t come out of school making 6 figures. I went into ChemE for the money, though. :-)

RRG

April 20th, 2012
11:50 am

K’s mom are you living my life :). SD is 12 no life skills, she sure can study though and bring home the A’s. As long as she does this mom and dad are satisfied. All other aspects of life . . . let’s just say it’s a little scary. No street smarts to speak of. I have a bio son who is also 12. Being a single parent for 10 years I had to push him. At first I thought maybe I’m being too hard on him but after being around SD I’m even harder.

I did catch the show and I thought it was a true representation of the 20 somthing’s (I’m 35) here at work. I have never met such an entitled group in my life. I see SD fitting in perfectly with this group. I may not be able to control how she’s being raised but I can control my son. I’m on the job!

ABC

April 20th, 2012
12:05 pm

@Common Sense, HBO has had more hits than misses, and some of the best series ever on television, including The Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, I could go on. Sure they the occasional miss like with the show everyone is discussing here, but I would say they have a better track record than most networks, with the possible exception of AMC which has The Walking Dead, Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Killing!

BlondeHoney

April 20th, 2012
12:11 pm

@MJG, my Navy boy’s degree is chemical engineering; when he graduated from FSU, the college of engineering had only about 35 graduating but 100% of them had jobs waiting for them. I don’t think the business majors could say the same. And for the last time, that show is NOT a reality show, it’s fictional. I love HBO’s original programming; it’s a thousand times better than most of the stuff on commercial TV. Game of Thrones, Bill Maher, Life & Times of Tim, original movies like Game Change, I could go on & on. Don’t like it, don’t watch as Scooby says. And I LOVE Glee :)

K's mom

April 20th, 2012
12:11 pm

@RRG, my son is 2 and I am due to deliver baby #2 in a week and a half. I sometimes feel like I am way to hard on my 2yo trying to make sure he is capable and well mannered. I also do not want him to think he is going to have wife who will do everything for him as soon as he leaves my house, so he will learn to cook, clean, basic car maintenance, write a thank you note and go to a job interview appropriately prepared and dressed. I am 37, I was single until I was 33 and there were a lot of things I had to learn to do on my own because my dad is 3 hours away and I did not have a husband. I can check oil, change a tire, replace air filters, pick out new tires and pay for them, buy a car and a house on my own and pay for them, I can travel for business on my own. I see too many young women fitting into this group of someone else will always be there to do things for me and clean up my mess and I hate that my husband’s child will likely be one of them.

RRG

April 20th, 2012
12:22 pm

You are the spitting image of my sisters and I :) Keep your head up. I can already see my hard work paying off. For instance I’m kind of slack on Saturday. House cleaning is a must but I may or may not cook. SD will sit in her room all day and not eat anything unless I specifically call her for a meal. My bio son just shakes his head. We don’t say word. She’ll come downstairs all doubled over in pain because she hasn’t eaten all day. She can’t even fix herself a sandwich or a bowl of cereal. My husband completely ignores all of this. I tried to correct the behavior at first but in his eyes I was just being mean to precious so I left that alone. She has a mom and dad. I was raised in the country by my mom. My dad wasn’t too far away but we learned from her. I used to swear that she was just being mean to us making us cut the grass, paint the house, carry and stack the wood, clean the house, and anything else she could think of. I now know that she was doing all of this because she loved us and wanted us to become independent women. It worked. We have to instill in our children the value of hard work. Sure they’ll get bumps and bruises but it didn’t kill us and it won’t kill them.

Denise

April 20th, 2012
12:38 pm

@K’s mom….thank you. Losing my cousin has been hard on all of us. She was the cousin I followed around when I was a little girl. :-)

It is said that mothers raise their daughters and love their sons and I will say that is the case in my immediate family…and you can see the difference in me and my brother. I can say, too, that I am also a “helper” for everyone. I do what I can do to keep/get everyone out of trouble. Sometimes I feel guilty for having so much when some don’t have as much…regardless of the why for both sides. I’m working on that so that friends and family don’t become dependent on me and I don’t become dependent on being needed. Being alone, sometimes I just need to feel needed. Just being honest. I don’t know if that is why so many people are “helpers”. I know that it’s hard for ME to say no but I’m working on it. Like I’ve said before I’m usually 0 or 100. I’m at 0 with my friends and I’m transitioning down with my family…slowly.

[...] This gives a brief (if overly patronizing and insensitive) summary of what bothered me about HBO’s new show: Girls. [...]

Ren

April 20th, 2012
1:31 pm

First of all, I am surprised by the backlash a simple show is getting, but that is besides the point. However, the most ironic thing I find about the post is that THE PARENTS were the ones who WILLFULLY chose to support their DAUGHTER for TWO years (I capitalized to emphasize my point). Had Hannah been cut off the second she graduated from college, would we be having this conversation? Probably not, and Hannah would of had to find a job right then and there. The only difference I see is that her parents enabled her to live a certain lifestyle, and then cut her off from it without warning.

So, who do I blame in this scenario? THE PARENTS. Instead of showing kids how “not” to be (and let’s be honest here: people make mistakes. They chose the wrong partner, the wrong friends, the wrong activities, and that is life. At one point we have all made mistakes, and we live and learn from it), show parents how “not” to parent so their kids don’t turn out to be self-entitled snobs instead.

