Friendships mature with age

Contact Katy Coduto at [email protected].  

Katy Coduto

If you haven’t caught on already, I love the girls of “Girls.” Sometimes, they’re wonderful people who are easy to invest in and to cheer for. Sometimes, they’re the very worst people you can imagine, and their actions on screen are horrifying.

As I follow season three of “Girls,” watching as Hannah navigates the adult world in her first stable job while Marnie attempts to move on from Charlie and Shoshanna finishes college, I’m also re-watching all of “Sex and the City.” When “Girls” premiered in 2012, it drew many comparisons to the original HBO show. Four friends living and loving in New York City — how different can the two shows be when they share that premise?

Well, they’re starkly different, and it’s interesting to watch the shows at the same time. At their core, they are undeniably similar. Carrie Bradshaw and Hannah Horvath are both writers, are both trying to make names for themselves, are both helpless with relationships – and that’s about where the similarities end. Because from there, “Girls” is about individual exploration and self-discovery; “Sex and the City” is about figuring yourself out within your group of friends.

Lena Dunham, the writer/director/star of “Girls,” is showing young women everywhere how they can become individuals. Her main character is in her mid-20s, has nothing figured out and isn’t afraid to admit it. Dunham shows herself in realistic sexual situations and argues with her friends regularly. Their relationships aren’t stable because their lives aren’t stable.What “Girls” shows is that you will fight with your friends in your 20s. The core message is that you will all do dumb things to hurt each other, and you will take that time to learn to forgive each other. It’s honest, and Dunham makes the viewer feel like this is an OK – and necessary – stage to go through. It’s how you grow up.

“Sex and the City” is on the opposite end of the spectrum. It shows four women in much more stabilized times of their lives. This is a comparison most have failed to make when looking at these two shows. These women are older, have careers and while unlucky in love, are typically comfortable with each other. Carrie’s season two break-up with Mr. Big shows reliance on a friend group that supported her throughout the tumultuous relationship and one that will be there long after he’s gone. They might not agree with her choices, but they give her a backbone when she doesn’t necessarily have one.

Watching the two HBO shows together doesn’t exactly show young women how to “have it all,” one of this century’s everlasting debates. But it does give insight into growing up and managing friendships, which are the most important relationships anyone will have as they become adults. We may never learn how to have everything, but we can at least learn to rely on our friends — especially if they’ll eat brunch with us.

Contact Katy Coduto at [email protected].