You can add one more name to the long list of People Who Don’t Like Girls: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
In a HuffPo column entitled “Girls Just Wants to Have (White) Fun,” the ex-NBA player and Hall of Famer takes issue with almost everything about the HBO comedy, including its lack of funniness, its lack of racial diversity, and its lack of interesting female characters. “Girls wants to tell us something important about twentysomething females of the 21st Century,” Abdul-Jabbar writes.
What he’s hearing? Creator-star Lena Dunham isn’t nearly as anything as she thinks she is. A blow-by-blow of the blow-by-blow:
On the race issue: “This season that white ghetto was breached by a black character who is introduced as some jungle fever lover.”
He then compares the multi-hyphenate Donald Glover to a sex toy.
On Girls’ girls: “We’re supposed to find these girls somehow charming because of their flawed characters … They’re all educated but fatally ignorant.”
I’m not sure Abdul-Jabbar is using “fatally” correctly here, because no one has actually died on the show. But no matter: he’s right to not like the characters if he doesn’t want to, although it may say more about how much Girls he hasn’t watched if he can call Dunham’s Hannah ignorant after watching her realize that she isn’t in love with a guy who is so obviously in love with her.
On Girls’ guys: Adam is a “wonderful character whose quirkiness never diminished his depth of character” while Charlie is “a complex mix of too stable and too nice.”
Don’t get it twisted, though: the credit for these characters only rests with Dunham if she can also acknowledge that her social commentary is “an accidental byproduct,” as if the narrative developments he finds interesting are also incidental given that they are scripted and rehearsed and shot beforehand.
So Kareem Abdul-Jabbar doesn’t really hate Girls, he just doesn’t very much like it. But after reading his piece, my only question is: Does he even understand it?