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Lena Dunham says Girls was her ‘attempt to understand’ female friendship

Attending the premiere of HBO’s Girls. Third season in New York. Photo: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Attending the premiere of HBO’s Girls. Third season in New York. Photo: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Published Apr 19, 2022

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Lena Dunham says ‘Girls’ was her “attempt to understand” female friendship.

The 35-year-old showrunner and star of the HBO series – that also featured Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet, Jemima Kirke and Adam Driver – believes it was her trying to “master” how to be a better friend herself, and not be a universal expression of womanhood.

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In an essay to mark the 10-year anniversary of its debut, Lena wrote in Vogue: “By the time I wrote ‘Girls’, I had 24 years of experience with feeling both connected to and separated from, well, girls. Many people saw the title of the show as a pronouncement that I was speaking for all the girls, that I fancied myself a microphone for half the population and, in the process, was grinding us down to one monolithic and unlikeable soapstone. But this was actually my attempt to understand, perhaps even master, my relationships with girls, with women.”

The ‘Camping’ creator also paid tribute to the show - which ran for six seasons between 2012 and 2017 – on Instagram, labelling it her “first grown up job”.

On a gallery of photos from her time on the series, Lena wrote: “There’s no insta wrap-up that can describe the magic and mayhem of this journey, or room enough in a caption to celebrate the people I made the show with (though a big fat thank you to my @hbo family is the place to start.)

“The audience is better equipped than I am to argue the finer points of what we did and didn’t do, so all I can say is: my life is too transformed to imagine a world without this having been my (admittedly singular) first grown-up job.”

“Because of ‘Girls’ I am a working artist, which is all I ever wanted to be – and even on my worst days I don't take the chance to keep writing and taking things for granted – and even as the nudity jokes keep on comin’ (note to those young ’uns considering showing your breasts dozens of times on national TV, and your vagina once – it will follow you well into your 30s, once you’ve started wearing mostly art teacher sweaters and literally living the life of a librarian,)” she said.

“To quote my mother on matters of destiny: ‘it could have been no other way.’”

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At the beginning of the year, she ruled it “not time yet” to bring the show back.

Lena said: “We all recognise it’s not time yet. I want it to be at a moment when the characters’ lives have really changed.”

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