Yes, HBO's Girls is as cool as you've heard it is...see the full pilot here
Watching the first three episodes of Girls, HBO's relentlessly realistic dramedy about four young women in New York, it is almost laughable that early buzz on this show cast it as a new-school Sex and the City.
Yes, it is an HBO comedy about a quartet of female friends. And yes, they have sex — well, most of them do — in New York City.
But that is where the similarity ends, as creator and star Lena Dunham teams with producer Judd Apatow (Bridesmaids, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) to offer a sometimes bleak, often absurd vision of twentysomething women filmed like an indie documentary made on a shoestring.
These are young women with average bodies and momentous personal flaws, which the storytelling savors like a finely crafted clove cigarette — from the thin beauty who can't bear to tell her doting boyfriend she hates him, to the self-obsessed bohemian who ropes her friends into supporting her at an abortion and then fails to show.
But it's Dunham's pudgy underachiever Hanna Horvath who serves as the show's eccentric center; an aspiring writer who loses her nonpaying internship hours after her parents stop supporting her.
Unable or unwilling to admit her boyfriend only notices her when he wants sex, Horvath is a swirl of insecurities and fumbled opportunities, losing a prospective job after cracking an awful joke about date rape during an otherwise tremendous interview.
The sex is often explicit and uncomfortable, lacing stories that feel told from the point of view of actual young women (as opposed to what middle-aged, male writers imagine they feel).
If Sex and the City is a gauzy fantasy, Girls is the reality many young women likely wake up to when the dream ends. "You could not pay me enough to be 24 again," one doctor cracks, after hearing Horvath obsess on her phobia of contracting HIV.
Yeah, but you might pay to watch someone else go through it. Which is why I'm suggesting a hearty TiVo here.
See the full pilot - complete with TV-MA language and images - By clicking here: