Caryn James

'Girls,' Season 2: Where Does Lena Dunham End and Hannah Begin?

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 8, 2013 9:01 AM
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  • 1 Comment
With the ultra-sharp new season of Girls,  I finally understand – though I don’t agree with – the Lena Dunham backlash. For all I know, in real life she’s perfectly likable. But her character, Hannah, is the most squirm-inducing character on television. Hannah’s total self-absorption (as if the world should be interested) and defiantly strong self-image is combined with its reverse: the cringingly bad self-image her bravado masks, and utterly self-destructive relationships. Who would want to be this whiny mess’ friend? But Dunham plays her so convincingly that the distance  between herself and Hannah seems to vanish – which is especially weird, considering that Dunham is the writer/director/actor/ and Judd Apatow protegee with a  reported $3.5 million book deal and Hannah is a struggling, post-college mess.

'Girls' Ends Its Season More Brilliant Than Ever

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 17, 2012 9:05 AM
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  • 3 Comments
There has been so much ink, web time, energy and hot air devoted to Lena Dunham’s Girls that there can’t possibly be any synonyms for zeitgeist left unused. Is her HBO series inbred in its casting and elitist in its characters, as charged? Sure it is, but so what? The actors are terrific; the elitism is part of its young-educated-ambitious-kids scenario. And the show, which started off savagely smart, funny and honest, has only gotten better through the season.

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