When the season kicks off on Sunday, Hannah, played by
"Girls" creator Lena Dunham, has her OCD under control and a
semblance of domestic bliss with Adam (Adam Driver), but her
self-absorbed ways are maddening. When someone dies suddenly,
all her thoughts are about her unfinished e-book.
Her three pals are in worse shape. Divorced Jessa (Jemima Kirke)
is in rehab and refuses to quit the bad behavior. Glamorous
Marnie (Allison Williams) is obsessing over her ex-boyfriend
Charlie and is back living with her mom in New Jersey. Naive
Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) bounces between her studies and sexual
freedom after breaking up with Ray, a slacker who is now
If this show is about a generation of young women searching for
love and purpose, they look to be failing on almost all fronts,
with maybe an exception on the friendship front.
It's enough for one critic to ask Dunham as she presented season
three to the Television Critics Association this week: "Do you
like these characters?"
"I love them," responded Dunham. "I think they accurately
reflect people I know, people we have all been. I feel sad that
they struggle and happy when they triumph."
And the nudity, oh the nudity, continues to rankle some even
though Dunham has shown her audience just about every unclothed
angle of herself since the first episode. When one critic told
Dunham he "didn't get the purpose of all the nudity on the show,
by you particularly," she shot back that being naked "is a
realistic expression of what it is like to be alive."
Dunham, 27, is making no apologies for "Girls" and says she
relishes the freedom her women have to act in ugly ways, much
like men have done for years in film and television.
"I feel so lucky that we are not called to any standard of sort
of sweet female decency," Dunham said. "We get to depict these
girls in all their kind of flawed glory."
[to top of second column]
THE DIVERSITY CHALLENGE
"Girls" does not command the kind of audiences that medieval
"Game of Thrones" scores at Time Warner Inc's premium cable
outlet, but HBO announced on Thursday it had renewed the series
for a fourth season to air in 2015. On Sunday, it is looking to
pick up its second straight Golden Globe award for best comedy
And while the girls' oblivion to the wider world, the nudity and
the often whiny dialogue may not be to everyone's liking, the
critics seem to be mostly on the show's side.
New York Times critic Alessandra Stanley wrote on Friday, "These
four women are amusing, at times poignant, but not easily
likeable. The show is caustic and hard to watch, but harder to
There is the nagging question of diversity, or rather lack
thereof. The show has come under fire for its all-white cast in
seasons one and two, a monochrome that some critics say does not
fit with the racial kaleidoscope that is New York City.
When asked why the show has not introduced a main black
character, co-executive producer Judd Apatow said, "I don't
think there is any reason that any show should feel an
obligation to do that."
Dunham was more conciliatory, acknowledging that although the
negative attention was uncomfortable, it is "such an important
conversation," adding that "we are finally finding room to
expand the world" in season three.
Apatow, the producer and director behind raunchy male-centric
comedies like "The 40-Year-old Virgin" and "Knocked Up," did
hint that the lack of diversity may soon be a moot point.
"You haven't seen the new season, so we can have this discussion
next year," he told the critics.
(Editing by Eric Kelsey and Leslie
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