Withering Glance: Guys who like 'Girls'

  • Article by: RICK NELSON and CLAUDE PECK , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 12, 2012 - 2:10 PM

Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.

Lena Dunham creates, writes and stars in HBO's new comic series "Girls."

Photo: Jojo Whilden, HBO

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RN: I'm so into HBO's "Girls" that it hurts.

CP: Me, too. Totes.

RN: You speak fluent Shoshanna Shapiro. I love her own particular shorthanding dialect, obvi being another favorite. And her very effective means of stopping a conversation: Pause.

CP: Amaze. I may love her fast-chatting character best of all. Who would not want to watch the reality show "Baggage" with logorrheic Shoshanna, then compare notes?

RN: That was a brilliant bit, and so reflective of how the show takes the characters' too-much-information thing and runs with it, causing me to laugh and wince simultaneously.

CP: The brains of the operation is Lena Dunham, the best under-30 creative to hit pop culture in years. Here, she tosses her post-college, few-prospects self into contemporary New York alongside three main gal pals in a raunchier, younger and, to me, funnier "Sex and the City." Dunham writes, directs, acts. Surprised she didn't run up some of the costumes.

RN: Her sex scenes are appallingly humiliating, and twisted-hilarious. How does she film them with a straight face? Watching them at the office -- why didn't you warn me? -- I felt like HR was going to place me on speed-dial.

CP: Watching you watch at the office was half the fun.

RN: Her Hannah is such a woman- child, living an indulged, never-ending adolescence. I adored her scene in the clap clinic, when, feet in stirrups, she shares her warped world view with the world-weary clinician, who says, "You couldn't pay me enough to be 24 again." Amen, sister. Were we really that immature at that age?

CP: I think we were more mature at 24 than is true now of that age group. But let's not get all psycho-social. This is comedy. The scene in the art gallery, and the one where the women eat frozen yogurt on a park bench with a basketball game in the background, seemed very "Sex and the City."

RN: True. Although "Sex and the City" featured male characters who weren't total jerks, the guys in "Girls" are uniformly coated in weirdness. But hilarious nonetheless, and so clueless. When Hannah asks her ex-boyfriend, now gay, how he managed to have sex with her, he explained, "There's a handsomeness to you." Just what every woman wants to hear.

CP: How about when her current beau, played by Adam Driver as the ultimate hipster Neanderthal, asks her, after some very unappetizing sex, "Do you want a Gatorade?"

RN: And she responds -- as anyone would -- with, "What flavor?" My favorite "Girl" might be her roommate Marnie -- played by Allison Williams, daughter of NBC news anchor Brian Williams -- and the way she can't stomach her smothering, overly sensitive boyfriend. "I've turned a corner," she tells Hannah. "His touch now feels like a weird uncle, putting his hand on my knee at Thanksgiving."

CP: I could go on, but I have to hit my moms up for some rent money. And get ready for Episode 5, tonight.

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