ABOVE: JEMIMA KIRKE, LENA DUNHAM AND ZOSIA MAMET IN GIRLS. PHOTO COURTESY OF HBO.
“I don’t want to alarm you, but I think I might be the voice of my generation,” announces Hannah, the protagonist of the new television show, Girls, to her parents, while high on opium tea. Alas, how right Hannah is! Hannah is played by Lena Dunham, of Tiny Furniture fame. Dunham also writes and directs the show, which had its premiere last night hosted by the Cinema Society and HBO. Girls might hit a little close to home for recent graduates, single New Yorkers, the un- or partially-employed, and anyone who vividly remember their ‘20s. There are plenty of laughs to be had—Judd Apatow produces the show—but most of them disintegrate from a “Haha” into an “Ohh…”
The HBO comedy centers around Hannah and three of her friends—played by Jemima Kirke, Allison Williams and Zosia Mamet—as they struggle to free themselves from the parental dollar and cross the ever-blurry line from college kid to adult. “We’ve been working on the show for two years,” says Dunham, whose current situation is a little more positive than that of her character. “I kept thinking, I’ll know it’s real when we get to the premiere; and now I’m at the premiere, but it’s still crazy.” As for how many times she’s seen the show between editing and directing, “I’ve seen it 10 times, more than anyone else ever will, I assure you. Unless Jemima gets a stalker…”
There are plenty of boys on Girls—Hannah’s boss, played by Whit Stillman favorite Chris Eigeman; Allison’s ever-sweet boyfriend, played by Christopher Abbott; and his not-so-sweet friend, played by Alex Karpovsky. “I feel like if all of the shackles of the world were stripped off, I would be a very mean and nasty person, I’d get what I want without having to bend over backwards,” said Karpovsky, “so to be able to do that while on set was liberating if anything.” This is somewhat of an alarming comment, but we are glad it came from Karpovsky and not Adam Driver, whose character on the show, also called Adam, is truly horrific.
While we may have found the jokes bitterly hilarious, the atmosphere at the premiere was jovial—happy congratulations and affectionate hugs on the red carpet. We did, however, feel a bit uncomfortable on behalf of Williams, whose father, news anchor Brian Williams, had come to support her. Watching your character simulate masturbation with your dad right there can’t be much fun.
GIRLS PREMIERES SUNDAY, APRIL 15TH ON HBO.