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
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…