I like the show because I want to know more about the generation that came behind mine, but I want to hear them say it, not the New York Times. I want the stereotypes debunked and confirmed. Dunham and her cast are trying to tell us something about a world in which expensive liberal-arts degrees are just part of a Ponziesque ruse. The jobs are gone, if by “job” you mean decent-paying, post-modern, Manhattan-based creative careers in which one can sit in a cubicle all day and surf the Web for shoes and gossip until a fabulously quirky weekend arrives. The coddling and hyper-parenting backfired in precisely the way child psychologists predicted it would.
Hannah puts on one of her mousy outfits and tries to charm a trade journal’s Generation X-aged assistant editor during a job interview. She takes his willingness to banter too far and kills the moment with a date-rape joke. Her sense of irony is so overdeveloped that it flattens his. “Maybe you’re just not used to the office environment,” the editor says disappointedly ending the interview. “Jokes about rape or race or incest or any of that kind of stuff — it’s not office-okay.”