What do people enjoy about Lena Dunham and her television program Girls? Is it Dunham's wry sensibility? Is it the way it offers another of popular culture's periodic windows on Contemporary Youth, under certain conditions of class and geography?
Ross Douthat, the junior right-wing nebbish for the New York Times opinion section, has a contrary take on the appeal of Girls: He likes watching the show because it allows him to feel superior to Dunham and her fellow sluts.
In his Sunday column, Douthat explained that Lena Dunham "has a number of reactionary admirers," including Douthat himself, because her show depicts the true miseries that come with the "expressive individualism" that plagues America:
The thing that makes Dunham's show so interesting, the reason it inspired a certain unsettlement among some of its early fans, is that it often portrays young-liberal-urbanite life the way, well, many reactionaries see it: as a collision of narcissists educated mostly in self-love, a sexual landscape distinguished by serial humiliations—a realm at once manic and medicated, privileged and bereft of higher purpose.