Just as the O.C. begat Laguna Beach and Big Love begat Sister Wives, the interest in twenty-somethings trying to make it in New York has peaked: An "Emmy-winning" production company is looking for real life young women like the girls in Girls.
An ad posted on Craigslist on Friday reads:
Ever feel like life in the big frantic city is just too much? Are you a twenty-something young woman seeking fame, fortune, love or even a hookup with potential? How do you get from here to there when you can't even get a seat on the L train! Come to a casting call with our Emmy-winning production company and tell us your dreams and woes, your highs and lows, your tales of *** in the city and the outrageous opportunities that have come your way. Is your circle of friends bound together by not just the parties, fights, and brunches but frequent bouts of commiserating over your struggles? It isn't easy taking the road less travelled, but making it as a writer, designer, entrepreneur, actress/model or glorified dog walker never is!
The real life television show we are making follows the trials and tribulations of an ensemble of wise-beyond-their-years young ladies. We are with you living the dream in hipster Brooklyn and lower Manhattan. Only well educated and cultured extroverts need apply. Are you thinking about that show—"Girls?" Well we didn't say it but. . ..now that you mention it.
As a trope, the "bright young thing in the big city" storyline has been done: That Girl, starring Marlo Thomas, first aired in 1966. Since then, there's been Rhoda, Laverne & Shirley, and even, to some extent, sitcoms like Kate & Allie and Punky Brewster. In the late '90s, Sex And The City dominated the consciousness in terms of what it was to be single and defining yourself in New York; the short-lived How To Make It in America was a more recent, more male-oriented attempt at telling the tale.
Now Girls has thrown a spotlight on the "educated, cultured extroverts," the book-smart/relationship-naive young women this city is teeming with. But where Girls concerns itself with one specific, very narrow slice of this demographic — white, cisgendered, heterosexual broke Brooklyn dwellers — a reality show, done properly, could present a more accurate version of events. There are plenty of clever, well-educated twenty-somethings making twenty-something in this town, and not all of them are white. Or straight. Or accepting money from their parents for rent. Girls may be one entertaining way to tell a story — with its deranged wardrobe choices and narcissistic goals — but those of us who live here know that there's a wide range smart young ladies in this town, an international, multiculti mix of gender, sexuality, race, styles, dreams and passions, from the glossy PR gals to those interested in non-profits, science or tech. This city's a magnet for folks from around the globe hoping to do interesting things with their lives. Whether or not casting directors can lure these people out — whether or not these people would deign to appear on a reality show — remains to be seen. Usually reality shows don't necessarily reflect the actual state of affairs, but with the right casting, a reality show could get closer to a more universal truth than Girls.