Judd Apatow's 'Girls' promises realistic, dry humor
Published: Friday, April 20, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
Post-“Entourage” and after the twice-failed “How to Make it In America,” HBO has reached into its bag of tricks for a slacker-esque version of “Sex and the City” to capture the lives of young adults in New York City.
“Girls,” which premiered April 15 on HBO, opened to 1.1 million viewers and promised to bring loads of laughter with Judd Apatow on board as executive producer.
Apatow returns to television after his critically acclaimed "Freaks and Geeks" lasted only 12 episodes in its first season due to poor ratings back in 2000. With films like “Anchorman,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Step Brothers” and “Bridesmaids,” Apatow has become a mainstay on the comedy scene. HBO hopes his success in feature films translates to the small screen.
Lena Dunham (“Tiny Furniture,” 2010) created and stars in “Girls,” as Hannah Horvath, following the trials and tribulations of recent college graduates trying to make it in New York City. In the opening episode, Hannah is told by her parents, both professors, that she is being cut off and that she needs to begin supporting herself like all 24-year-olds birthed by successful parents are able to do.
Like her counterpart on screen, Dunham graduated with a liberal arts degree and was trying to find her way in show business before her creativity and wit in “Tiny Furniture,” which she wrote and starred in, made her a hit in the indie film industry after rave reviews at South by Southwest.
The pear-shaped Dunham is a breath of fresh air on premium cable, which uses sex and nudity as much as good content in order to grab viewers’ attention. Normal, everyday people are played by the likes of Emmy Rossum and Mary-Louise Parker on Showtime’s “Shameless” and “Weeds,” two gorgeous starlets that are polar opposites in comparison to the looks of Dunham. The show aspires to be a cultural revolution like “Sex and the City,” not only with its multiple mentions of the hit series in the pilot episode, but because of the strict reliance on females as the main characters, with men intertwined throughout the plot as accessories.
Jessa, a world traveler without any ties or responsibilities, and Marnie, sculpted as a grownup version of the plastics from “Mean Girls,” round out the main characters that promise to either enhance or disrupt where Hannah hopes to get in her life.
Unlike most main characters in Showtime and HBO shows, Hannah is unable to score at the snap of her finger a sexual partner of great hotness that piques her intellectually and physically. Her inadequateness in her personal and professional life comes to culmination after a rendezvous at her f-buddy Adam’s apartment has her feeling more than a little bit used.
Despite proclaiming herself as “The Voice of My Generation” and promising her parents that she can finish her work-in-progress novel on a measly, for New York standards, $1,200 a month, Hannah seems destined for mediocrity, unlike “Girls,” which promises the dry humor and realistic portrayal that is absent from so many shows on television today.
“Girls” can be seen on HBO, Sundays at 9:30 pm.