HBO's hit series 'Girls' is getting backlash for its depiction of New Yorkers as shiftless losers

“Girls” has worn out its welcome.
The critically acclaimed HBO series, which returns Sunday for its third season, is under fire for its continued depiction of New York as a haven for losers with no ambition — and for turning the characters’ shiftless lifestyles into a tourist attraction.


“It's like some bizzaro alternate universe of New York,” says Marek Fuchs, a writing professor at Sarah Lawrence College. “New Yorkers are defined by ambition, not stagnation.

Carrollann Oberhansly, a barista at Cafe Grumpy on Meserole Ave., doesn’t think 'Girls' is accurate at all.

“To sit around isn’t the New York way,” he adds.
But that’s exactly what the girls of “Girls” do: As season three begins, Hannah (Lena Dunham) is still working at Café Grumpy, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is mooching off her grandmother for rent and rehab, and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) is more focused on putting notches on her bedpost than beefing up her resume.
They’re “almost getting it kind of together”? Not really. And they’re dragging us all down.

A classic 'Girls' scene: Lena Dunham and Alex Karpovsky at Cafe Grumpy.

“I know some trust fund babies who get to their early 30s (and are) still going to their daddies saying, ‘I don't know how to deal with my finances,’” says Julie Holmes, a city-based life coach.
Indeed, the losers of “Girls” are, in fact, losers. But that hasn’t stopped the show from becoming a brand name.
Last year, a Brooklyn Craigslist real-estate listing promised the ultimate “Girls” experience featuring proximity to “gallery openings that are incredibly meaningful to us on a deep personal level” and warehouse parties.

Emily Berrigan and Steve Richardson recreate a scene from the HBO series 'Girls' inside Spoonbill & Sugartown Books on Bedford Ave.

And “Girls” is doing to Café Grumpy what “Sex and the City” did to Magnolia Bakery — turning it into a tourist trap.
“It's kind of silly to see someone want to take a photograph,” said roaster Adam Crandall, 25. “It’s comical. This has been our job long before the show ‘Girls.’”
Barista Carrollann Oberhansly actually gets angry when the topic turns to the series.

Whatcha doin’? Not much. From left, Allison Williams, Chris Abbott and Jemima Kirke in 'Girls.'

“It sucks,” she says, but quickly moves to the bright side: “Eventually, people will move onto something else. Everything goes in phases.”
The booksellers at Spoonbill and Sugartown on Bedford Ave. are similarly perplexed by the influx of millennials who show up and recreate the show’s seminal kissing scene in the stacks.
“There’s been this huge surge,” says co-owner Jonas Kyle. “People say, ‘Hey, I saw your store on the show.’”

Adam Driver and Shiri Appleby in 'Girls.'

It gets worse. The show has even spawned its own guidebook — as if HBO’s “take hipsterism and add water” needed more explanation.
“The Unofficial Girls Guide to New York” invites struggling twentysomethings to "get to know New York the way the ‘Girls’ know it.”
But real New York “girls” aren’t buying it.
“I hate anything that puts a label on what we’re doing. I came here to live outside of the box, not in one,” says Johanna Hickey, 31, who works three jobs and lives in Greenpoint. “It pisses me off.”