It’s officially the end of an era. Now that Girls is officially over, here are six other great shows to get stuck into, all of which just so happen to have been written by funny millennials. They might not fill the Girls-shaped void in our lives, but they are damn good and were arguably made possible, at least partly, thanks to Lena Dunham’s show. And that in itself is reason to celebrate.
Broad City is often compared with Girls, but the shows aren’t all that similar. Yes, both are set in Brooklyn, and yes, they concern the quirky sexual practices of predominantly white women, but where Girls is ironic, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson’s comedy goes all in on subverting sitcom tropes. For instance, the Girls subplot in which Ray and Shoshanna make it their mission to compete against the hipster cafe run by “neohippy, gender-neutral monsters” which is stealing his clients has an obvious parallel in Abbi’s trippy visit to a food co-operative in Brooklyn, dressed as Ilana, which ends with a surreal Goodfellas-style moment.
In Issa Rae’s comedy, two friends, Issa and Molly, navigate their late twenties in Los Angeles with a lot of awkwardness. The show is about friendship, sex, love, work and, above all, the realities of being black women in America in 2017. Rae rose to prominence with her hilarious web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, which we also recommend checking out (it’s all on Youtube).
Girls meets detective murder mystery. Search Party follows a group of four friends who live in (you guessed it) Brooklyn and have pointless jobs, improvable love lives, and too much time on their hands. Protagonist Dory (Alia Shawkat) becomes unhealthily obsessed with the murder of an old college acquaintance – but the show is really all about her. The characters here are so selfish they could all be in Marnie’s family, and yet Search Party is carefully crafted and deeper than it initially seems.
Michaela Coel’s Bafta-winning sitcom revolves around Tracey (Coel), a slightly sex obsessed 24-year-old virgin trying to make sense of adulthood in a London council estate. Slapstick and absurdist humour merges with body positivity, as Coel shatters stereotypes relating to sex, class, race and television in one fell swoop. Chewing Gum us now making the rounds in America – Coel is going to be huge.
Mumblecore from British-Jamaican filmmakers? Yes please. Despite the excellent array of web series we could recommend here (hell, let’s casually throw Brown Girls and High Maintenance into the mix), our favourite by far is Ackee & Saltfish, a moody series of sketches created by Cecile Emeke, starring Michelle Tiwo and Vanessa Babirye and set in east London. There are cats, there are houseplants, there are episodes that consist solely of arguments about toast. If you are an urban creative – or are in touch with this tribe, in any city really – you’ll recognise quite a lot here.
Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang’s show is not here as the male-created token. Master of None is an honest, candid but crudely real depiction of sex and love in the city, starring characters that never really get to be the protagonists of their own stories. It features Asian-American men as sexual, complex, multifaceted characters (it was about time), and there’s a good chance you will cry and roll with laughter at Dev’s misadventures. Master of None is also not afraid to address such millennial anxieties as restlessness, the fear of settling, and feeling of not belonging.
Published 19 Apr 2017
Though criticised from the start, Lena Dunham’s show paved the way for an exciting mix of millennial voices.
The hit HBO show focuses on the emotional realities of three mothers.