'Girls' Cast Clashes With Reporter, Considers 'Golden Girls' Comparisons
Creator and star Lena Dunham gets put on the defense by the suggestion of gratuitous nudity at their TCA panel, though the mood lightens when talk turns to Betty White and Bea Arthur.
At the end of a day that started with one reporter dismissing MSNBC's Tamron Hall for opening up about the murder of her sister, the cast of HBO's Girls walked out onstage at the Television Critics Association to another abrasive journalist expressing his confusion over (and apparent dislike of) Lena Dunham's frequent nudity.
Though the question was directed at the creator and star, she had little chance to respond given how much it riled executive producer Judd Apatow. "Do you have a girlfriend?" he asked the man. "Does she like you?"
Dunham, who handled the awkward opening with a smile, offered that the comedy has always been about realism -- hence the candid depictions of sex. "If you're not into me, that's your problem," she added. Fellow executive producer Jenni Konner briefly revived the topic later in the panel when the reporter in question caught her eye -- "I'm in a rage spiral!" -- but the rest of the 20-or-so minutes was fittingly funny and civil.
When talk turned to criticism for the second run, Konner did say that they are aware of fan gripes. "We heard that criticism, and there were parts of it that we agreed with," she said. "We are trying to address it still."
They will have more than just this season to explore. HBO kicked off the panel with an expected renewal for a fourth run -- which might give the characters time to get their acts together. Dunham, who seems very conscious that their underdog status might be frustrating to some, still appreciates the reality of the failures. "I feel sad when they struggle," she said. "We get to depict these girls in all of their flawed glory."
On a much lighter note, Dunham and co-stars Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke and Zosia Mamet tried to identify which character on The Golden Girls their alter egos most resemble. (For those curious: Shoshanna is Sophia, Marnie is Rose, Jessa is Blanche and Hannah is Dorothy.)
"I get tired working an eight-hour day," said Dunham, in awe of The Golden Girls. "Those ladies were not young. And they were keeping it fresh on set. I want what they're having."