March 28, 2014

The University of Iowa is too cool to allow "Girls" to film on campus.

They don't want to be disrupted.

(The Lena Dunham character on the show (Hannah) got into the Iowa writing program, which the real-life Lena Dunham attended.)

The linked article has quotes from Josh Schamberger, director of Iowa City/Coralville Area Conventions & Visitors Bureau:
"Gosh, can you imagine the economic impact of having HBO film crews staying in hotel rooms and bringing a greater awareness of Iowa as the best of the best, especially to a younger audience? You can’t buy that sort of exposure."

“It’s unlike any place in the country... I think it would be cool to see the Iowa City campus and the ped mall” on the show.
The ped mall! Seriously! Iowa! The opportunity you are missing! America could witness the ped mall. I could attain greater awareness of Iowa. Schamberger seems like some guy character on the show — another one of the guys who get dirty looks from Hannah.

ADDED: I think the school made the right decision. They have this high-prestige writing program, and they can't subordinate the students' experience to the interests of the show. They owe it to their students not to succumb to the glamour and mystique of HBO. The students think very highly of themselves and the honor they have attending the Iowa Writer's Program. What would they think — what would they write — if their short time in the program were handed over to a TV show? Maybe some would squee. Others would — and should — feel contempt and hostility. This is not the program that brought me to Iowa. You sold out to pop culture. 

32 comments:

Nonapod said...

I was just saying to myself today, "Self, your general awareness of Iowa is clearly insufficient".

Uncle Frank said...

Lena Dunham and the display of her body reminds me of Obama and Obamacare: proud for no good reason.

Conserve Liberty said...

The ped mall! Seriously! Iowa! The opportunity you are missing! America could witness the ped mall. I could attain greater awareness of Iowa. Schamberger seems like some guy character on the show — another one of the guys who get dirty looks from Hannah.

I hate to say it, because - coming from St. Louis - who am I to talk but, really? Ped Mall? Didn't we once call that Main Street?

Sheesh. Get to know Iowa. Indeed.

furious_a said...

The real reason is that they don't want to see her naked.

wwww said...

The last thing I want is for the rest of the country to learn about Iowa and move there.

IC fills up on game days. Hotels are doing just fine.

great Unknown said...

Not a question of too cool. It's an issue of good taste.

EDH said...

Iowa, schmiowa.

Can't believe Althouse missed the significance of the "Girls" season finale.

Elijah went to Adam's Broadway opening dressed in a suit.. with matching short pants!

http://popwatch.ew.com/2014/03/25/girls-season-3-review/

MadisonMan said...

Someone from Girls must've asked U of Iowa about their weather in July. Because they can be cold as the falling thermometer in December if you do that.

For revenge, they should film in Ames.

Marshal said...

I could attain greater awareness of Iowa.

Is it really appropriate for someone from Wisconsin to mock Iowa?

SJ said...

The schedule (and use of property) by the TV Show wouldn't mesh well with the demands of University education.

I think.

I don't know if they could send a film crew to generate lots of background shots of campus-exterior, and somehow use green-screen or sets to make it look like the actors are "on campus" in the outside scenes.

Then create a couple of dorm hallway sets, a dorm room set, a classroom-set, a professorial-office set, and run with the filming on-set.

Paco Wové said...

"It’s unlike any place in the country"

Mr. Schamberger is mistaken. I've strolled that ped mall – it's like hundreds on others in the country, many as nice, or better.

damikesc said...

I know my general awareness of Iowa is insufficient.

I figured they'd be all about letting unattractive doughy women get naked for no reason within their borders and televising it to people who aren't exactly demanding with their entertainment dollars.

They PROVED ME WRONG!!!

Ann Althouse said...

"Elijah went to Adam's Broadway opening dressed in a suit.. with matching short pants!"

That was observed and commented on here at Meadhouse, but I didn't think too many of my readers knew or cared about Elijah on "Girls."

Come on!

I barely get any interest about "Girls" generally… other than Lena Dunham is unattractive.

Ann Althouse said...

"I hate to say it, because - coming from St. Louis - who am I to talk but, really? Ped Mall? Didn't we once call that Main Street?"

