When you look at the most successful shows produced by HBO, you’ll usually find one person in particular whose creative vision has been the catalyst for the show. With The Sopranos it was David Chase, David Simon was behind The Wire and Alan Ball created Six Feet Under.
In 2012, Lena Dunham joined those voices when HBO put Girls on their schedule, and the first season of the show quickly moved from being a new comedy starring four (relative) unknowns to one of the best shows on television. Now it’s returning for a second season, with Sky Atlantic airing it on Monday nights, less than 24 hours after it airs in the US.
Girls is not a show with a big, weighty concept, it’s simply a comedy about four 20-something girls (obviously) living and working (or not) in New York, but a New York that is nothing like that show with the old, weird looking women in it. It’s brilliantly funny and extremely well written, and with Lena Dunham starring as Hannah, there’s a lot of her life being lived through Hannah for the show. She’s not afraid of nudity or sex, and it’s an important part of the show, just like it’s an important part of anyone’s life when you’re in your 20s.
While the show has been almost universally praised, one criticism levelled at it was the lack of diversity in the show (translation: Why are all the characters so white?). It’s not something I really understood, why does any show need to have black characters, what difference does it make to the stories being told or the quality of the show? But regardless, the addition of Donald Glover (Community) to the cast should help remove that issue, which is one that show runner Jenni Konner has admitted that the people involved in the making of the show were already starting to address before it became an issue in the media. Some people may look at the casting of Glover and point to it as being an admission of guilt; that he’s there just for the sake of it, but he had already been cast and just marks a natural progression for the show.
Early reviews suggest that season two will be even better than it was last year, and that should mark it out as one of the must-watch shows of 2013.
Girls starts tonight at 10pm on Sky Atlantic and will be reviewed by Andrew Latimer