“Something I wanted to avoid was tokenism in casting. If I had one of the four girls, if, for example, she was African-American, I feel like — not that the experience of an African-American girl and a white girl are drastically different, but there has to be specificity to that experience [that] I wasn’t able to speak to. I really wrote the show from a gut-level place, and each character was a piece of me or based on someone close to me. And only later did I realize that it was four white girls. As much as I can say it was an accident, it was only later as the criticism came out, I thought, ‘I hear this and I want to respond to it.’ And this is a hard issue to speak to because all I want to do is sound sensitive and not say anything that will horrify anyone or make them feel more isolated, but I did write something that was super-specific to my experience, and I always want to avoid rendering an experience I can’t speak to accurately.”
– Lena Dunham, speaking with NPR’s Fresh Air about the backlash towards “Girls,” in particular the frustration from some critics that all of the main characters are all white. I found Dunham’s “explanation,” for lack of a better word, to be honest and humble and I, for one, appreciate her candor and sensitivity. Love “Girls,” love her. You can listen to the full interview at the link. [NPR]
I’m happy to report that despite the early backlash, “Girls” just keeps getting better and better. Last night’s episode started with Hannah being texted a photo of Adam’s penis — only to have him text her again to apologize … because it wasn’t meant for her. Then, at her new job, Hannah is expected to put up with an excessively handsy boss, and is it any wonder she does find herself getting used to it, given how crappy she allows Adam to treat her? What follows is this incredible scene, in which Hannah very vulnerably tells Adam what she wants. Not a boyfriend, but someone “who wants to hang out all the time, and thinks I’m the best person in the world, and wants to have sex with only me.” I actually find the vibe between Adam and Hannah to be more complicated than meets the eye and it really comes through in this scene. Clip above!
I have never watched HBO’s new show “Girls.” Not because I don’t want to — I’m actually excited to see a new female-centered TV show that allows actresses to play rich and diverse characters. But unfortunately, the current role I play in real life, that of a struggling comic/actress, does not afford me the opportunity to indulge in the many simple pleasures of life such as HBO. Although I have not seen the show, I have seen and heard much of the praise and criticism the show has garnered — especially around the all-white cast. Keep reading »
“When we made ["Girls"]t, we always knew that it was a show you should fight about. It was built to be a show that you’d have to defend or argue about — for some people, it would make them angry — and we go over that terrain for the course of the 10 episodes. So hopefully people will fight about it every week! There’s funny things to hate about it, because it is about people who are self-entitled and smart and screwing up their lives. It’s supposed to be about people who are a disaster and privileged, and every time you do something about people like that, people go, ‘Why are they like that?’ Well, because that’s the point of the show. The joke of it. People go, ‘Why are men immature in your movies?’ Well, because they are immature and it’s funny to see them try to figure it out.”
–”Girls” Executive Producer Judd Apatow on some the storm of criticism and commentary around the HBO comedy. Are you totally sick of hearing about this show yet? [NYMag.com]
The “Girls” premiere on Sunday night left me underwhelmed. I lived in New York City in my 20s and I expected to relate to the show. But I didn’t. Not by a long shot. Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham) whined and pouted her way through the episode, balking at the idea of weaning herself off her parents’ checking account. She’s 24 years old! Doesn’t she want to succeed? Doesn’t she want to be independent? More troubling, doesn’t she have any pride?
Speaking of pride, you know who has a lot of it? Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) on “Eastbound & Down.” The show’s series finale aired the same night — Spoilers Ahead! — and it was an interesting juxtaposition to “Girls.” Like Hannah, Kenny Powers whines and pouts through life. He ended the series returning to April and his son, Toby, which was a little too neat for the usually unhinged Kenny Powers. It’s a shame because I would’ve liked to have seen a different kind of shake-up in his life rather than fatherhood to keep things interesting.
