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  • New HBO Show And Lena Dunham Face Backlash On Racism And More

    HBO's hotly anticipated comedy "Girls" premiered last night to 872,000 viewers. The Lena Dunham-created, Judd Apatow-produced series presents itself as a window into a generation. But not everyone is liking the view.

    Though "Girls" (Sundays at 10:30 p.m. ET on HBO) received rave reviews from multiple places (Emily Nussbaum touted the show as revolutionairy in a New York mag cover story and HuffPost TV's Maureen Ryan said it was "bold" and fresh"), morning-after reviews seem less enamored.

    "Girls feels less like a commentary on this generation and more like an indictment on it," John Kubicek wrote for BuddyTV.com. "These characters have been raised believing that they're special and that they can do anything they want. The problem is that none of them seem to want to do anything. There's nothing particularly special about Hannah's life, no reason that her memoirs would be remotely interesting."

    Many writers found the characters unsympathetic, mostly on account of their privilege. (Dunham is photographer Laurie Simmons' daughter and plays the daughter of two professors on the show. Brian Willliams' daughter Allison plays Dunham's roommate).

    "Laurie Simmons' daughter's best friend is Brian Williams' daughter. She is uptight, pretty, straight-laced, and has a boyfriend who's just too nice and loving. She wears a retainer when she sleeps, symbolically," John Cook wrote on Gawker. "Laurie Simmons' daughter says Brian Williams' daughter's boyfriend 'has a vagina,' a notion that isn't at all hackneyed and retrograde when it's uttered by a self-aware 24-year-old girl who has tattoos of illustrations from children's books all over her body."

    Besides taking issue with the cupcake Dunham's character takes in the bath with her, Jenna Wortham wrote for Hairpin: "My chief beef is not simply that the girls in 'Girls' are white ... The problem with 'Girls' is that while the show reaches -- and succeeds, in many ways -- to show female characters that are not caricatures, it feels alienating, a party of four engineered to appeal to a very specific subset of the television viewing audience, when the show has the potential to be so much bigger than that. And that is a huge fucking disappointment."
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