I was riding the subway this week when I saw an ad in one of the stations for a new HBO show simply named Girls. The poster featured four young girls below the tagline “Living the dream. One mistake at a time.” At first glance I thought: Sex and the City starring teenagers. I’ll pass.
The show is the brainchild of 25-year-old Lena Dunham, who wrote and directed the 2010 independent film Tiny Furniture. She has a track record of writing quirky stories about young women in their early 20s who are struggling to find themselves. This is what makes the new show different from Sex and the City, a difference the show’s creators are trying to make clear in interviews. Girls appears to be a sardonic and humorous look at the pre-Sex and The City stage of life, the years before a gal in the big city can afford a nice apartment or a pair of super-expensive shoes. Dunham, who is also the star of the show, plays the anti-Carrie: no money, no rich boyfriend, and definitely no glamour.
After watching the trailer, my original snap judgement based on the subway poster has been reversed. I’m now looking forward to catching the April 15th premiere because it looks to me like Bridesmaids meets Whit Stillman’s The Last Days of Disco (minus the disco) – a promising combination. I even caught a glimpse of Chris Eigeman in the trailer; I first saw him in the Whit Stillman trilogy years ago and have adored his acting ever since. Hopefully he remains in the series beyond the pilot episode.
The production company behind Girls is Apatow Productions, founded by the writer/director/producer behind such hit comedies as The 40-Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Bridesmaids. With support from someone like Judd Apatow, both Dunham and the show are poised to be successful.