As someone fascinated by the early exit of actors from successful series, I’ve long been curious about Christopher Abbott’s abrupt departure from HBO’s Girls in season 3. Though he returned for a cameo in the final season, the speculation has always pointed to a stark creative difference with Lena Dunham. On ‘Watch What Happens Live,’ Andy Cohen got to the bottom of it, and Dunham confirmed their cantankerous relationship, saying Abbott once said he felt “stuck on a sitcom.”
When ‘Girls’ first began, I wrote a piece about Lena Dunham’s off-putting use of excessive nudity, and now, years later — I finally welcome it. She defies traditional standards of beauty, and if you don’t like it, you better get over it. There’s something to be learned from her unapologetic attitude about nearly everything, especially given that most people, including myself, won’t wear a bikini in public let alone show my boobs on national television. As ‘Girls’ approaches its final season, Dunham sat down with Nylon Magazine to reveal what you can expect. Some choice quotes are below. Head on over to Nylon for the entire interview.
On Public Critique: “I used to think the worst thing in the world could be for someone to have a thought about you that you didn’t have yourself. Now I’m like, ‘Have at it, guys!’”
On Changes She Would Make To Girls: “I wouldn’t do another show that starred four white girls…When I wrote the pilot I was 23…I was not trying to write the experience of somebody I didn’t know, and not trying to stick a black girl in without understanding the nuance of what her experience of hipster Brooklyn was.”
On how the 2016 Presidential Election is reflected in the final season of Girls: “…we wrote in a climate where we were thinking a lot about this election, and the election was heating up as we shot the show, and that energy for sure made its way into how we tackled topics. I don’t mean to be demurring, but there are some big female issues, more than maybe ever before.”
On Donald Trump: “It’s going to be interesting promoting this show right after Trump is inaugurated. The final season definitely tackles some topics that are complicated and wouldn’t be beloved by the incoming administration. Hopefully it’ll bring up important conversations, and not just become the worst Twitter abuse storm in history—or it will.”
I’m unsure about many things, but there’s one thing of which I’m certain. Celebrities are insane. Just as I frown upon close friends who expose the inner workings of their personal life on facebook, I do the same for celebrities, whose “friend circle” is a much larger audience with much more to say. Lena Dunham makes the list of loony celebs who just can’t stop the crazy train. When asked about her love life with musician Jack Antonoff, Dunham fiercely proclaimed that she’d marry when gay people had the equal right. She predictably got herself into a pickle given the recent Supreme Court ruling, and she now must backtrack. Instead of learning her lesson and closing the public doors to her private life, she has now written a long-winded essay for The New Yorker, explaining that her boyfriend is not on the same marriage page, and he seemed uncomfortable with her forward advances. Gee, was it the tweet to millions of people, or perhaps making the talk-show rounds to talk about it? In normal life, mentioning marriage is already a careful approach, in celebrity life, apparently it’s a national issue. My advice to Lena Dunham and every other famous person on the planet is this. If you don’t want the public invested in your personal life, thereby increasing the paparazzi’s desire for pictures, keep it zipped. Furthermore, if you’d like to keep your relationship intact, privacy might help. Also, passive aggressively tweeting about the future state of your life is probably not the best idea.
You can put a pretty bow on your controversial choices with a stock-house explanation, but that doesn’t make it any less questionable. ‘Girls’ Executive Producer and Writer, Lena Dunham covered Vogue, and she explained her decision to bare all for the HBO series, saying, “It’s a complicated thing. I want people ultimately, even if they’re disturbed by certain moments, to feel bolstered and normalized by the sex that’s on the show.” She also added that, “Seeing somebody who looks like you having sex on television is a less comfortable experience than seeing somebody who looks like nobody you’ve ever met.” While I understand the argument, I must still lay into it’s lunacy.
I’ve followed ‘Girls’ since it’s debut, and the excessive nudity has almost pushed me to flee the show. I never questioned Samantha Jones’ nudity, because it made sense for the character. Kim Cattrall’s promiscuous Sex and the City character broke down barriers for women. It put our gender on par with men, who are socially allowed to sexually misbehave, while women are not. Her nudity was also appropriately played into each scene, and the artistic blend kept me immersed in the story. Unlike ‘Sex and the City,’ it’s as if Lena Dunham is proving a point at the expense of the scene. Sure it’s possible that she adequately represents “real life,” but if I wanted my television to be that real, I’d watch a documentary. There’s a delicate dance between art and reality, but the former is just fine with me.
Girls has gone bad, and if this trajectory continues, my devotion will die. First, I fundamentally object to Lena Dunham’s excessive nudity. Though it seems to be politically incorrect to suggest that overweight chicks should not be naked on screen, allow me to be politically incorrect. It’s disturbing and unenjoyable to watch. Furthermore, she accentuates her flaws by finding every undesirable pose and clothing choice possible, as if she’s swimming in the criticism. And before I get attacked for this, I’d like to point out that I also object to Laura Linney’s consistent boob-reveal in every movie, so as to prove that my outrage is not just about the weight — it’s about the gratuitous choice to assault the audience with some free-nudity movement I never signed up for. Lastly, what on earth would justify filming yourself on the toilet while trying to avert the pain of a urinary tract infection? I’ve heard of telling life-truths, but if I won’t even pee in front of my significant other, I certainly don’t want an actress to pee on screen in front of me.
“It’s happened to me more than once, and my mom says it must be genetic because she has a couple of them in her past, too. Our hope is that what it means is that we are a comfortable resting place for a guy who is figuring things out. Our fear is that we turn men gay.” Lena Dunham, writer, creator, and actress for HBO’s ‘Girls,’ on her experience dating men who later became gay.
I was recently tipped off by a very annoying individual to watch HBO’s Girls. Naturally, I rolled my eyes and ignored the suggestion. Then in a moment of weakness, I watched it, and I was mesmerized. Though I’m a huge Sex and the City fan, the comparisons between the two shows is what initially turned me off. But those comparisons are far off the mark. It’s an artsy, character-driven show. In fact, the main character, Lena Dunham, is also the creator and writer. The idea began with a call from Judd Apatow who took a liking to Dunham afer watching her independent film, Tiny Furniture. Apatow is also a producer. Watch the trailer below.