If there’s anything that makes me more exhausted than talking about Girls, a show that I actually very much enjoy, it is James Franco. Yes, James Franco: actor, artist, author, possible asshole, probable automaton, and various other words that begin with the letter A. Sadly, it has come to my attention that Franco has something to say about Girls and its creator, Lena Dunham.
Here’s just the first paragraph of his Huffington Post op-ed:
I don’t watch much TV, but strangely I have watched most episodes of HBO’s new series Girls. Of course, the show is produced by Judd Apatow, the man who gave me my first good acting job, playing a freak on the television show Freaks and Geeks, and my first great comedy role, Saul Silver in Pineapple Express, but that’s not why I’ve been watching. I got pulled in at the beginning simply because it seemed to portray my world — the one inhabited by struggling creative types in New York. I’m not saying I have to struggle to pay the rent like Lena Dunham’s character, Hannah, but there was a point, right before Judd cast me in Freaks and Geeks, when my parents cut me off because I wanted to go to acting school instead of UCLA. I worked at McDonalds, and my first suggestion to Hannah would be this: get a fucking job. If you really want to have experiences to write about, go to work; and if you really want to be an artist, take responsibility for yourself and wait some tables. You might mature a little in the process.
First of all: "first great comedy role"? I did a quick looksee over on Franco’s IMDb page and, uh, I don’t see many other great comedy roles listed there, unless we’re supposed to be counting his laughable portrayal of Alan Ginsberg in Howl. But I digress! Looking at just the first paragraph, which is the only part I read because I was worried about tearing out my own eyeballs, I can say that perhaps Franco does not realize that, yes, young creative types who are trying to be creative in New York City (or even other metropolitan places, such as L.A.) are generally averse to working at McDonalds, whereas Franco, the Great Savior of Art, is not. Also, Franco was not a college graduate when he was working at McDonalds, because he dropped out after a year. It would be nearly a decade before he went back to school to study EVERYTHING. I can imagine that a 19-year-old Franco was not much more mature than the 23-year-old protagonist of Girls.
Not to mention that this link-baiting post (congrats! you win!) is pretty late to the game, can’t we all agree that, just because the main character of a show is generally unlikable, it does not mean that it necessarily reflects the opinions and views of that character’s creator and the actor who plays her, even if they are both Lena Dunham? You know who has a couple of Masters degrees and might be able to figure that out? Mmmm, James Franco.
Oh, shoot. I continued reading:
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. (They seemed like dorks to me, at least, on the occasions when my ex-girlfriend tuned in while I happened to be around.)
And here is all I have as a response to James Franco’s breed of feminism: