Meet the GIRLS: Jemima Kirke (as Jessa) and Zosia Mamet (as Shoshanna) flank Hannah (played by writer-director-series creator Lena Dunham).
First things first: Despite the
Sex and the City outburst from Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) at the beginning of
GIRLS—“I’m definitely a Carrie at heart, but sometimes Samantha kind of comes out. And when I’m at school I definitely try and put on my Miranda hat”— this new, über-hyped HBO show about young women living in New York is more Woody Allen than Candice Bushnell. It’s not about single girls doing it for themselves as much as self-involved millennials relying on others for everything they possibly can. You don’t picture these characters growing into Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte, even though they will get older, drink fancier cocktails and be able to afford nicer apartments.
Meet Hannah Like Woody himself, the show’s lead character, Hannah (
Lena Dunham), seems too absorbed reveling in her own neuroses to understand how she impacts the people around her. Which isn’t to say that she isn’t likeable, or that the audience won’t relate to her, because she is and we do (although not always in ways that flatter us). It’s clear though, that even as she’s announcing her imminent failure to survive New York, she doesn’t believe that she will be allowed—by her parents, her friends, the city itself—to fail. So when Hannah’s parents take her out for a fancy dinner and announce that they’re cutting her off financially, she’s more than a little shocked. After all, she protests, she’s done everything right: She’s interned at an upscale publishing house for a year, and her boss has agreed to read her memoir when it’s finished. She isn’t a drug addict—“not even
pills.” All her friends’ parents support
them. No dice. “When does it start?” a wide-eyed Hannah asks, as reality dawns. “Right now,” comes the unflappable reply.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.