Girls

April 15, 2012

Lena Dunham has spent much of the time leading up to the April debut of Girls fighting the inevitable comparisons to Sex And The City, just because it’s also an HBO show about a quartet of wisecracking New York women—centered around Dunham’s frustrated writer—who navigate the perils of living, working, and loving in Manhattan, and because HBO has been trying to find the next Sex And The City pretty much since the last one went off the air. As this first trailer demonstrates, Dunham’s protests are probably unnecessary. Yes, these are women having sex, and they are within a city, but Girls feels more like the warm domestic beer to SATC’s Cosmopolitan, with Dunham’s character—who's really more Winona Ryder in Reality Bites than Carrie Bradshaw—struggling to last just a few more days in insanely expensive New York while engaging in frustrating relationships with her friends and a series of emotionally stunted man-children.

That last element seems like the most obvious trace of executive producer Judd Apatow—along with supporting roles from Freaks And Geeks’ Becky Ann Baker and Bridesmaids’ Chris O’Dowd—while Whit Stillman regular Chris Eigeman similarly links Girls to a grand cinematic tradition of young people who refuse to just grow up already. But really, the show seems like a natural extension of Dunham’s comedic voice as heard in her indie breakout Tiny Furniture, and while it may be, as Dunham’s self-defeating character says, just “a voice of a generation,” at least that voice isn’t speaking in a bunch of whimsical puns.

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