Since the turn of the last century, the events that transpired last Sunday night can be rivaled only by the atrocities that shook our country on 9/11. On the evening of 1/13, we bore witness to a series of tragedies and travesties so horrifying and unjust that our nation may finally feel compelled to fight back.
In the course of a few hours, we were exposed to a season premiere of Girls so uninspired, so unfunny, and so filled with gratuitous nudity that we thought we could withstand no more. But like a tsunami that follows an earthquake, we soon learned that Lena Dunham won for best comedy actress, to which she responded by shitting on some of our — and allegedly her — comedy heroines. And then like a meteor attack that follows a tsunami, Jay Leno announced that Girls won for best comedy. Only Lady Edith could have woken up Monday morning to the same feeling of dread upon remembering how Sunday night changed everything. Forever.
We’ll recap the Girls season premiere in a later post and we can’t exactly sing the praise of the show’s competitors for best comedy. (Our country’s celebration of The Big Bang Theory as legitimate entertainment may speak more to the sad state of our culture than our obsession with guns or Taylor Swift.) So for now, we’ll focus on the farce of Lena Dunham being annointed the best actress in television comedy by the make-believe Foreign Press Association.
To understand the absurdity of Lena Dunham’s win, one need look no further than the brilliance of the other nominees. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a comedy actress’s comedy actress. (We’re neither comedians nor actresses, but we’re sure those who are would agree.) She inhabits Selina Meyer with the same expert timing and acuity as she did Elaine, to the point where we’ve forgiven her for Christine, both new or old. For this dance alone, Julia Louis-Dreyfus deserves to win the award every year for as long as the Hollywood Foreign Press pretends to exist. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler may be the most talented comic minds and performers living today — they nearly singlehandedly revived SNL after a time when Chris Kattan and Colin Quinn were allowed on stage, and they’ve created and helmed two groundbreaking shows. And Zooey Deschenal has very pretty blue eyes.
What distinguished Lena Dunham over Deschenal’s dreamy eyes and Louis-Dreyfus’s, Fey’s, and Poehler’s performances? Was it her self-indulgent exhibitionism? Her affected over-annunciation of words she thinks will resonate? Her penchant for upspeak? Her noble mission to find unlikely new locations where she can jam cupcakes down her face? Her courage in depicting the lives of pretentious, entitled, white, whiney, overprivileged brats to whom only Brooklyn trust-fund transplants could relate? Watching Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s reaction to the announcement of the winner, I imagined her channeling the late Lloyd Bentsen and saying to herself: “Hannah Horvath, I served with Elaine Benes. I knew Elanie Benes. Elaine Benes was a friend of mine. Lumpy young naked lady in the dress that Zac Posen would be foolish to include in a Target collection, you’re no Selina Meyer, and you are CERTAINLY no Elaine Benes.”
If it weren’t enough that Lena Dunham upstaged three geniuses and a pair of eyes like the ocean, after careening to the podium like a blind and elderly duck, she used her odd, grammatically-challenged and inartful speech to remind us how underserving she is. By referring to the other nominees’ achievements in relation to the help they provided in getting her through “middle school, mono, a ruptured eardrum, and her acuteful [sic] anxiety,” she emphasized what she perceives to be the others’ advanced age and her own craven need for the spotlight. She continued by declaring that “this award is for every woman who’s ever felt like there wasn’t a space for her.” Naturally, someone whose film was funded after college, was soon after handed a TV show by cable’s most prominent premium channel, and was later offered a $3.7 million book deal — all before the age of 27 — is someone who can relate to the plight of women lacking a creative outlet.
Stay stong during this difficult time, dear reader(s). There’s still hope that the Emmys will snub her.