Can I blame Hannah in this scenario? No. Her parents gave her everything (because they could financially). If they hadn’t, well, like I said before, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Cal

April 20th, 2012
3:18 pm

I think you’re missing the point of the show Theresa. Unlike most of the trite and simplistic shows on TV, this one isn’t trying to tell kids what to do or how to be. It’s very self conscious in this regard, and the main character/writer/director acknowledges that she is spoiled and not a role model. I find it refreshingly honest, and I think it seems pretty funny/intelligent at times. I think you should try to have a more open mind about–it’s not the same TV experience as most of the things we’re used to, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Also, you can use it as time to talk with your daughters about the issues raised and how the main character is struggling to stand on her own too feet because of her parents.

motherjanegoose

April 20th, 2012
4:54 pm

As most of you can guess, I know nothing about Chemical Engineering. I was simply told by the lady last night there are great jobs for those who are able to get that degree. I am in a mining area here. She is from California and comes out often for contract jobs.

I do meet lots of kids, my own kid’s age, who are bright kids but have no life skills. I will say that my two were quite a bit more prepared than many of their friends, when they left for college. They had both had part time jobs for 2 years and knew the ins and outs of banking and how to handle their own finances. They had also interacted with a myriad of different people and learned a lot about how families are all different. My daughter continues to tell me things that her room mates do ( in a wow…this is neat Mom…did you know this?) and I reply, “We did things one way on our family but other families do things different ways…you have to decide which ones work for you. You have a good head on your shoulders and lots of things will come your way…many neat ideas and some bad ones too!”

Both of mine have made a comfortable niche with their employers, who appreciate the work ethic they showed up with and continue to display. When parents make their children dependant on them for everything, I do not think this is healthy.

JATL

April 20th, 2012
6:26 pm

“Girls” is NOT a reality show people! Geeeez -even “reality” shows aren’t REAL! I found it pretty boring. However, I LOVE HBO and Showtime. I think they’re absolutely worth the money with a lot of fantastic shows on them. “Girls” isn’t supposed to be a guide to how your teenagers should live for all of you blaming tv shows on how kids act today. YOU are supposed to be that guide and teacher, and you may want to start by instilling in them that television and movies are entertainment, not reality.

And no, I will not pay for my sons to live off of me for any amount of time in an ultra-expensive city after college. If they can afford to live in a place because of their own job, that’s great, but if not they can choose a less expensive place to live that also offers them some type of employment. Hey -sometimes that means having five roommates and waiting tables and answering phones for a few years. They’ll still learn A LOT in that time!

Fresh Spring

April 20th, 2012
7:15 pm

Perfect ! I LOVE this show. Get with the program everyone ! This is what our future generation is to be. WHY is there a problem with this content ? OMG. Embrace the 21st century people !

Yet again ….. I ask ….. which is the boy in this blogger’s picture at the top ? The children look the same. Please validate.

DB

April 21st, 2012
12:44 am

@K’s Mom: At 13, you still have plenty of time to teach life skills. Your husband should only worry if he doesn’t have a plan for teaching those skills — HE needs to take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and start some reality training for his daughter. As a suggestion, it’s amazing what working in a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter or a battered woman’s shelter can do for a kid’s outlook on life, and putting more and more responsibility on a child for being responsible for purchases of things beyond food, clothing and school supplies. At 13, she’s old enough to babysit and start having to be responsible to and for someone else.

My son graduated last year. He is finishing up a highly competitive dream internship in May, in a place where “if you don’t have a job here, you can’t get a job here.” (If I told you where, you would instantly recognize for whom he is working and where – MJG knows, but in the interests of keeping a low profile, I will be discrete.) He has been busy making innumerable contacts during his time, learning the way the world works there, is now weighing several job offers, and has clarified his post-graduate education plans. And yes, we helped support him during his internship, by helping with rent for minimal housing and food. Anything beyond that was his problem — so if he wanted any kind of life outside of work, he had to figure out a way to pay for it! This was an opportunity of a lifetime — but according to many of you, we should have just said, “No, sorry, you have to pass it up, because it’s more important for your self-esteem for you to get some crappy job and live in a hovel instead of having an experience that will shape the rest of your life.” Screw that, folks. I consider the last nine months to be money well-spent, and he has made the most of the opportunity (unlike the girl in “Girls”).

On another note, my husband successfully defended his dissertation for his Ph.D. today — he went back to get his doctorate 30 years after getting his masters and has spent the last five years going to school and doing research full time while at the same time continuing his professional practice. I am incredibly proud of him!

K's Mom

April 21st, 2012
12:50 pm

@DB, I would agree but she refuses to see him if she has to do work and her mom backs that up…it is an awful sitaution. He made her go work @ N. Fulton charities one day and you would have thought we had locked her in the basement and her mother told her I had orchestrated the whole thing because I loved my baby more than her. I have learned that stepchildren are a breed unto themselves, especially if the other parent can easily manipulate them into believing they are a victim. There is also a psychologist involved who is a moron who has told us that we can only reward her and have positive experiences at ourhome. Since I have consequences for my 2yo, that does not fly at my house so she sees myhusband away from the house. It sucks, but she has made the decision.

DB

April 21st, 2012
3:26 pm

@K’s Mom: That sounds like a painful situation. :-( Her mother sounds like a piece of work — there’s probably a reason they are divorced :-)

K's Mom

April 23rd, 2012
11:49 am

@DB, it is most hard on my husband, but he knows it is not my fault. I can sleep at night knowing I have done everything for her the same way I do it for my son (clothes, nice room, birthday parties, favorite meals and yes, discipline when needed). I also know I had nothing to do with the divorce and that gives me great comfort. I hope one day that things will change, but I do not count on it.

Jean Glassberg

April 23rd, 2012
5:34 pm

To the creators of the new series “Girls” I am a mother and grandmother and have seen many absurd shows in my lifetime. I have never seen such smut and stupidity as on your show. Who created that dimwided plot. YOu should be ashamed of yourselves to pass it off as comedy. Are you kidding me, where is the humor? Take it off the air. Its soft porn and dumb.

I’m a Girls watcher « Infield Rules

April 23rd, 2012
8:09 pm

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