Ped Mall sounds like an ailment caused by the failure to wear suitable hosiery.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is it really appropriate for someone from Wisconsin to mock Iowa?"

I'm not mocking Iowa. I'm mocking the new-age vibe of "awareness."

Larry J said...

Maybe the university just doesn't want to be associated with such a sucky show. On a "Free HBO" weekend, I tried to watch an episode but changed the channel after a few minutes. The show sucked like a black hole.

Anglelyne said...

Just this morning I passed the grocery store's magazine rack, and noticed a very trashy looking young woman on the cover of what was (at least in my day) a fairly tasteful younger-demographic fashion magazine. Even in an age when most popular publications seem to have devolved into swill for illiterate pigs, the trashiness of its, ahem, "aesthetic" caught my eye. I took a second look, expecting the print next to the model to say something like "New For Spring - Cheap and Trashy!" or "How To Not Look Pretty" or "How To Get That 'Rode Hard And Put to Bed Wet' Glamor". Instead I was informed that the model was Lena Dunham. It crossed my mind that ironically (ironically!) people like her probably use the term "trailer park" or "trailer trash" as a pejorative.

Iowa, huh? Dear God, is there no place left in this country we can run to to get away from these creatures?

EMD said...

Ped Mall is where all the old creeps hang out in their free candy vans.

It's like a Food Truck Festival with criminal overtones.

I would tell Dunham her ratings weren't high enough to justify the intrusion.

Patrick O said...

"I'm mocking..."

PoMo "mocking" is the new New-Age "awareness".

I prefer an intentional naivety that gaily welcomes celebrations of particular cross-geographic social ecologies.

Ped mall, sounds like a fascinating insight into Iowan culture that is no less culturally worthwhile than strolling down Rodeo Drive or Fifth Ave.

Sam L. said...

Yes, Iowa NEEDS to be known as the campus where Lena gets naked.

MayBee said...

Now you know how "The Wisconsin Idea" sounds to the rest of us.

Mike said...

When I was in school, Dawson's Creek filmed on our campus right in the middle of the school year. Katie Holmes was attending some school on the show.

The disruptions were pretty minor - few sidewalks here, some lawns occasionally - but mostly they weren't bad. But I don't think they filmed any class scenes.

David said...

I watch girls but not Girls.

I also once thought of applying to Iowa Writers Workshop. Maybe I should still do it. Then after I get my MFA I could sell out to pop culture.

My show would be Geezers.

Fen said...

I wouldn't want Dunham representing the fruits of my writing program either. It would convey: "our program is so weak that you'll need to get naked to be noticed for your writing"

Titus said...

LENA!!!!! I love you.

Joe said...

Anyone who allows a production company to film at their residence, company or campus is nuts. It is extremely disruptive and they will likely destroy things and usually won't pay for them (assuming you even discover the crap they've done.)

Chance said...

FACT CHECK:

Lena Dunham did not attend the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Some no name on the Girls writing staff did.

I guess this isn't the New Yorker.

Although I'm willing to be corrected by a reputable source.

Darrell said...

Chance, Dunham's character in the TV show has been accepted into the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Watch the last episode for proof.

SGT Ted said...

The only reason it is on the air is because Lena Dunham has a vag. and Girls is an affirmative action show.

Chance said...

Darrell:

Althouse says: "(The Lena Dunham character on the show (Hannah) got into the Iowa writing program, which the real-life Lena Dunham attended.)"

The second half of the sentence is incorrect, "the real-life Lena Dunham" did not attend the program. I'm not disputing what happened on the show. I'm just pointing out a factual error made by Professor Althouse, who apparently misread the article she cites.

Crazy Jane said...

There are approximately a jillion MFA writing programs today. The Iowa one is arguably the most prestigious.

(All of them are suspect at this point; they seem to be developing writers who talk about writing with other writers; unfortunately, as the number of writers increases, the number of readers declines. Cause and effect? I don't know.)

The Iowa program has nothing to gain and everything to lose by associating itself with Lena Dunham.

Chance said...

Ugh! I guess this post will just live on forever with a factual innacuracy.