James Franco criticizes HBO’s ‘Girls’ for its portrayal of men

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Does Franco have a point?

Is there a comedy on TV more polarizing than “Girls” at the moment? Despite all of the critical acclaim and an audience that is already devoted, it is a show that has brought heaps of criticism upon itself for a number of topics — including its lack of diversity and a lifestyle that frustrates many people who feel some of the characters should just get ordinary jobs.

Actor James Franco (who is already connected to the show’s executive producer in Judd Apatow) is now coming forward with his own opinion, and as a part of a lengthy blog on The Huffington Post (one in which he also touches on some of the themes above) one of the bigger criticism he has is that the show really doesn’t relate to him, and the male characters are not that representative of those who actually exist:

“I’ve read comments about Girls that said, in a nutshell, ‘I like the show, but I can’t see me in the show.’ I feel the same way. The guys in the show are the biggest bunch of losers I’ve ever seen. There is a drip who gets dumped because he bores his girlfriend; a dad who hits on his babysitter; a bevy of wussy hipsters who are just grist for the insatiable lust of the too-cool girl with the British accent; and the king of them all, the shirtless dude who talks funny and hides his stomach all the time. I know this sorry representation of men is fair payback for the endless parade of airheaded women on the West Coast male counterpart to ‘Girls,’ ‘Entourage,’ which in turn was fair payback for the cast of male dorks on ‘Sex in the City.'”

So does Franco have a point? Both yes and no. While the men on “Girls” are not as complex as their female counterparts, their silliness works to an extent, and actually helps to balance out some storylines that are too dark (and occasionally even too depressing) to be actually funny. Our biggest critique of “Girls” has been that it at times feels like a show trying too hard to be cool rather than funny, and the men help to remedy that situation.

Ultimately, we have a feeling that Franco’s comments are not going to change the mind of anyone who already loves the show. It has a style all its own, and love it or hate it Lena Dunham’s take on New York City life fills a hole that was previously empty — a gritty, dark comedy revolving around young women.

Do you think the men on “Girls” make the show problematic, or are they actually an asset to a show that often is too serious for its own good?

Photo: HBO

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