Girls: Sex and the City, only younger, funkier, and definitely poorerApril 16, 2012 @ 12:15 pm (Updated: 1:18 pm - 4/16/12 )
"Girls," the new HBO comedy that premiered last night, is the brainchild of a relative unknown, 25-year-old Lena Dunham, who has one brilliant movie to her name, "Tiny Furniture."
The show has the backing of movie powerhouse Judd Apatow who has made his fortune with comedies about immature guys. With "Girls," it's all about the fairer sex, who are just as immature as Apatow's boys but a little more articulate about it. Make that, a lot more articulate.
As with "Tiny Furniture," Dunham stars in her own show. She plays one of quartet of 20-something girlfriends who're trying to make it in New York City. It's reminiscent of "Sex and the City," only younger, funkier, and definitely poorer. If "Sex" was all about conspicuous consumption, "Girls" is all about getting by.
"Girls" is also a lot less glamorous than "Sex," thanks to the casting of Dunham. She's not a face or a body that we see much of in front of the camera, and that helps ground the show in a reality most of us can relate to. She's a little plain and a little dumpy and the show uses that fact to great comic effect. The completely unromantic sex she has with her laconic boyfriend is sad and funny in equal measures - so awkward, so ridiculous, and just this side of poignant.
The show's premise is set up by a visit from Dunham's TV parents. For two years, Dunham has been living in New York, working as an unpaid intern, post-college. Her parents decide they're going to stop paying her way and she's at first apoplectic.
Typical of many 20-somethings, she's full of herself but also fragile as hell. She's wracked with low self-esteem AND too much self-esteem. For instance, mere moments after pleading with her parents for more money (after all, she says, she's their ONLY child), she gets upset when they tell her what she should do to make some money, cuz after all, she's an ADULT and can't be told what to do.
The other "girls" will be more fully sketched out as the series continues, but it's already clear there will be plenty of frank and funny conversations about guys and sex and work. At one point, Dunham tells her parents, "I think that I may be the voice of my generation ... or at least A voice ... of A generation." Thankfully, it's a rich voice, not financially speaking, of course, but a voice full of life and potential.
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