With next week’s premiere of the third season of HBO’s critically acclaimed and culturally divisive meditation on millennials, GIRLS, the show’s creator Lena Dunham continues to explore the devastating effects of a liberal arts education on today’s youth. The third season is likely to draw even more fire than the first two as our neurotic girl-women butt up against an adulthood for which they are wholly unprepared. Their latest tribulations include, but are not limited to, drug abuse, death and a job writing advertorial copy.
In order to prepare you for the onslaught of critical commentary, we’ve created a handy quiz to help you determine exactly what type of GIRLS viewer you are. Feel free to consult the results three to nine times a day, or until we all lose interest in monitoring Lena Dunham’s Twitter account.
1. If you find yourself in a conversation about GIRLS at a party, you will:
A) Hold your own for the first thirty minutes, but lose steam once the discussion about Lena Dunham’s sartorial choices at the Golden Globes begins in earnest.
B) Find a way to mention that you worked with Lena Dunham on your college newspaper, nonchalantly suggesting that there might be that one scene in the show specifically based on your interactions with her. Maybe Judd Apatow should be sending you those royalty checks? Ha ha. No, she’s really nice though. You guys still email sometime.
C) Instruct everyone to go to your blog and read your latest cultural critique of the show, titled, approximately, “The Voice of My Generation is Not Racist/Sexist/Privileged/Chubby/On Twitter.”
D) Be confused until you realize this isn’t the show about the girls with the cupcake shop.
E) Resist the urge to brag about your screener copies of next week’s episode.
2. In a Willy Wonka-esque scenario, you find a golden ticket to the HBO premiere party, where you are whisked away to a private VIP area with the cast and writers of GIRLS. What do you do?
A) A lot of Instagramming.
B) Sit in a corner pretending to text someone; contemplate which cast member you might actually have a shot at hooking up with (provided they get drunk enough). When you leave the party alone, you post a detailed, anatomically impossible piece of fan erotica about Zosia Mamet on Craigslist’s “Missed Connections.”
C) Corner Jenni Konner in a 20-minute discussion of grey rape.
D) Looking for that cute Zooey Deschanel. Nope, wait, that’s New Girl.
E) Enjoy yourself. You’ll have a chance to talk to Ms. Dunham when she’s on that panel you’re moderating next week.
3. This season a character will explain the female friendships by saying, “I don’t want to understand (it) if it involves ignoring all logic and being totally hysterical. I think women get stuck in this vortex of guilt and jealously that makes them not see things clearly.”
You think this sentiment personifies GIRLS because it’s :
A) An uncomfortable truism that is rarely voiced.
B) Something you’ve totally thought about, like, a million times. You might have even Tweeted it
once. You’re not saying that one of the show’s writers like, stole your idea. It’s just kind of weird.
You’re almost positive you wrote something like that on Twitter, actually.
C) Glib, smug and slightly derogatory, but couched in this defensive posturing that distances the show’s writers from having to take responsibility for positing it in the first place.
D) Very confusing. Are you sure this isn’t the program with the girl with the bangs?
E) A meta-commentary addressing and mocking all the haters.
4. Fill in the blank: Hannah Horvath is to Lena Dunham as ____ is to _____:
A) Liz Lemon; Tina Fey
B) Your commenter handle on Gawker; You
C) Mirror; Masturbation
D) This quiz; what’s wrong with kids today.
E) Louis C.K.;Louis C.K.
5. What do you think of Lena Dunham’s nudity on the program?
A) Distracting, but you can see where she’s going with it.
C) It’s just so refreshing to see a young, white woman show her breasts on HBO. For feminism.
D) Do the other ones ever take their shirts off?
E) What DON’T I think about it!
Mostly As: You are a BEMUSED RAY. You might have some problems with the show’s more improbable elements of confrontational histrionics, but it’s fresh and engaging. You’ll read the occasional recap, but feel ambivalent about the sheer amount of media flotsam the show tends to generate.
Mostly Bs: You are a HOOKED HORVATH. You relate a little TOO much to the show’s unrelenting solipsism, and that’s going to be a problem for you. You spend a lot of time defending Lena Dunham on various comment sections, though you frequently confuse the show’s creator with her on-screen persona. You play Icona Pop constantly, have started bringing cupcakes into the bath, and think anyone who finds the show anything other than a religious experience is being sexist and hetero-normative. You’re exhausting.
Mostly Cs: You are a JEALOUS JESSA. You tell yourself you are hate-watching GIRLS, but you secretly kind of love it. Maybe you just fundamentally have a problem with the show’s portrayal of sexual dynamics, or the lack of diversity in its cast. Either way, each episode causes an acute reaction that makes you feel the need to share all your thoughts with the rest of the world. It’s not healthy.
Mostly Ds: You are a BLISSFULLY IGNORANT SHOSHANNA. You’ve managed to miss all the furor over GIRLS, somehow. Maybe you live in the Midwest. Either way, good for you.
Mostly Es: Congratulations, you are New Yorker‘s EMILY NUSSBAUM. You get paid to write about GIRLS. You are living the dream.