Then, I had an idea: Hannah should switch places with Kenny Powers. Transport Kenny Powers to Brooklyn. Plop Hannah in Myrtle Beach. I’m already laughing just picturing it! Sure, a 24-year-old New York mumbler and an immature baseball pitcher may not appear to have too much in common, but I’d argue that they do: (This may contain spoilers if you haven’t seen both shows, so proceed at your own risk.) Keep reading »
So. Did you watch the premiere of “Girls” last night? I did and I loved it. I thought the writing was fresh and realistic and funny — like, I laughed out loud and I rarely do that when I’m watching TV alone and not being egged on by other peoples’ laughter — and the overarching plot and point-of-view felt familiar. I say familiar because I rarely demand that TV (or movies, for that matter) reflects my own experience, but “Girls” reminded me of certain times in my life in a way that made me sigh and cringe. At the end of the day, “Girls” is about four women stuck in that awkward period when “independence” is both exciting and scary as hell, though the setting (New York City) and circumstances (with parental support and then struggling without) may not reflect your own; I thought Lena Dunham and crew did an excellent job capturing that right out the gate and I’m excited to see what happens next.
Now, I’m pretty sure the blogosphere is spilling over with commentary about what the show got right and wrong, but allow me to pile on anyway. Here are 13 things from the “Girls” premiere that just seemed universally accurate. Keep reading »
“People are saying this is ‘Sex and the City’ for the next generation,” said Conan O’Brien, speaking to Lena Dunham, on last night’s episode of “Conan.” The Los Angeles Times called Dunham’s show “Girls” “the uncomfortably true voice of millennial women.” And The New Yorker attacked “Girls” for its lack of inclusivity: “‘Girls’ also paints a revealing picture because of what, or whom, it leaves out. The show’s young women are protected, in part, by privilege,” notes writer Margaret Talbot.
Keep reading »
“I think Sarah Silverman had a quote where she was like, ‘Sometimes with an old guy with misogyny you’re just like, “You cute old guy. You misogynist.” I almost feel like ['Two & A Half Men' co-creator Lee Aronsohn, who complained last week that too many women have shows on TV ] is holding on desperately to a world that no longer exists … I felt especially bad for him because it’s not even a funny joke. If you had a good quip, I’d be like, ‘Well, you’re a dick, but at least you’re a good comedy writer!’ But with that, I was like, ‘Come on, dude. “Labia saturation point”?’ It’s also so dumb. There’s three shows on TV about women, so I guess we really reached our limit. It’s not like three-quarters of the world is comprised of women, you idiot.
I almost wanted to do a tweet, but I didn’t do it: ‘Since we’ve reached our labia saturation point on television, I’ve decided not to release “Girls.”‘ Like, ‘HBO’s behind me on this decision and we’re so sorry for anybody we’re disappointing, but we really can’t over-vagina the TV. Lee has spoken.’”
– Lena Dunham, creator of “Girls,” responds to Lee Aronsohn’s fretfulness last week over reaching “peak vagina on television.” Lena’s got a point: if you’re going to be a sexist asshat … at least be a funny sexist asshat. [Huffington Post]
“‘Sex and the City’ [is] not necessarily an influence on the show, but it’s an influence on the girls in the show and we know the show couldn’t exist without it because these girls wouldn’t exist without it. They wouldn’t have necessarily had the drive to move to New York and try to live this specific life if they hadn’t watched ‘Sex and the City’ marathons behind their parents’ backs. … The only thing we can hope to do is a different version of a ‘Sex and the City’ story. We’ve actually stopped allowing people in in the writer’s room to go, ‘Actually that’s an episode of “Sex and the City.” It’s the same as going, ‘Actually that’s an episode of “Seinfeld,”‘ because everyone on ‘Seinfeld’ did everything there is to do in New York City. They’ve had every adventure possible.”
– Lena Dunham, the writer, director and star of the upcoming HBO show “Girls,” talked to Heeb about references her show will make to its Botoxed big sister, “Sex and the City.” It’s cool that she’s acknowledging her predecessor, yet I don’t understand why any show that also happens to star a group of women has to automatically be similar in some way, or even compared in some way, to “SATC.” There’s a lot more demographics to represent not only in NYC, but in life. I’ve only seen the same preview clips of “Girls” that everyone else has, but what I really like about it is how it feels like a fresh, new story being told … right? [Heeb Magazine]
The first trailer for Lena Dunham’s new HBO show “Girls,” debuting April 15, hit a little too close to home. The second trailer is even more cringe-inducing. Oh, God, my early 20′s really were like this, weren’t they? At least I never said to my parents, “All I am asking for is $1,100 a month for the next two years,” and got laughed at. [IndieWire]