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Speaking at the Sundance Film Festival, during a Cinema Cafe chat with Norman Lear, the Girls creator and star explained that they wanted to end the show before it overstayed its welcome.
“We were always conscious, especially because the show has been at times such a lightning rod, of overstaying our welcome,” Dunham said. “We’ve been very blessed to have the experience of people continuing to engage in the show in a really kind of rabid way after four — heading into five — years. We wanted to make sure we kept the momentum alive and didn’t allow it to soften over time.”
Referencing her own age, Dunham said that if they continued the show much longer, “it wouldn’t be about what it was originally about.”
“Also, it is about this really incredibly specific period in these women’s lives. Just on a personal level, I was 23 when I wrote the pilot; I’m gonna be 30 as we shoot the sixth season. And it just felt as though, if we were to continue on, it wouldn’t be about what it was originally about. It would be the equivalent of moving them to California, only California is them getting married and having kids and stuff like that. It just feels like at this point, it makes sense for us to wrap their stories up.”
HBO’s Girls predecessor Sex and the City also ended its run on the premium cable channel after six seasons but the stars did reunite for two movies, including a poorly reviewed sequel in which the four New Yorkers traveled to Abu Dhabi. Dunham suggested that Girls have a reunion set in Abu Dhabi’s Middle East neighbor, Dubai.
“I always say, ‘I would love in 10-15 years to get us all back together and go to Dubai! Nothing would make me happier!’ I just feel like now is the right time,” Dunham said.
Dunham is at the festival with Suited, an HBO documentary that she and Girls collaborator Jenni Konner produced about a bespoke Brooklyn tailoring company that caters to a diverse LGBTQ community. She and Konner also recently started their Lenny digital newsletter and are executive producing the HBO comedy pilot Max, which Dunham is also directing. In addition, since Girls premiered in 2012, its co-stars, including Allison Williams and Adam Driver, have become in-demand talent, with Driver starring in Star Wars: The Force Awakens among other movies and Williams top-lining in NBC’s live musical Peter Pan in 2014.
Ending the show will allow Driver, Williams and other Girls cast members to pursue other projects more freely.
“These birds have to fly! They’re all in Star Wars and stuff,” Dunham said of her castmates. “They’re busy!”
The fifth season of Girls premieres on Feb. 21. HBO recently renewed the show for its sixth and final season.
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