Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Lena Dunham, writer/director/star of HBO’s new comedy series Girls, said she grew up on HBO’s Sex and the City and doesn’t see her show about 20-something single women in New York as a clone of the iconic HBO comedy. She said that the world of these confused 24-year-olds exists somewhere between Sex And The City and the wealthy teens of Gossip Girls and called her “girls” the generation who expected to move to New York and have a great boyfriend, great job and “an elegant shoe closet” like the Sex and the City women – but it didn’t happen.
Dunham, who used her own life as the story in her $25,000 breakout film Tiny Furniture, was joined on the panel by Girls executive producers Jenni Konner and Judd Apatow. Dunham and Konner said that Apatow is actually the sensitive one when it comes to racy jokes on the shows. If you think, “that hand job joke was Judd’s and that crying joke was Lena’s – flip it,” Dunham said.
Apatow seemed to have redeemed himself here for his past focus on “guy” stories. In fact one female questioner asked him “what women want.” Apatow joked that answering that question left him wide open to ending “my marriage and my career. We all just want to be happy.” But he couldn’t help adding, Apatow-style: “You wanna get laid.”
Apatow also evidenced his touchy-feely side in answering a question about whether he had been tempted to come back to TV during the decade since his underappreciated series Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared. “I really wasn’t interested. I was hurt; I was wounded and sad from my TV experience. My only good experience was with HBO on and off through run of The Larry Sanders Show. This is much easier because I do so little. Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, I put so much into it I ended up in the hospital. It’s nice that I don’t need to do that again. “