Allison Williams explains the contentious relationship 20-somethings have with "Girls"

The actress who plays Marnie Michaels explains that the show is based on "an emotional framework"

By Prachi Gupta

Published January 4, 2013 11:15PM (EST)

Since its inception, literary wunderkind Lena Dunham's HBO show "Girls" has been getting more than its fair share of publicity -- and that, only after one season. Sure, with its entitled, smug characters and reliance on indie pop culture references (Bushwick warehouse and pans of Twitter accounts galore), it's a show that everyone loves to hate on, and the haters have a point. But it's also a staggeringly honest depiction of what life is like for a tiny (albeit privileged) subset of college grads who are wafting through their 20s trying to figure out what's next. In an interview published today by Vanity Fair's Bruce Handy, actress Allison Williams, who plays the especially hard-to-like Marnie Michaels, hits the nail on the head when assessing why 20-somethings feel so drawn to, and yet so ill-at-ease with, the show:

Handy: I’m in my 50s and sometimes I sense people my age are maybe more sympathetic to the characters than are people in their 20s, though you’d think it would be the other way around.

Williams: In my life I know someone representing every conceivable demographic who watches the show, and their comments are kind of like what you were just saying. I think people who are still in the throes of their 20s and going through this sort of existential wandering find the show a little bit too close to home to be able to enjoy it thoroughly. Whereas people who are kind of looking back on this experience can sit back with their hands clasped behind their head and just watch. They know, because they’re sitting on a couch somewhere watching this show, that everything’s going to be OK."

Williams later ads, "Maybe that audience is looking for more answers and fewer questions, but I think those issues will be answered sort of very slowly on the show — and in a realistic way. I mean, things are messy in life. Problems aren’t solved immediately, and I think our show does a pretty good job of resolving conflicts in a realistic time frame." She hints that season 2 isn't really plot focused. "I would say it’s mostly like an emotional framework," she says.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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20-somethings Acting Allison Williams Drama Girls Hbo Lena Dunham Television