Lena Dunham’s new HBO comedy ‘Girls’ keeps it real

“Girls” premieres Sunday at 10:30 p.m. on HBO.

For the record, Lena Dunham is a fan of “Sex and the City.”

“‘Girls’” is a show that couldn’t exist without ‘Sex and the City’ and is about girls who grew up watching ‘SATC,’ but is not directly linked to ‘SATC,’” Dunham says about the highly anticipated new HBO series she created, wrote, directs and stars in. Unlike the fab, Manolo-filled lives of Carrie and co., “Girls” is about four 20-somethings fumbling through life in Brooklyn. Wannabe writer Hannah, played by Dunham, and her besties glamorize a different New York, one where blog writers are subsidized by mom and dad and affairs take place on couches in Prospect Heights rather than at the Ritz.

“‘SATC’ characters are always going to be archetype for women in New York, but we are covering a different age range,” Dunham explains. “This show just has a different energy.”

Dunham’s New York is populated by entitled youth who have awkward sex, both subjects she also explored in her 2010 breakthrough movie “Tiny Furniture,” which won the Narrative Feature Film Award at SXSW and charmed HBO executives. The film was based on her post-college experience lingering around her parents’ Tribeca loft while trying to find herself, a similar sentiment shared by Hannah  — but one not all viewers may be sympathetic to.

“Some of these issues might seem ‘hashtag: white girl problems,’ but I also think that some of that is real,” Dunham insists. “Hannah is self-aware about some of it and not about some of it, much the way people are in real life. We’re saying it’s OK to laugh at her. It’s OK to criticize her.”

Even if Hannah’s family life isn’t entirely relatable, the candor with which the show examines relationships will be. Sex scenes are graphic and cringe-worthy; in one shot, Dunham is naked and on her knees. Throughout the series, she doesn’t shy away from  opportunities to brazenly bare her larger-than-Size-2 body.

“Because historically the women who do sex scenes look a certain way, there is something inherently political about putting a body that doesn’t look that way onto the screen,” she explains. “That was sort of the impetus starting out. My character doesn’t look like a model, and my character has sex — those are two facts of the show and facts of many young women’s lives.”

Voice of a generation

Despite Hannah’s lofty declaration, “I might be the voice of my generation,” in the “Girls” pilot, Lena Dunham swears she has no such goals.
   
“I’ve never felt that way,” she says. “When I conceived the show I [just thought] I was speaking to smart girls who are looking for depictions of themselves that they haven’t seen on TV before.”

Bathroom bonding

Of all the conversation-sparking scenes in the “Girls” premiere episode, one in particular sticks out. We had to know: Why does Hannah eat a cupcake in the bathtub?

“It makes so much sense to me,” Dunham laughs. “It’s just so funny because I was just like, ‘Obviously, if you’re late to go to work in the morning and you have poor nutritional habits you’re going to eat your breakfast hanging out of the shower, and it’s going to be a cupcake.’ It just made sense to me. Kudos to you, if you’ve never eaten food in the bath and/or shower. I thought everyone had. So that to me was one of those things where I’m like, ‘It’s so relatable eating food in the shower,’ and then people don’t get it.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Hurricane Odile batters Mexico's Baja resorts, sparks looting

Hurricane Odile injured dozens of people, forced the evacuation of thousands and smashed shops open to looters in the popular tourist area of Baja, Mexico.

National

Apple iPhone 6 pre-orders hit record 4 million…

By Lehar Maan(Reuters) - Apple Inc said many customers will need to wait until next month for their new iPhones after a record 4 million…

National

LAPD investigates complaint from detained 'Django' actress

The LAPD is investigating after "Django Unchained" actress Daniele Watts accused police of violating her rights when they detained her.

Local

Number of New York City smokers increase, topping…

For the first time since 2007, there are  more than one million smokers in New York City, according to the New York City Department of…

Movies

Newsflash: Corey Stoll still not a man

In director Shaun Levy's "This Is Where I Leave You," Corey Stoll stars as the oldest of four adult children (the others are played by…

Movies

If you don't like Simon Pegg's new film,…

Simon Pegg goes all out in "Hector and the Search for Happiness" as the titular psychiatrist stymied by modern life who embarks on a globetrotting…

Arts

Art in Chelsea: Don't miss these 3 galleries

We selected three sure bets for seeing cool art in the galleries of Chelsea.

Music

Robin Thicke blurs lines further with new 'Blurred…

"The reality is," said Robin Thicke about "Blurred Lines" in a court deposition, "Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song."

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

NFL

3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the Packers.

NFL

Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…

Travel

World's most hipster cities: Top 5

Travel blogger Adam Groffman tells us his picks for the Top 5 most hipster cities in the world.

Education

The top 5 regrets recent high school grads…

College application season can seem like a blur for many students - as test prep, campus visits and filling out a seemingly endless stream of…

Parenting

Tech execs tend to limit their kids' screen…

You probably got your iPad before Bill Gates's kids did.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing: Daybreaker returns, Ray Rice jersey trade, Sweet…

  Now that Ray Rice is no longer with the Baltimore Ravens — or any other NFL team — after video footage surfaced showing him…